If you find yourself working longer hours, doing work former colleagues used to be responsible for, dealing with a less than stellar boss or colleague, worried about being laid off or stressing about something else at work, you are not alone.
More and more employees are experiencing new levels of stress and are finding that it is taking a toll on their productivity, health and impacting their personal lives. If this is you, here are three solutions to act on before your stress levels get out of control:
Maintain Perspective: When you are over-stressed, it’s easy to lose focus and fixate on what is “wrong.” It’s also easy to convince yourself that things are worse than they are. Albert Ellis, PhD, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy called it “Awfulizing” or “Catastrophizing” a situation—making a bad situation out to be worse than it is. Are you making that mistake? It’s fine to be real about what you don’t like at work, it’s not so fine to make it worse than it is. After all, if it’s that bad, why are you still there? If you want to keep your stress levels down, maintain a healthy perspective.
Make A Plan: It’s not the stress of a situation that wears you down; it’s your passive response to it. If you don’t like your commute or your new job responsiblities, do something about it. Just don’t say you can’t do anything about it; that’s the passive response. The place to start is to make a plan because the very act of making a plan will cut your stress in half.
Take Action: If you think you should be paid a higher salary, my first question is “What is your plan to get a raise? How will you make that happen?” If you say you don’t know, go back to step two; make a plan. My next question to you would be “Are you executing your plan?” If not, your stress isn’t going to go away and it will probably increase. Now you not only have the stressful situation you started with, you also have the stress that comes with procrastination or making excuses. Do something every day, however small, to bring your plan to life. Before you know it, you will be earning the higher salary you used to complain about not having. Taking action automatically makes you feel better, more hopeful and far less stressed.
If you are stressed at work, don’t let it go on and on; you have to take control! Maintain a healthy perspective, make a plan and then take action on your plan. It’s not always easy to do so, but it always works.