Have you ever had a really rough time at work? I have. As a matter of fact, I let it get to me just last week. Things just build up and when something or someone upsets you, it’s easy to let it drag you down, to get defensive, and start a downward spiral of anger, frustration, and resentment.
When this happens at work, your day can go from great to awful and kill any desire you had to be productive. Add a bit of anxiety to the mix, and you can be two steps away from becoming overwhelmed and shutting down – or worse having an anxiety or panic attack.
Here are 5 ways to avoid that negative path before it gets out of control:
1. Assume the best.
Just because you heard one message doesn’t mean that was the message the speaker was intending to send. That’s why communication is such a common struggle. There are so many nuances involved that can create confusion.
2. Flip it.
When someone asks you to add yet another thing to your already overwhelming task list, think, “They know that I am reliable and trust me to get everything done” instead of thinking, “As if I don’t have enough to do.” Actively look for ways to spin negative encounters. (As a note, if you truly are too busy for any other tasks try the “Yes, and . . .” trick – “Yes, I can do that, and in order to complete that to the level we need, I will need assistance or an extension on this other task.)
3. Take a deep breath.
Get up from your desk, walk outside or to a break room, empty conference room, or even the bathroom. Stand or sit up straight and take 3 deep breaths. Then repeat. The neurons in your brain send signals to relax when you breathe deeply.
4. Listen to music.
If your work allows it, pop your headphones in and jam out. Your favorite tunes should drown out anything negative around you and put you in a much better mood. You could even try calming meditation music!
5. Talk to someone.
Try not to linger on it, but sometimes a rant really makes you feel better. Try setting a timer and only being allowed to be negative for 1 min. If you are in a toxic work environment, you may need to speak with your manager or HR. Talking with a therapist is also an option. Therapists are trained professionals who can help you learn valuable tools for communication or coping mechanisms for stressful situations or anxiety.
What are your favorite tips for dealing with work stress? Let me know so I can try them!