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Dealing with workplace stress

Someone close to me is going through a really tough time at work right now.

She’s not alone.

So many of us go to work each day, dissatisfied with our boss, the workload, the working conditions, the lack of balance and the overall feeling of stress!

It’s an epidemic (in the Western world at least) and as the pace of life speeds up, workplace stress certainly seems to be on the increase.

When coaching someone around stress, I look at things in a more holistic way. There is no one thing that causes it – so looking at the connections between all the factors is important in order to fully understand it.

Some of the key factors to consider are:

1. What is your definition of stress? Everyone experiences stress a bit differently. What do you mean by “I feel stressed”.

2. What is stress anyway? How does it manifest and what are the consequences of stress on your mind and body. Seeing how stress is a natural function of the human experience can help change your perspective on it.

3. Understanding that as human beings we have a built-in negativity bias i.e. we are programmed to see the downside of things as a protective mechanism to keep us from danger. This is a major factor in how we process stressful situations.

4. Understanding that our experience is generated from the inside out. It’s not the people or the circumstances that cause stress (although it may very well feel like it) but your thinking in that moment about the people or the circumstances.

Understanding the role of thought in the creation of stress is a real game changer!

5. Acceptance vs Resistance. How accepting the situation you face is the easiest way to reduce the feeling of stress.

6. Present moment awareness – understanding that all you have is the here and now. Cultivating more presence in your life can help you to reduce and eliminate feelings of stress forever.

There are no quick fixes to stress, but once you understand what stress is and how it manifests, you can begin to eliminate it from both your personal and professional life.


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