Career Calling

November 25, 2010

Stress on the Job

Filed under: Career Management — claycerny @ 12:39 am
Tags: , ,

I ran into a friend at a Thanksgiving party.  He told me that he’d gotten bad news from his doctor.  Without knowing it, my friend had a heart attack.  The doctor told him he has to lose weight, exercise more, and cut back on stress.  My friend has lost fourteen pounds and is exercising every day. However, he can’t escape stress.  It’s part of his job.

What can my friend and so many other Americans do to limit stress?  First, they can face the reality of their workplace.  Some jobs are deadline driven.  Others require the ability to deal with people who are facing hardships, problems that are hard to solve.  In these situations, workers will feel stress.  However, by recognizing that stress is a part of their job, they will be better able to handle it.

A second way to limit stress is to leave work at work.  Many people bring their work-stress home to their family and friends.  For the sake of their physical and mental health, they need to build a wall between work and home.  It’s not easy, especially when unemployment is high and wages are flat (declining for many).  We still need to find a way to think of home as separate from work.  Home has its own causes of stress.  We don’t need to pile on troubles from the job.

A third way to battle killer stress is to be a little bit selfish.  Find activities that make you happy – make time for them.  Follow my friend’s example.  Exercise, eat right, and lose weight.  That’s good for you as well as everyone you love.  Take care of yourself, or you will not be able to take care of anyone else.

Thanksgiving’s a great time to reflect on the good things life has given us.  Being grateful puts things in perspective, and it helps us moderate worry and stress.  When you feel that tightness coming on, sit in a quite place and think about the good things in your life.  It won’t make the problem or stress go away, but it will give you a better spirit to face your challenges.

Stress kills.  It hurts our bodies and warps our minds.  We need to pay attention to this monster and fight it every day.  Here’s an easy way to start – think about the good things and people in your life.  Turn the corners of your mouth up.  Stress hates it when we smile.

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