We learned in last week’s post, Everything You Need to Know About Workplace Stress, that 60% of Americans are stressed out because of work. But what about work is stressing us out? Also is there anything that we can do to prevent and/or change the factors that are stressing us out? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. We can make changes to help us to better cope with all of the things that stress us out about our jobs. But first we have to realize that we can only change the things over which we have control.
What’s more, while we may have some control over external stressors, things happening outside of us; we have the most control over internal stressors, or things happening inside of us. To clarify, what is happening inside of you that may be stressing you out?
Here are a few things that could be happening inside of you that’s stressing you out:
- A belief that you are not in a position that measures up to your experience
- Your expectations about work
- The perception that you are not valued for your expertise
- Your attitude about your workplace or individuals with which you work
This is a very short list of potential stressors, you can see a longer list here. Additionally, all of the items on the above list are about you; not your boss or coworkers. Everything listed here is within your realm of control. The question now becomes, what tools can you use to control or change your beliefs, expectations, perceptions, and attitudes about what you are experiencing. A second question is why should you care. Well, you should care because as we established in last week’s post: Prolonged periods of stress will kill you.
Here’s what you can do:
- Consider that your beliefs about work aren’t true. As a human being you may have made an assumption, and told yourself a story about your workplace that just isn’t the truth. Try to step back from the emotions attached to what you believe and examine the facts. If after you examine the facts, you find your belief to be true then you can make your next steps in confidence that you are not basing your decisions on a made up story.
- Get clarity about what you are expecting from your workplace. Are you expecting to get things from your job that just aren’t possible? If you are expecting your job to validate every part of you as a human being, that’s not realistic. Maybe all you can expect is a paycheck.
- Change your perception about value from something that you need to get from others, to something that you give yourself. You know professionally and instinctively when you have done good work. For now, value the experience of having done the work. Seeking value from places where you are not likely to get it will not alleviate stress, it’s more likely to increase your feelings of stress.
- Purely for your sake, work hard to have a good attitude….not just about work, but about life too. Start on the road to changing your attitude by doing, and watch your mental attitude change. You can do things like taking your allotted lunch time everyday out of the office; dressing in a way that makes you feel more professional – even if it’s not something that is expected for your position; distancing yourself from others who may have negative attitudes; playing positive music at your desk during the day; and taking frequent breaks.
What else can you do?
It’s important to realize that you could do everything on this list, and more, and nothing changes. Furthermore, if your gut is telling you something has to give, you should listen to your gut. Leadership Situations can help. There’s no substitute for being happy. Schedule a FREE Discovery Session and let’s get started down the path of finding your happy!