How To Beat the Stress in Middle Management

“Sandwich Leaders”, the so-called middle management, are often trapped between the regular employees in the company and the upper management. They`ve got to deal with conflicts from above AND below, so it`s no wonder they are more at risk for stress and stress related conditions.  

A study published by the Columbia University shows that almost 19% of the interviewed persons in middle management suffer from depression compared to 12% of regular workers and 11% of the upper management. In addition, 11% of the middle management suffers from anxiety compared to about 5 % of regular workers and only 2% of upper management.1


How can you help yourself and/or your employees today by managing your stress?


Daily conflicts, challenges or so-called stressors can be hard to get rid. An intelligent use of emotion is the key to improving physiology, health, mental clarity, and performance. 

Negative emotions such as frustration can suppress the immune response for up to six hours, while a positive feeling boosts the immune system. The heart-monitor readouts below show the heart-rhythm pattern of someone experiencing frustration, then appreciation. The smooth heart rhythm, known as a coherent state, is a sign of good health and emotional balance. 2 


Figure 1: Heart-Rhythm Pattern of an Individual by HeartMath2 


But how do we get into a positive emotional state?


There are a number of proven ways to get us to a coherent state; e.g. exercise, listening to music, meditation, calling a friend. One example is HeartMath`s Quick Coherence technique which enables your brain to synchronize with your heart`s coherent rhythm. Shift into a heart-focused, positive emotional state through three simple steps: 

  1. Heart Focus:  
    Focus your attention on the area of your heart, in the center of your chest. 
  2. Heart Breathing:  
    As you focus on the area of your heart, imagine your breath flowing in and out through that area. (Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, Exhale 5 seconds) 
  3. Heart Feeling:  
    As you continue to breathe through the area of your heart, recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience it. It could be feeling appreciation for the good things in your life, someone or someplace you love, a pet or an accomplishment. 2

Make it a habit!

Invest three to five minutes every day to focus on your breathing and your heart. Use it to start off your day, right before lunch, during work or just before bed! You can use it anywhere and achieve energy, mental clarity and feel better in only minutes.2 


Contact Health Well Solutions (HWS) for more information on wellbeing and stress management tools 





(1) Prins, S. J.; Bates, L. M.; Keyes, K. M.; Muntaner, C. Anxious? Depressed? You might be suffering from capitalism: contradictory class locations and the prevalence of depression and anxiety in the USA. Sociology of health & illness 201537, 1352–1372.

(2) HeartMath Institute. HeartMath® Appreciation Tool™ and Exercises. August 28, 2017).