The most stressful month in the calendar for Accountants has now passed.
It is time to take stock so that it doesn’t have to be that way again in the future.
The stressed accountant
A major piece of research published in 2022 by caba, an ICAEW charity, found that more than half (56%) of accountants are suffering stress and burnout, compared with 41% of employees across a wide range of sectors, business sizes and job roles.
Eight of ten accountants (79%) believe that stress and poor mental health are an ingrained problem within the accountancy profession.
Accountants are the small business trusted adviser. If a person is stressed then they cannot think clearly. You experientially know that to be true and science backs it up. The body’s response to stress is to take the blood supply away from the thinking forebrain to send it to the arms and legs to either fight or run from the perceived threat. It also releases chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. These are literally jittery chemicals. That’s okay if you need to run or fight. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t know the difference between the external physical threat of the sabre tooth tiger waiting to eat you, or the perceived threat of the impending tax return deadline and too much to do. So it responds the same way and it does so every single time you run that perceived threat in your mind.
Thoughts create things
Where did this experience of a perceived threat come from? It came from inside of you. It came from your thoughts. It came from what you are focusing upon and your interpretation of that ‘event’.
Our thinking is creating the ‘event’, but we think the event is the cause of the stress.
Chances are that event either hasn’t happened yet or has already happened and the event is in the past, it’s over, you have just been dwelling on it because you weren’t happy with the way it turned out.
Peace of mind is a feeling
The feeling that you are living in determines the quality of your life. Feelings are derived from our thoughts. This is going to get very profound here:
If you focus on what is causing you problems, then you will feel stressed.
If you focus on what you are pleased with and what is going well, then you will feel good.
Our feelings are derived largely from our thinking. Our state of mind is determined by our regular thinking.
If something rubbish happens you go through it once.
If you complain about it then you go through it twice. If you continue to complain about it and seek agreement from others that something rubbish did happen, then you get to go through it several times.
If you complain about the rubbish daily, then everything will appear to you to be rubbish because you’ve stopped looking for the good.
If you spend your everyday anticipating rubbish then pretty soon you are going to need help to get out from under the rubbish that hasn’t actually happened!
But you are only ever one thought away from happiness.
What is the solution
Turns out the external world is not the problem at all. The problem isn’t out there. You breathe out, tree breathes in. Tree breathes out, you breathe in. No problem.
The problem appears to be a selective memory and an overactive imagination. But these are also the things that set us apart, that have helped us to strive and progress as human beings.
So it is not the software, it is the program that is running. If you think of our mind as similar to a computer running windows ©, most people have too many windows open. What happens when we have too many windows open, too many tasks running at the same time? The computer processing slows down and eventually will grind to a halt, won’t it? Most people have far too many windows open and they have no idea where the music is coming from.
Part of my task is to teach people how to close some of those windows and get back to full operating capacity.
The Armadillo solution
Many years ago when I ran a busy accounting practice I too was stressed and harassed. I used to drive to work every day imagining all the problems I was about to face. I was practicing stress before I even got to the office. I became pretty good at it!
But things change. I learned new things. I changed my thoughts. I changed my Mind.
This is why we built the Armadillo Wellness portal for accountants and their teams: https://armadilloacademy.co.uk/wellness/