A couple of years ago, I began a very busy and fulfilling job. I was excited about the opportunities it presented to me. The more I immersed myself in the work, the more I was inspired by ideas about how the position could grow and evolve over time. I used my creativity and determination to try to bring about all that I believed was possible. When I started, I was naive about the inner-workings of the organization and the power imbalances that existed. It quickly became clear to me that trying to create any kind of meaningful change in the organization was going to be incredibly difficult. As I embraced the challenge, I worked hard, did my best and felt like I was living true to my values of honesty, hard work, connection and responsibility.
Over time, however, my performance, judgment and sense of control over my life started to slip. I was not as efficient as I used to be. Some mornings, I would walk into my office totally scattered and overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. I did not know where to begin. I started to lose my sense of humor, and found myself being negative about the people and circumstances around me. I became more emotional and focused my energy on everything that was not working. I started to catch every cold and flu that was going around, I had lots of aches and pains and I had no energy. I had arrived at my breaking point.
What happened to me? I was stressed! The accumulation of stress hormones and adrenaline in my system were affecting my health, my performance and my judgment. Until I found ways to deal with what was going on with me, things were not going to change. I needed to take responsibility for my health and well-being. How To Manage Depression Without Meds
Why I am telling you this story? Because I know I am not alone. Many of my clients recount stories of negative work environments, poor management and heavy workload as the causes of their frustration, burnout and lack of commitment to their jobs. On the surface, everyone would agree that these circumstances negatively affect job satisfaction. The truth is, how we react to these stressors determines how we feel in our lives.
Some things you should know about stress:
- You can learn to recognize when stress is starting to accumulate in your system.
- You can change the negative impact of stress hormones in your body.
- You can change how you react to the stress that impacts your health, your performance and your judgment.
It takes time and commitment, but it can be done. By learning to recognize your body's responses to stress, your thoughts and your reactions, you can take charge of that which is defeating you and learn another way to handle it.
- The first step is to notice your reactions to this article. Do you feel excited and energized that there may be a better way? Or do you feel exhausted and defeated with the idea that Maybe it worked for you, but there is no way I can make it work for me?
- Then ask yourself: how am I reacting to all that is going on in my life right now? Do I feel like I am living true to who I am and what I want?
By taking the time to ask yourself what is true for you, you begin to develop a deeper, more honest relationship with yourself.