Mark called and explained, “I have this great new job. It was everything I thought I wanted in my career and now it is totally stressing me out. The office environment is chaotic with the work load and constant interruptions. No matter how much I accomplish, there is another more important project behind that one. I’m stressed and not focused. My thinking is so negative that I don’t even know myself. What is wrong with me?”
Actually, there is nothing wrong with Mark. According to CareerCast, 2016 Job Stress Report, 62% of people rate their job as stressful. Companies in America, in an effort to cut costs, are asking employees to do more with less. This is actually costing them more through higher health costs, higher absenteeism and high turnover.
Mark’s new job is stressful but the stress he is experiencing comes from his thoughts about the situation, which triggers an emotional and physical response. His mind is high-jacked with cluttered, racing, and spinning thoughts. His body reacts with tension and his thinking can become paralyzed. Any stressful or negative thought he has about the situation will cause his body’s reaction, all of our bodies do!
What can Mark do about his stressful situation? When Mark finds himself triggered by a situation or life in general, I suggest using 3 mindfulness exercises tools:
1. Do a mind map to “unload” all of the thoughts about the situation (I have a specific map I use).
2. Incorporate mindfulness and awareness practices to calm or rest an overactive mind.
3. Thought labeling or thought noticing – a practice that allows one to observe their thoughts rather than experience them. As Michael Singer says, “The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than in the thoughts themselves-is the day you will find your way.”
We think that stress is a part of life and it is. Stress can be good until it hijacks us. We have the ability to control it with a bit of rethinking about how stress works inside of us and then helping our bodies to react differently.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can better manage your stress, contact me at Laurie@StressLessWorkshops.com.