Manage Work Stress Before It Manages You!

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    manage work stressStressful situations are all too common in a workplace that’s facing budget cuts, staff layoffs, and department changes. It may become harder and harder to manage your emotions under these circumstances. But it’s even more important now for you to do so.

    After all, if management is forced into making more layoffs, they may choose to keep those who can handle their emotions, and work well under pressure. As the above quote shows, no matter what the situation is, you’re always free to choose how you react to it. So, how can you become better at handling your emotions, and ‘choosing’ your reactions to bad situations?

    1. Stop and evaluate.
    One of the best things you can do is mentally stop yourself, and look at the situation. Ask yourself why you feel frustrated. Write it down, and be specific. Then think of one positive thing about your current situation. For instance, if your boss is late for your meeting, then you have more time to prepare. Or, you could use this time to relax a little.

    2. Find something positive about the situation.
    Thinking about a positive aspect of your situation often makes you look at things in a different way. This small change in your thinking can improve your mood. When it’s people who are causing your frustration, they’re probably not doing it deliberately to annoy you. And if it’s a thing that’s bothering you – well, it’s certainly not personal! Don’t get mad, just move on.

    3. Remember the last time you felt frustrated.
    The situation probably worked out just fine after a while, right? Your feelings of frustration or irritation probably didn’t do much to solve the problem then, which means they’re not doing anything for you right now.

    4. Don’t surround yourself with worry and anxiety.
    For example, if co-workers gather in the break room to gossip and talk about job cuts, then don’t go there and worry with everyone else. Worrying tends to lead to more worrying, and that isn’t good for anyone.

    5. Focus on how to improve the situation.
    If you fear being laid off, and you sit there and worry, that probably won’t help you keep your job. Instead, why not brainstorm ways to bring in more business, and show how valuable you are to the company?

    Career Success Tip:

    When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go. In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff… and most of it is small stuff! So whatis the small stuff you are going to let go of? What’s the big stuff you’re going to keep?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?

    • Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle career strategist and leadership coach.