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Tool #10: How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace Employee Success Toolkit Copyright Harriet Meyerson 2008
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress is Damaging Because It… Saps your energy Lowers your ability to function Aggravates physical illnesses Ulcers High Blood Pressure Heart Disease Back Pain, etc. Affects your relationships You can be grumpy, irritable or impatient. Your stress makes others tense and uncomfortable.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress is Caused By Fear Many fears are caused by unrealistic expectations. You expect your job to be without problems. You expect your co-workers to be nice just because you are. You expect that you will always be perfect in your job performance.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, You Are Causing Your Own Stress Your expectations are unrealistic. Have only one expectation - Do your best and accept your limitations. Change your perception, and the stress fades away. One person might be stressed over a situation, while another might be excited about the challenge.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, How to Change Your Perception in 3 Steps 1.Awareness 2.Acceptance 3.Action
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Step 1 - Awareness Become aware of your own fears. Keep a journal to increase your awareness of the things that cause you stress. Ask yourself, “What is fearful or dangerous about…(your situation)?”
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Step 2 - Acceptance Accept that life and work are full of people and situations that cause stress. Accept that the only thing you can change is your own: Attitude Behavior Perception
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Step 3 - Action Look at the situation from many different angles. Change your attitude by thinking of something positive related to your stressful situation. Change your behavior. Pause and think about what would be wise to do. Respond to your stress in a different way than you have before. Use one of the following 12 stress busters.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #1 Look for the Humor Pretend you are making a TV sitcom. Create your own Seinfeld episode. Imagine difficult people as: So small they can fit in a spoon Wearing clothes from a different era Very skinny or very fat Wearing diapers Draw a picture of your funny situation.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #2 Write a Gratitude List Focusing on what’s going right will keep negative thoughts out of your mind. It will give you a broader perspective. Write 20 things you are grateful for. Whenever you are stressed, add 10 more items to your gratitude list.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #3 Create a Safe Haven in Your Mind Think of place in your life where you were happiest. Close your eyes and imagine that happy experience. When you open your eyes you will have calmed down, and you will be able to think more rationally.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #4 Listen to Calming Music Make a Top Ten list of your own “feel good” songs. Choose one of the songs, and sing it to yourself. Keep relaxation music handy on a CD or your iPod.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #5 Feed Your Mind Positive Stuff Post motivational quotes in your work area. At lunch, read an inspirational poem or book. Listen to motivational CDs in your car on your way to work.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #6 Develop a Support Network Join a support group for people with similar problems. Talk to trusted people who can be objective. Talk to your supervisor instead of griping to co-workers.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #7 Focus on Your Major Goal Concentrate on completing an important workplace task. You will have a sense of accomplishment. Your stressful situation will seem smaller.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #8 Schedule Free Time for Fun Having fun recharges your battery. Make a list of fun activities. Block out time for them on your calendar.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #9 Spend Time with Nature HHave a picnic lunch in the park. OObserve the trees swaying in the breeze. WWatch the squirrels chase each other. LListen to the birds sing.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #10 Determine What You Can Control You can control how you respond to difficult people. You can control your environment. Bring in a silk flower arrangement and pictures of your family. You can control your work by looking for ways to make it more efficient.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #11 Become an Actor Pretend you are an actor playing a role. Then, act as if nothing bothers you.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Stress Buster #12 Do Something Physical Exercise. Play a sport. Weed the garden. Clean out your closet. Wash the windows.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Ask Yourself These Two Questions 1.“How can I look at this in a less stressful way?” 2.“What can I do that will create peace of mind, instead of stress ?” This will help you create the habit of replacing the stress in your life with serenity.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, How to Survive in a Stressful Workplace Quiz & Discussion Questions
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Question 1 How is stress created?
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Question 2 What is the one thing that you have control of that can lower your stress?
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Question 3 What are your most stressful unrealistic expectations?
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Question 4 What are the 3 steps to changing your perception?
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Question 5 Name 3 of the 12 Stress Busters that you will most likely use to lower your stress.
How to Thrive in a Stressful Workplace © Harriet Meyerson, Set Your Goals What are your three main goals for lowering your stress at work?
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