By: Pacific Workplace Health Checks  23-Nov-2011
Keywords: Stress

But for now enjoy this article and learn how to…

Get Rid Of Stress In The Workplace And Become More Productive At The Same Time

Stress in the workplace is one of the top topics when it comes to stress-management because oddly enough most stress occurs in the workplace environment. To understand that we first have to understand …

-The Primal Roots Of Stress

The animal in us humans has a basic paranoia build in. Have you ever tried to pet an unknown cat and it ran away? It’s basic self-protecting paranoia. And as evolved we humans want to see ourselves, we still run on the same basic “operating system”.

Stress is the basic fight or flight reaction that gets triggered when we see ourselves in danger.

This is key!

-Different Kinds Of Stress

You have surely heard of the concept of different kinds of stress before. We generally differentiate between: constructive stress (eustress) and destructive stress (distress). Constructive stress is very healthy in the workplace since it gives you a drive towards success, keeps you excited, and can lead to a creative state of flow.

The primal reaction reaction to danger is what is referred to as distress. The human biology doesn’t care anymore about getting any kind of work done, it just wants to fight
or flight.

That’s when you keep thinking about what a prick your co-worker/boss is and can’t concentrate on your work anymore.

-Out Of The Stress-Consciousness

I honestly don’t want to give you the same advice that you get everywhere else concerning stress-management: Take a vacation, spend time with your family, work out, volunteer for charity work, get together with your friend and eat healthy.

Poof, all your problems will be gone. Next client please.
(…as if …)

Sure, that advice has its place and you will feel much better after a good workout, for example. But let’s not kid ourselves, the next day it will be the same old story and
the same stress appears again.

Fact is: You will never get out of being stressed by other people or circumstances in your workplace as long as you percieve them as being a danger.

Even if this is unconscious.

The perception of danger is the turning point of eustress (productivity) crossing over into distress.

-Making The Unconscious Conscious

Now is the time for some good self-honesty.

    1. Remember the last time you got into some seriously uncomfortable stress in the workplace.
    2. Do what you would do naturally and review the major troubles you have in that situation
    3. Now let’s shift your focus from the situation or person (well, where did I know from that it was outside of yourself …) to yourself. Which of your beliefs play into this trouble?
    4. What are you afraid of? If you don’t know, just guess.  What could you maybe afraid of? Make a list of possibilities without judging. It’s not necessary. When the situation occurs next time you will be able to point more and more in the direction of which of your guesses was the most accurate.
    5. Really picture in your mind what the worst possible outcome of the situation may be.
    6. What would you do given the circumstance that the worst case scenario really happened? Could you deal with that in any way?
    7. What is the most probable outcome of the situation?

Our goal is to get more and more of our common sense into our animalistic fear-reactions. For example, when the stress arises from meeting a deadline or you will loose your job, this can be a very scary situation to be in.

The only way to get out of being paralyzed by the stress ahead is in fact to get less outcome-dependent. This seems to be one of the big ironies of life, since independence
from the outcome usually produces better outcomes.

Don’t just skim the above steps and go “Yeah, yeah. Done that”. Take your time and really do this analysis. It will get you further in the long run than any vacation-workout-volunteering-quickfix.

To combine productivity and relaxation, simply avoid destructive stress in the workplace — which might prove to be a much harder task than it sounds. Eustress is the flow you are looking for to happily be productive at work.


Konstantin Koss

Keywords: Stress

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