Saturday, September 28, 2019

Workplace Stress

Over the years I have worked as a consultant, freelancer and actually in corporations and government offices and learned that stress lives everywhere, but it how we handle those situations. Some of my best positions doing work that I loved lived among toxic waste. Great workers usually stay as long as they can because they love the work but eventually they must leave in order to survive physically. Incompetent or inadequate workers never seem to leave but love stirring the pot filled with harassment, bullying, viciousness and lies. I have always had a saying that those who stir the pot should be forced to lick the spoon.

Believe it or not sometimes there is good stress. During these times it's normal and can be helpful. For example, when you need help from a co-worker or team member to complete a project or you have to present in front of a group of people.
You may feel butterflies jumping around in your stomach and your hands are shaking, but once you get going all is great. These type of stressors are short lived, and our body's way of helping us to get through what may have been a challenging situation.

However, dealing with negative stress can have a strong impact on one's health. Regardless how much you may love your work, the negativity can force you out of an organization. There are many causes of stress that may have negative vibes that include:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Bullying or harassment by other staff members
  • Weak or ineffective leadership
  • Being micromanaged
  • Dealing with negative or toxic team members
  • Being overworked while others are doing nothing
  • Attending too many unproductive meetings
  • Racism, Sexism, Ageism and Discrimination
  • Reactions as a result of fear and egos from others
There are also physical symptoms that can have an impact such as:
  • Tension or muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Problems sleeping
  • Lack of Appetite or Digestive issues
  • Overeating
  • High blood pressure
  • Floaters in the eyes
Emotional symptoms may also include:
  • Depression or Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of motivation
  • Feeling you can’t get things done
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability
If you love your work and want to stay on the job it's important to try a few techniques that do not include punching someone in the face, although in all honesty, I have been close to doing just that to many who actually deserve it. It took me some time to understand that it's not worth spending time in jail over an idiot. Instead, if you want to stay on your job and search for contentment, you may try the following tips:Be assertive. It will surprise those who are use to bullying. Assert your feelings, opinions and beliefs.
  • Let negative people know without hesitation that you don't have time for bullshit and that you are about business and getting the job done. Simply walk away.
  • Manage your time so that you are not available for distractions.
  • Accept the things that you can't control. Escalate those tough issues or problems up to someone with a higher pay grade who can solve the issue faster.
  • Learn and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, or emotional intelligence.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Exercise or walk when you can and eat well balanced meals.
  • Spend time with people that bring you joy.
  • And most importantly, laughter is good for the soul.
If you love your work, do give it a try. If the negativity is too much and it's making you sick, it may be time to consider moving to a different place where your skills will be appreciated and rewarded.

Mikael Wagner is a Communications Project Manager with Promotions West. Share your tips on reducing stress at or visit Promotions West

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