Alex spent 15 years working as a police officer in the Metropolitan Police.
One of the good things about being in the police was the variety - he literally had no idea what you were going to come across from day to day, but that also was a cause of stress.
Coming across a violent confrontation or a scene of domestic abuse, dealing with someone with mental health problems who was a danger to themselves and the public - all these and more were regular occurrences. But probably the most scary time was when he was drafted into Brixton to help out with the first riots. He remembers standing in shield formation having bricks thrown at him by an angry crowd and wishing he had chosen to work in a bank!
Later on and away from work he suffered a huge loss when his wife passed away after a tough battle with breast cancer. The two and half years of constant treatment whilst trying to maintain some sense of normality for his young family was a challenge and at times he didn’t know how they were going to cope. But they came through it and it was these plus many more experiences that drove him to get down on paper so many of the techniques he was using and create the Stress Boffin workshop and training programme, which is almost entirely based in practical and interactive applications that anyone can implement into their daily lives. He still uses these to manage his stress levels and live a happy and productive life.
After serving for 15 years in the police Alex decided to leave to become a magician!
So going from a stressful but fairly secure job into one where there was no job security at all, added to that, prior to leaving the police he had lived in a police house so they had to buy a property at the same time. So, exciting but a huge amount of financial pressure and a need to make it work. At the time, he took on any magic jobs he could to pay the way including kids magic shows and he is quick to point out that standing up and entertaining 20, 6yr olds can be quite stressful! He eventually moved into the corporate market and moved away from magic to become a mindreader or mentalist. He still does this and regularly performs at conferences, awards events and on cruise ships all over the world and this brings about another type of stress with the pressure to entertain sometimes over 1000 people who, particularly in the case of the corporate events, are not there to see you and would rather be chatting and drinking!
Alex realised that he had subconsciously, over the years developed strategies and techniques to remain focussed, stress free and resilient and whilst studying Neuro Linguistic Programming, Mindfulness and other sources found that many of these very techniques and strategies were used and recommended by various authors and experts. He believes that his experiences, along with his performing background gives him the ideal combination to deliver engaging training to pass on what he has learnt so that others can benefit from it.
Find out more about Alex the Mentalist
Where we work
Alex is based in Windsor, Berkshire, but his clients are spread all over the UK. The training can be delivered anywhere there is a suitable sized room available and for his Wellbeing half-day training or individual workshops, these can be delivered virtually
Who is the training suitable for?
The training courses suit all sizes and types of businesses and Alex has run his training courses for such diverse businesses as engineers, law firms, event companies, dentists, nurses, IT companies and travel companies. There is no minimum number of attendees to a group, but we do recommend a maximum of 30 participants. We work with each employer to map out the training to meet the needs and size of the business.
The benefits of wellbeing training
Businesses today are finding they are facing unprecedented challenges with the mental health and wellbeing of their teams rapidly moving up their list of priorities.
Taking a positive approach to mental health in the workplace will:
Improve productivity and motivation
Reduce sickness and absence rates
Support staff retention and help reduce recruitment costs.
We offer a package of training courses either over a full or half day or in bite-size workshops.
Alex also offers Conference Speaking; this is an hour-long interactive presentation suitable for staff induction or training days, focusing on techniques to help reduce stress and build resilience.
STRESS – THE FACTS
How does stress impact on our lives?
Stress impacts on families, friendship groups and work colleagues and is one of the major causes of sickness in the workplace costing the UK over £5million in additional to this one in four of us will have a mental health problem at some point in our lives.
*Good mental health is attributed to a healthy lifestyle, positive thinking, and a feeling of general wellbeing.
*Poor mental health can be a reaction to things like a bereavement, a recent or past traumatic experience and in some cases a reaction to work related stress.
In its worse form, where work related stress goes untreated, it can transition into Anxiety and Depression and medical and or psychological treatments may be required to manage the condition and help the individual to recover.
Stress prevention at work
Many companies have a Stress Strategy in place, although they mostly tend to be reactive. There may be a helpline to call, or someone that you can talk to when feeling under pressure or stressed and these are to be applauded. However, very few companies have a proactive stress strategy
One of the problems with reactive stress strategy is that it relies on a couple of assumptions that people:
Know they are stressed
Are able to admit they are stressed
Know who to talk to
Are comfortable talking to a stranger
The need to build a resilient workforce and prevent stress is a major concern for most companies. Increased creativity, better performance, and a reduction of lost days due to work related stress are just a few of the benefits.
Where work related stress has been identified, either because it is causing a health issue or aggravating an existing condition, the employer has a legal responsibility to assess the risk and put in measures to mitigate or remove the risk where it is reasonably practical to do so.
At Stress Boffin, we believe that stress prevention and building resilience go hand in hand, which is why our training courses cover both aspects, ensuring that the attendees have all the tools they need to have a happier and more productive life.
Techniques for rethinking stress…
Using proven techniques both tried and tested by Alex, as well as documented and written about in many books, individuals, teams and your business will begin to see the transition from being a stress led organisation to becoming a resilient, confident and productive business, overcoming challenges and creating new opportunities.
During the training the attendees practice a number of Mindfulness exercises as well as some useful NLP techniques for re-thinking stress, dealing with conflict and enhancing communication. Many attendees have also told us that they enjoy the snippets of psychology which are shared to show how our minds work and why stress is such an issue.