Stress in the Workplace:
how do you create it?

Use the power of language to reduce stress in the workplace.

Language describes reality, but it also creates it.

You create stress in your life by the way you use language and the way language uses you.

If you feel stressed because of your job, you may not want to hear this. You might prefer to believe that work related stress is caused by the people you work with, the responsibilities you shoulder, the environment of the office, or the nature of your business.

Someone or something in the workplace is responsible for your stress, not you.

But stress in your life is not caused by other people or by situations. You cause it by the way you have set yourself up to interpret and respond to people, situations, and events.

How do you create stress in the workplace?

You have set yourself up by holding personal opinions as if they are scientific truths. Over time, some of these opinions have become beliefs you aren’t aware you hold.

Your opinions and your beliefs are language actions. Every time you make up your mind about something or someone, you perform a language action.

One of these beliefs is that unexpected events which will affect your life and which you cannot control should not happen. Unexpected events include the way co-workers, customers, clients, and suppliers come across to you. For reasons known only to you, they are to act in some ways but not in other ways.

Another belief is about your ability to respond adequately to unexpected events. The more you doubt your ability, the more you feel stressed.

That the world ought to behave the way you want it to behave is a belief you invented. You made it up to give your life some organization, predictability, and control. That’s normal. Everyone does it to give some order to their existence, but it is an illusion.

Your belief in your ability to respond adequately to unexpected events is also your own invention. You made that one up to protect yourself. It too is an illusion.

The problem is that you forgot you made up your beliefs, talked yourself into believing they are true, then chose to live by them as if they were real facts instead of personal opinions.

You now live your beliefs by being predisposed to feeling anxious, fearful or angry if the unexpected occurs and you doubt your ability to handle it. Co-workers can spot these feelings in the way you move, sit, stand, and behave toward them.

How to reduce stress in the workplace

The way you set yourself up to respond to unexpected events or to certain kinds of personalities took you years to develop. Changing it will take time.

Workplace stress relief begins by becoming self-aware. Pay attention to the way you respond emotionally to different co-workers and to what happens in the workplace.

Notice how these emotions limit how you are able to respond. You cannot be open and respectful toward someone if you resent them. It’s difficult to make decisions when you feel overwhelmed by an event.

Then, trace those feelings back to the beliefs you hold about that person or about the unexpected event. Use the power of language to work in your favor. Replace personal opinions invented to protect you with honest facts:

  • Individuals are always more than they appear to be
  • The world and life will always go on without first checking with you
  • You have more ability to handle difficult situations than you believe you have.

Third, act on these new factually solid truths.

  • Ask others for help when you need it.
  • Decline requests you know you can’t complete.
  • Forgive co-workers for their slip-ups.
  • Apologize for your own mistakes.
  • Ask to talk about important concerns that need attention but which you avoid discussing.

If you believe you lack the communication skills required to take these actions, sign up for a course that will help you acquire or improve them.

Or, hire a coach. Effective Communication Coaching helps you develop your communication skills.

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