When I speak to groups (large and small), personal issues tend to creep up into professional life. We spend so much time working that we start to use our co-workers as soundboards and then we start to break down our own reputations. I tell all the groups I speak with during my lectures that unhealthy thoughts at work are going to happen. Our past traumas, our insecurities, all of these things don’t go away from 9-5, but we have to learn to function professional as a result in order to financially survive in life.
Negative self-talk and paranoia over one’s job, rank within the company, and interactions with authority figures are usually the topic first for discussion when I open up my talks to questions about stress at work. If you feel your stress is beyond normal bounds, you have to seek immediate help. If you feel slightly overwhelmed or like you need more tools for dealing with these emotions, or other rooted personal problems, at work, take a deep breath and then implement the following tools / tricks;
- Do not take anything personal at first. Co-workers may say one thing and you feel it means something else simply based on past experiences, negative self-talk, etc. You should never accept every insightful idea or perceived negative remark right away. Ruminate on it. Think about it from several different angles. Analyze it before deciding if it was deliberate and needs to be addressed or if it was something said that didn’t really mean anything or was rooted in ignorance.
- Ask yourself tough questions. Often we start to feel more stress at a job because something isn’t right. Maybe our boss is a jerk, or maybe we are constantly late- even if it is only 5 minutes. You have to be willing to ask yourself the tough questions like why are you working at that job? Are you truly fulfilled? Can you handle this particular job given your emotional capability and personal issues at home? Really think about your answers because there is no shame in taking on a less stressful job to balance a really stressful personal life.
- When you get home from work everyday, slow down. This will make time for you to mentally unwind from the day and think about how to handle work pressure and personal pressure. These needed “down moments” naturally allow us to think about thinks and then develop ways to handle the problems. If we can’t develop ways to handle issues on our own , you can always seek out professional help. Yes, people like me are practiced professionals and help is what we offer.
If you’re having stress, please try my Burning the Candle at Both Ends Program, which is now being offered at a reduced price.