Everyone’s been there; where you get your projects cancelled after you poured your heart and soul into them, or you have to deal with a particularly difficult customer, or your boss is being a lot more difficult than they already usually are.
When you deal with stress in your personal life, you can have any range of reactions without having to worry too much about the consequences.
You could withdraw and not talk to anyone for a few days, or you could get into a shouting match with the person that stressed you. You could even wallow in self-pity. We’re not going into the details of which of these reactions are healthy and which ones aren’t. What we will go into detail is how you should react to stress when you’re at work.
Of course, wallowing in self-pity or engaging in a shouting match are not the best ways to deal with work-related stress. They will be detrimental not only to your productivity, but they may affect your ability to stay on at work as well.
Stress, whether we like it or not, is common at work. There are a plethora of situations that could potentially stress anyone, including layoffs, bureaucracy, and so on. Admittedly, managing your emotions at work gets harder and harder as time goes by.
However, it is also getting more and more critical for you to manage your feelings since your productivity is needed more every single day.
In a world where layoffs are happening by the day, it is understandable that the higher-ups will want to keep those who can manage their emotions while laying off the loose cannons. The best part of it all is that, no matter how bad a situation is, you always have full control over the kind of attitude you adopt.
As long as you work on your attitude, you can improve your ability to handle your emotions. You can, in effect, choose how you react to different situations. Today we’ll look at some of the common negative feelings you will go through in the workplace and how you can handle them.
Of course, you experience positive emotions at work as well. However, you don’t need an article to tell you how to handle those. No one needs to be told how best to treat happiness and satisfaction at work. However, everyone needs at least a little advice on how to manage anger and anxiety.
The Emotions of Irritation and Frustration
The feeling of frustration typically occurs when you feel helpless, such as when you’re stuck and can’t move forward. It could be a project of yours that got blocked or someone who does not meet your expectations at work.
Whatever is causing your frustration, it’s imperative that you deal with it immediately. Otherwise, it could lead to even worse emotions. Here are a few ways to deal with this emotion
The first important step to take is to stop yourself and evaluate the situation objectively. Why are you frustrated? You can even write down the precise reasons for your frustration.
2. Think Positive
Once you’ve identified what makes the situation frustrating for you, you should then try to find one positive thing about it. This will help you think of the situation in a different way. It will also improve your mood and make it easier for you to handle the situation from here on. At the very least, remember that one thing will always remain positive about any situation: you can choose to be positive no matter what.
3. Recall a Similar Past Event
When was the last time you felt frustrated? Do you remember how it worked out just fine in the end? You probably don’t even understand why the hell you felt frustrated looking back at the situation. Think about that and remember that this situation will also turn out just fine in the end.
The Emotions of Fear and Anxiety
You may experience some fear or anxiety at your place of work from time to time, especially when you contemplate the future. With all the layoffs that happen these days, such feelings are becoming more and more common. If left unchecked, these emotions can spiral out of control. There are some steps you can take to help you get through these feelings.
1. Get Away From All the Fear and Anxiety
You can’t get rid of feelings of anxiety and fear if you persist in an environment that promotes those emotions. If you’re in a room where there’s lots of gossip about a possible layoff, then get away from that room to give yourself time to recover and think objectively about things. Change your tribe. Change your vibe.
2. Breathe Deeply
Slowing your breathing down will slow your heart rate as well. Fear and anxiety are characterized by an elevated heart rate, and so you can’t get rid of those feelings without slowing your heart rate down first. Try some simple breathing exercise for at least 10 minutes and everything will slowly get back to normal.
3. Focus on What You Can Do, Rather Than What You Can’t
Sitting around thinking about how little control you have and how hopeless the situation seems won’t help you in any way. Instead, think of how you can do something to make things better for yourself. For example, if you’re facing the fear of a layoff, think of how you can show your value to the company to avoid being laid off.
4. Journal Your Worries
When you feel like your worries are too many, try writing them down in a journal. You will be surprised by the therapeutic effect that this has. It makes it easier to take things into perspective and also helps in dealing with your worries because you can identify them.
The Emotion of Anger
Anger, especially when it goes out of control, happens to be the most destructive emotion in the workplace. It also happens to be the least well-handled emotion. If you have problems managing your temper, then here are some tips to help you get a handle on things:
1. See the Early Signs
The best person that can tell when anger is building up is you. You can identify all the early warning signs and deal with them before your anger goes to your head. You will find that dealing with anger is much easier when you do it early.
2. Stop Yourself and Take a Minute
If you feel anger welling up in you, stop and take a moment to breathe deeply with your eyes closed. This will make it hard for you to focus on your anger and it will diffuse the emotion before it goes too far.
3. Develop a Mental Image of Your Angry Self
Think about what you look like and what your behavior is like when you’re mad. You might get some perspective from this exercise. You might find it funny and think it’s rather silly what people tend to do when they’re angry. You probably wouldn’t want to look like that because it isn’t your best face. It will make you want to stop immediately.
The Emotion of Dislike
We have all had to deal with not liking a particular person. How we deal with it, however, may not always be positive. If you would want to be positive about it for once, here are some tips.
1. Practice Respect
No matter what your personal feelings toward a person are in the workplace, it’s important to show them respect. Set aside your ego and treat them with the professional courtesy that you would expect of them. Treating them without courtesy, simply because they don’t show you courtesy, about is a case of two wrongs not making a right.
2. Assert Yourself
If the other person takes things too far, you can be firm about your stance and the fact that you will not tolerate being treated in certain ways. Once you have asserted yourself, leave them calmly. Be the bigger person.
The Emotion of Unhappiness
Sometimes you may experience disappointment in the workplace. Feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction are the worst for your productivity. They will lower your energy and make you overly cautious. While there is no easy way to deal with these emotions, here are a few that may help.
1. Evaluate Your Mindset
Take a moment to be objective about the situation. Things won’t always work out the way that you want them to. If life were that smooth, where would the fun be? You, therefore, need to change your mindset to one that embraces difficulty instead of bemoaning it.
2. Keep the Destination, Change the Route
Most of the time, our ultimate goals are the things that keep us going and when we feel like the route we’re taking doesn’t get us there then we can get frustrated. When one path doesn’t work, don’t give up on the goal; give up on the route. You can always try another way for your goal.
3. Keep a Journal
This is the most effective way to get your thoughts in order. It helps you get things in perspective and makes it much easier to deal with them.
4. Stay Positive
Even something as simple as smiling will help you change your mood for the better. Always remember that everything will be okay, no matter how bad it may seem now.