You have 50 emails that all need a detailed response (you can hardly copy-paste!), your phone is ringing, you were up at 4 am to finish that report, there is a meeting in 30 minutes that requires your attention, your boss keeps talking to you, and you start to feel yourself literally winding tight, like a spring. You know you can’t cope but you have to cope. You need the job.
In fact, it’s the kind of job where management pays someone thousands of dollars to come and teach you about work stress management because they want to rank among those companies that “care” for their employees.
But why is it not working for you? Surfing the Internet, you will find thousands of articles that will tell you how to cope, and how to make sure you’re not in over your head all the time, but this one takes a different kind of track. It’s going to look at the spiritual side of you and work.
Spirituality and religion should not be confused here – spirituality has to do with who you really are and how you can exploit that person inside you, that powerful soul and spirit in you to make sure that you can handle situations your way – sometimes even someone else’s way – and come out unscathed. It will teach you how to work with your inner self so that you can always win.
Your inner self is your radar, only that for most people, it’s radar that hardly gains any attention. It tells you what your body and soul want, and if you pay attention to it, most of the time you will find that you are able to succeed at work stress management.
Let’s have a look at some things that you can do, things that are practical and have been tried and tested and found to work.
1. Know what you want
It’s never about a job. It’s about service. If you know that you’re there to serve, it comes out in everything you do, and the load on yourself is lighter. Jobs can be stressful and that’s a fact, but if you always serve to the best of your ability ignoring all other things, you will find that you do it with a much lighter heart. Several things will begin to happen. You will feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that you did your best. Then you will get many more thanks and smiles and those have a way of turning a bad day into a good one. And then of course management is watching and you may get promoted. Some will argue that they did not notice. Take all that to your advantage. Serving with all your heart means that you will learn all there is to learn about what you do and the result is that you can easily start your own business. Never underestimate yourself when it comes to this. The person who employs you today started his business one day, and so can you – you can work for yourself if you know what you do well enough.
2. Be light
In your heart that is. Too many times we wake up and troop to the office knowing that it’s going to be another bad day. What if you said it’s going to go whichever way it goes and in every situation, you will keep a cool mind and a cool heart and let your instincts guide you? Your boss is yelling? Step out of yourself and look at him and see what kind of a person he is, and what he could really be yelling about. You will notice that you will hardly be aggravated by his yelling any more, because you were able to look at yourself and him without emotion and you were able to see the situation much more clearly. In fact, when people get out of control it's because they have no work stress management skills. However, if you keep perfectly calm and controlled, and give polite and truthful answers that don’t deteriorate the situation, you will see him start to calm down too.
3. Draw boundaries
You can fill in for Pam this evening because she has to attend to her kids, but if this trend continues tomorrow and the next day, Pam is using you. Hence, it is important to be able to discern when you are possibly being used and end it immediately. There is nothing wrong with helping, but boundaries let you know just how far you can go. Your boss too; there are things he may ask you to do that simply stretch you. What if you found a way to let him know? Those 7pm meetings mean that you leave the office at 9, to bed at 11 and that’s not enough sleep. It means a poor work day the next day. If you can find a light-hearted way to let him know, then do it.
Some of them are not light-hearted so what do you do? Tell them anyway, and then let them deal with the information themselves. Don’t be scared to speak your truth so long as you know that it's a fact. It helps if you’ve been a cooperative colleague because when you say no, people know they have indeed gone too far.
4. Have a plan
Why do so many of us have plan a, a, and a? You come with so many abilities that it’s easy to develop plans b, c, d, e, and f. One woman was working in a job where work stress management was a daily task. She met her fiancé and they planed to get married. They made a plan: it was a well-paying job. She would work for another 2 years and save as her fiancé focused on building a small home business and then she would quit and they would start a family. That plan that you have is divinely guided so long as you believe it will work and then lay out a way to achieve it. Never just get stuck with a job as anything can happen. What if you knew that if they let you go, or if you decide to go, you have a back-up plan? Suddenly work stress seems much less of an issue.
Remember this always: it’s a job; you came, you found it, you’re going to leave some day and it will go on. If you carry the stress of it every day, you are wasting yourself. Learn some work stress management skills and incorporate them into your work day and you will see how your situation begins to look different.