It is a rare individual who would say that they have the ideal job. Unfortunately, most people feel a fair amount of stress and dissatisfaction while at work (and often in their personal lives as well).
To be fair, many people simply have the wrong attitude -- so any job would be stressful and unsatisfying. On the other hand, many people end up in a career that does not fit their personality, a situation likely to be a source of stress. There are two options: change the career path or adapt to the situation.
By the way, this is true whether you're in the boardroom or the job is raising your children. We are built for some activities, while others go against our grain. If you are going to maintain your path for any number of reasons, then the emphasis is on you to change, or at least until your path does.
There are ways to manage life, tasks and time efficiently. While being overloaded is not enjoyable, more often than not it is a question of priorities, setting up solid boundaries and learning to say No.
Usually when I see clients about stress-related issues they are "shoulding" on themselves. You know: "I have to," "I've got to," "I must," "I should," etc. They demand and insist that they themselves be perfect, get things done and solve the problems of the world.
There is a big difference between thinking that "I'd like to," or "It's a good idea to," as opposed to "I have to," or "I should." The first is a preference and the second is a demand.
Sometimes the demands come from a boss or co-worker -- but unless we take their demands upon our shoulders, their demands are just words in the air. However, we can understand that when someone gets demanding, what he or she is really saying is: "This is very important to me."
Learn to ease workplace stress by being flexible and adaptable, in this video presentation by Daniel Rutley.
When you should yourself, you tend to be your own slave driver. Let's face it, aren't we usually our own worst critic? We often insist and demand of ourselves things that we would easily forgive in others. We have got to be responsible, supposed to get to work on time, must write the report, should get that raise, ought to help out my co-worker, need to get ready for the meeting -- and if we don't do the things we think we should do, we psychologically and emotionally crucify ourselves, beating ourselves mercilessly.
Behind every should is a want, a desire, a preference. When someone says, "I have to get to work on time," what he really means is "I don't want to get fired." When someone says, "I have to get this report ready for tomorrow's meeting," what she really means is "I want to be ready to give a good presentation." Behind every should is a want. But we put this dictatorial, demanding should right in the middle and try to work around it.
Shoulding ourselves is primarily the root of emotional entrapments like stress, depression, conceit, performance anxiety, jealousy and perfectionism. Virtually all emotional problems contain at least some self-shoulding. Minimize the shoulding and you will have a very difficult time remaining distressed for any extended period.
While there will still be many things to accomplish each week, at least you will be less stressed. Being less stressed will allow you to be more creative, sleep better, feel more confident and hopefully, help you find solutions to your workplace and personal problems.
Remember, unless it's an immediately necessity, deal with emotional problems first and this will open the door to solving your practical problems.
Daniel Rutley is a best selling author and a psychotherapist in private practice in Mississauga. He specializes in depression, anxiety, anger and behavior management and relationship issues. For more information go to DanielRutley.com or call 905-502-7779.