A little more conversation

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Stress is something that can affect everyone and anyone, at any point in your life. Admittedly some things are more likely to bring about stress, for example, creating your own business and trying to get it off the ground.

If you don’t look after yourself, your physical and mental health, then whatever you were aiming towards could become impossible, - and worst case scenario, irrelevant.

Again your stress level can be reflected based on which sector you work in, a recent Tech Inclusion and Diversity report compiled by BIMA, revealed people working in the tech sector face the same stress levels as those in the National Health Service and that as a sector, workers are five times more depressed than the national average.

And apologies for all the tech startups out there, this story doesn’t get much better. According to a study by Michael Freeman, entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition, with founders six times more likely to suffer from ADHD amongst other concerns. Elsewhere researchers from the University of California found that 72% of entrepreneurs surveyed self-reported mental health concerns.

Upping Your Elvis is a company that is all about energy. It aims to help people bring the right energy to play with in business, making every day easier and more impactful, so entrepreneurs can achieve more with their own talents.

Speaking to Chris Barez-Brown, Founder of Upping Your Elvis he said: “It is not hard to see why these alarming figures arise. Startups are often defined by an intensely driven culture, with small teams with multiple roles working long hours and a cyclical bout of immense pressure to secure funding. Work-life balance is often just a myth.”

Talking to survive

He continued: “Without a proactive attempt to try and address these concerns, startups and the founders and employees within them face massive issues. Not least of which is the survival of the company itself - according to Noam Wasserman, 65% of failed startups, fail for avoidable reasons like co-founder conflict.

“Our approach to helping balance out these pressures and bring some clarity to people who are struggling to find it is the launch of our free social enterprise tool ‘Talk it Out’. Talk it Out is a human, simple way to develop positive mental wellbeing.

“Comprised of a quick ‘warm up’, followed by 20 minutes of walking and talking with a partner, then swapping over so that both participants get a chance to participate in uncensored discussions about issues concerning them, Talk It Out can be done anywhere at any time. Creativity has been shown to spike by 60% when we walk and the experience of talking continuously for 20 minutes while walking briskly enables people to process subconscious concerns.

“All you need is a buddy and a place to meet where you can go for a walk, and in just 60 minutes you can both gain a clearer perspective on a given issue. Talk It Out began as a personal tool, but it applies just as well to business matters.”

Barez-Brown added: “Either way, 85% of Talk It Out beta testers reported improved mental wellbeing afterwards and would repeat it, according to new study by Bristol University.”

Concluding Barez-Brown said: “Whilst we are not saying a tool like Talk It Out can cure all ills, it can be a place to start. Sanctus founder James Routledge was one of the first people to identify the specific strains that technology entrepreneurs face. His 2016 blog was a genuine watershed moment for the industry. And his mission today is to create spaces for people to TALK about mental health. Because whilst talking is not a panacea, it is imperative if we are going to move the needle on mental health in the startup community.”