Suffering From Work Stress?

Work stress is a common problem nowadays, as more and more people join the workforce. This, combined with the increased use of machines which eliminates jobs, creates a competitive arena for anybody looking for a suitable job.

The result is that most of us work a job which we don't really like - we take a job not because we're passionate about doing that specific job, but because it pays the bills, and that's already a cause for stress.

There are more causes for work stress:

  • The job itself is stressful. It may be a fast-paced environment where you cannot really take it easy; it may have to deal with large amounts of money where a small mistake can be very costly.

  • The conditions of the job make it stressful. I can remember my first job in London, working at a supermarket, where I would finish a shift at about 1am, and would have to start at 6am that same morning, gathering barely four hours of sleep between shifts. Needless to say, after a little while I was exhausted!

  • The people at work contribute to make it stressful. You may have to deal with a colleague who does not communicate about important tasks, or you may have a boss for whom nothing that you do is good enough.

  • Work impacts heavily on the rest of your day. For instance, I have known colleagues who had to travel up to two hours to and from work every day - thus coming to spend four hours in commuting alone.

Too much stress diminishes the quality of our lives. We may come to live in an almost perpetual state of anxiety, being 'on the edge' very frequently, and feeling that we 'live to work'. So what are some possible ways to deal with work stress?

Solutions for work stress

In the short run you can use many different ways of dealing with the stress generated because of the work you do, starting by the always handy tool of changing your way of thinking about it any time you realize you're dipping into feeling-bad thoughts.

You could even use the stressful circumstances to focus all the more on what you do want, and so little by little create that in your life.

Creating what you want is not impossible: I've seen a few good friends already going from working for somebody else to being self-employed thanks to serendipitous circumstances, after some time of them putting the mental work of focusing on what they did want.

However, you may also want to look at different practical options to deal with work stress in the long run, if you don't want to go down the 'create my own reality' route. For instance:

  • Can you negotiate the specs of your job? Can you speak to your manager or to the HR department to find a way in which you can still do your job, but have less stress?

    The work regulations of most countries force HR departments to find compromising solutions for people who suffer from work stress.

  • In regards to finding your job stressful because of the people in it, I'm afraid that your only solution is to either quit, or find a way to deal with your feelings - given that you will not be able to change people into what you want them to be.

    Having experienced conflict with my boss for nearly three years, I wrote a handbook which contains all the tools to help you in this aspect and to deliver you to a stance of peace: it's 'From Conflict To Calm'.

  • Worst comes to worst: you can always choose to be your own boss! Thanks to the internet nowadays it really is very inexpensive to set up your own online business, and it's not as difficult as you may think - I did it, by creating this web site - and if I could do it I know you can too! Find out more about My Secret.

I know from experience that sometimes, when long-term solutions seem too many steps away, you've got to find a way to keep your calm in the moment.

What I do that always helps me is to simply focus on my breathing: I let go of all thoughts and wants to change or sort a situation, and I simply come back to focus on how I am breathing.

This simple tool helps me over and over to let go of anxiety and stress in the moment, which is vital if I want to focus on making my goals happen.

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."

Peter F. Drucker

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