10 Ways Not To Go Crazy At Work
There is no easy work. And definitely there is no such a work that does not influence you psychologically. We all enjoy success, feel upset with failures, argue with colleagues, get angry and nervous. That is why sometimes it is not easy at all to keep the clarity of mind.
What can you do not to become a slave of stress and tension at work? Our creative professional resume service publishes the recommendations of Sharon Miller, psychologist who specializes in the subject of stress, which she has presented in her book “Stress resistance. How to remain calm and effective in all situations”. Our service wants to help you and so presents this post on how not to go crazy at work.
1. Do not try to control everything
Stress begins when in certain circumstances demands, which are imposed on you, exceed your ability to control them. The more control of the situation you have, the less you are tensed, and vise versa. Use your inner “control lever arm” to stop feeling like a victim of circumstances and manage any situation. It will require some efforts from you to realize your first spontaneous reaction to what is going on and to switch to the making of reasonable and purposeful decisions.
Any problem consists of 50% of factor that we can control and other 50% does not depend on us. Something you can not control attracts you as magnet attracts metal. However, when you get hung up on the factors, which you can not control, you automatically sett yourself up for stress and again you fall into a vicious circle, escape from which you do not see. Remember, when you are caught in the grip of stress, you should concentrate on those things only, which you are able to fix. The feeling that you are able to control something increases your stress resistance. In fact, even a one minute visualization of how you change the situation for the better will fill you with positive emotions and reduce your fear.
However, if you feel that you can not work at this position or company any longer, and you decide to quit, you definitely need to know the rules of leaving a job on good terms. You can never know what will happen next, and maybe one day you will decide to return to your previous workplace.
2. Treat problems as a temporary phenomenon
It is much easier to maintain stress resistance in stress conditions if you treat problems as temporary difficulties, which sooner or later will be solved. In other words: “The problem will be solved quickly. It effects only this concrete situation, and not all my life. I can cope with it”. Such an attitude to the situation will become your vaccine against the feelings of helplessness and depression. Even if changes happen all the time, you can adapt to them. The most important is to treat them as a process of development, during which the current confusion and chaos eventually will give you new possibilities.
People who adapt well to changes can be called realistic optimists. How to become one of them? Switch to the “thinking of development”. It is considered that people have tow types of thinking. “Fixed thinking” means that people rely only on their own knowledge, and everything that goes beyond the frames they treat as a wrong opinion. And another one is “thinking of development”, which means that people treat learning as a process, consequently they do not be afraid to make mistakes and due to this they gain new experience.
3. Take a step back
If it seems that the situation is terrible and nothing changes for the better, even if to achieve small result you have to make super efforts, it is high time to step back from the situation. It may become an optimal way out in many cases: when changes happen in your company and you need to accept the current conditions for now; when you have to deal with a difficult to communicate colleague or business partner, but you are not in a position to dictate your own terms yet. Applying the principle of a “reasonable dispassionateness” on practice, you on the one hand are involved into the process and make your contribution, and on the other hand you are emotionally abstracted from any outcome of your efforts. Take part only in those fights that are worth you time and energy. Draw the line: what negative influence you can stand and what you can not. Remember that you should be on the “healthy side” of the line.
4. Learn how to “turn off” yourself
Your nervous system defines your natural reaction to stress and consists of the “on” and the “off” buttons, which ideally should work in tandem. The “on” button is the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). It gives energy and helps to focus on a problem. It reacts to such external stimuli as email message or a voice of your employer. It turns on automatically each time when you need energy supply.
The “off” button is the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). It regulates all the main functions in a calm state, including breathing, heart rate and sleep cycles. Meanwhile SNS turns on your stress realizing system, PNS turns it off. You need to learn to activate PNS purposefully, according to your own desire.
For the development of endurance athletes use interval training, between which there are periods of energy restore and replenishing. This is a so called model of “intense exercise / rest”. Define for your self the period of “turning on” and “turning off” in your schedule. To restore your energy choose the tasks that relax you, or tasks that bring you energy. The most optimal option is to alternate them.
5. Breathe correctly
There are many ways to push the “off” button. Such methods as breathing exercises and meditation have gained popularity, because they do not require special conditions and you can easily do them right at your workplace. According to neuroscientist Sony Sequeira when you slow the breath or consciously regulate it, you break the automatic breathing models as well as emotional models, on which they are based.
