Handling psychological pressure key

Lance Burdett describes his job as helping people as much as he can.

A safety, wellness and resilience expert, Mr Burdett has worked with elite international tactical units across police, the military, emergency services, prisons and the FBI.

Now he focuses his time on helping people understand the pressures on their brains and how to handle them.

Rural Support Trusts are bringing Mr Burdett to the South, where he will be speaking in Oamaru on May 13, Balclutha on May 14, Gore on May 15 and 16, and Winton on May 16.

His presentation would cover why we remember and exaggerate negative things, why we worry, how self-talk can lead to negative self-talk and how to beat rural challenges like isolation and change.

Originally a builder, Mr Burdett later joined the police, working his way up to becoming a police negotiator.

During a rough time in his life, he suffered from depression but stayed with the police. He became the leading crisis negotiator for New Zealand police and was a detective inspector.

He qualified as an FBI negotiator and attended the counterterrorist negotiator course in Darwin.

He left the police after 22 years to start his own business as a safety, wellness and resilience expert.

Everyone had someone in their home had experience with either anxiety, depression or suicide - "it's everywhere", he said.

In presentations, he explained why that was happening and how to overcome it, using an applied technique and working using neuroscience.

"The longer we hold on to something inside our head, the greater the exaggeration of the negative bias," he said.

On farms, social isolation was a problem, people were no longer having a beer at the rugby club, and people had lost the ability to get off the farm.

"When we are going down a bit of a spiral, our brain tells us to go away and hide," he said.

There were three key things to keep well: socialisation, exercise and sleep. Talking helped people deal with their worries, while exercise was needed to relax the mind.

On farms, social isolation was a problem.

He liked the mantra of "run to the fire" - "do something about what you're thinking about, don't leave it inside your head."


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