Conducive approaches to stress in today’s fast paced work environment
Hardly anyone is prepared for the avalanche of asks, demands, responsibilities, and the pain of not being able to juggle it all
Some of the biggest challenges that cause one to feel worried and therefore stressed, anxious, and burnt out are people looking towards trying to do it all by having a career that fulfils a life’s calling, that can provide for material needs, and that contributes to human kind. As we move in a forward trajectory towards those goals, it paradoxically becomes fulfilling and challenging. Hardly anyone is prepared for the avalanche of asks, demands, responsibilities, and the pain of not being able to juggle it all. For women, it often becomes even harder to understand and apply the concept that NO is a full sentence despite it being a natural desire in wanting to contribute meaningfully and being recognised for good work.
Some ways to deal with these challenges are in one’s control as a number of things have proven effective. When we repeat almost as a mantra to ourselves that feelings do not equal facts, that I do not have to believe every thought that crosses my mind, that calm is a super power and that I observe the thoughts because they will float by like a passing cloud, a strength is unlocked that is in direct contradiction to stress. The realisation cognitively that one cannot create or be solution focused at the energetic or vibrational level that got them there in the first place encourages people to think greater than their environment. At first this is hard to do, but the mind is like any other muscle, use it repetitively, it becomes toned, in disuse it becomes flabby. One way to inculcate this discipline is by refusing to get out of an office chair until joy and gratitude are coursing, saying to yourself I will sit here as long as it takes. And then something begins to inexplicably shift and people report being able to see in a way that they could not before.
A strong two part recommendation for staying well at work is an ethos to keep at mind at all times, the other is something to apply. The ethos is: Nothing anyone does or says, or anything that happens to you is what has an effect. What has an effect is how one decides to think about said situation. In other words, half our life is out of our control, how we think about it and approach that half however, is always in our control.
Apply the following questions to any negative, anxiety provoking, stressful issue, and thought:
1. Is there substantial evidence for my thought?
2. Is there evidence contrary to my thought?
3. Am I attempting to interpret this situation without all the evidence?
4. What would a friend think about this situation?
5. If I look at the situation positively, how is it different?
6. Will this matter a year from now? How about five years from now?
Being stressed out and always busy is not a badge of honour no matter what society would have one think. We are so busy human doing as opposed to human being. At least once a day I will have a therapy client share “this is just how they are, an anxious person, its automatic or the way it’s always been”. That however is incorrect, we are led to believe this because we have buckled up with our feelings and go with it wherever it wants to go like a roller coaster for years on end. I suggest unbuckling and realising that behind any feeling e.g. anxiety or stress is a thought. If you get to the thought, you have hit the jackpot. Thoughts are amenable to modification because when we were born we were tabula rasa (blank slate). No baby says I prefer blonds and not brunettes, or believes that life is inherently a struggle, all this is culturally conditioned and learned and we can unlearn it. If there is stress that is causing anxiety which is leading to a physical abreaction remember the 5 senses: Look around to find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and one thing you can taste. After doing that, it is very likely you will feel more grounded.
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