For example, you can make an exercise “breathing in three stages” several times a day to reduce the activity of SNS. Breathe in through your nose, hold your breath, and exhale through the nose, and count each time (for example, count to 5 making a breath, count to 5 holding your breath, and count to 5 exhaling). Connect the tips of the fingers of both hands to balance the right and left hemispheres of brain. The duration of exercise is 3 minutes; make it one or two times a day or when you are overloaded. To get more effective results you can make the exercise every day and increase its duration to 7-11 minutes.
The best way to keep your inner working order under control is to try to direct all your thoughts into one way. This phenomenon is famous as directed thinking. Imagine the result that you want to achieve, and then think, feel and act for the sake of its achievement. When you clearly imagine your goal, it helps you to concentrate on the circumstances, which you can influence.
It is very important to teach your brain to direct your attention only to incoming stimulus, which is the most important for your priorities, having put aside everything insignificant.
If you remember all the time about the result you want to reach, you can teach you nervous system to take a break to think over the next step. The clearer you imagine your priorities, the easier it will be to achieve not automatic, but conscious reaction to a stimulus. When it seems that you are overloaded, in this case anyway a problem is in the lack of clarity in the specific area in the distribution chain of priorities. The clarity first of all means that you realize what your goal chains are and why you have these very chains.
Look for opportunities to delegate your functions and tasks. It is like juggling. You need to differentiate glass and rubber balls: you should pay attention to glass balls and you may not be afraid to drop rubber balls or to pass them to someone else. If you can not delegate your duties because there are no people who can cope with them, then pass “your half of the way” and let others pass the rest. Give to the workers, who do not demonstrate desired results, opportunities to express themselves. On the other hand, if they do not show any progress, do not hesitate and find someone, who can do this work better. A great part of stress is caused by the fact that we put up with the low qualification or avoid direct discussing of unsatisfactory results, trying to keep “diplomacy”.
8. Say “no” correctly
Here are some tips on saying “no” without feeling guilty. Be forthright. Explain clearly to your interlocutor why you can not fulfill his request in general or in set terms. Ask to give you more time or change a task a little bit. Change his expectations! Share your feelings sincerely: “When you asked me to do this, I accepted the task with enthusiasm, because…, but later I thought it over well and…” or “I am truly sorry, but I can not help you because…”. If now you are facing some difficulties, you may “shift the blame” on someone else: “I have promised (my husband, son and so on) that I will dinner at home at least three times a week”. Say “no” to a particular request, but try at the same time to save the possibility of future relations. Offer to do what you really can do, even if your offer differs from what you have been asked at the beginning. By the way, do not forget to ask how it is going on, when you meet this person for the next time.
9. Get distracted less
Someone will always distract you from your work, it is inescapable. Nevertheless, treat your time, energy and attention as valuable and non-renewable resources, which you have to save. The work of most office workers is interrupted in the average 7 times per hour, i.e. 56 times in a work day. As a result we spent 2,1 hours a day on distractions. Maybe you think if other people distract you, then they should stop doing this. You hope sincerely that they will read your thoughts and guess what you think about them, when they distract you.
You need to have deliberate and strict criteria of what situation deserves your immediate attention and what does not. If you really want to avoid distractions, the easiest way is to disable notifications about new messages and stop answering the phone calls. Besides, you can include them into your schedule to control your time when others want to distract you. For example, plan regular meetings with the colleagues, if their further work depends on your feedback. Allocate “backup (buffer) time” when you are able to solve unexpected problems or spend time on feedback. Set it clearly when you are available for others and when not.
10. Respect sleep
Some of you have trouble sleeping. It happens because SNS is constantly “on edge”. The blue light from the computer screen blocks melatonin and it harms you. To make the transition from the “on” state to the “off” less harmful you need to develop a complex for the preparation of the body to sleep. Start 15-30 minutes before going to bed. If possible, lighting should be as close as possible to the natural, for example, you can use candles. Make a list of plans for tomorrow, which overfill your head. For a minute or two concentrate on what good has happened today and what you are grateful for. Occupy yourself with something that relaxes you. It may be reading, painting or meditation.
If you can not sleep, try this breathing exercise. Close the right nostril with the thumb or index finger of the right hand and breathe with left nostril. If you have such an opportunity, you can also roll over on your right side, put your head on the pillow so that the right nostril is closed. Duration is three-five minutes. This exercise relaxes thanks to the PNS activation. When you breathe with the left nostril, then in 3-5 minutes you will fell asleep.