If work-related stress has you down, it may be time to look for a new job or a new career. Of course, you don’t have to change jobs or careers, for real; rather, just the process of exploring, imagining, hunting and seeking will lower your workplace stress level.
Why is this so?
Because the body makes different stress hormones and neurotransmitters when stress is viewed in a positive light than when it is viewed in a negative light. And, when you change your body’s stress hormone production, you change everything. I know this seems a bit ridiculous, but more than a few studies have been done since the 1970’s proving this to be the case.
According to the research, it seems nothing will rob you of happiness and cause work-related stress faster than being stuck in a dead end job you hate with no apparent options to make any career changes. Effectively managing workplace stress is hard to accomplish in today's world and keeping options open is a key element in keeping work stress at bay. Just knowing you could leave or change things up - if you want to - is enough to change your entire experience of work.
Some may look at the world of work as an overwhelming monster, and others may see it as uninspiring, but the reality is that the average person spends 40-50 years working and so it is important to manage this time in a way that will not be stressful. To make this happen, we need to embrace our work-related stress and make it work for us rather than against us.
Many people believe there is nothing they can do about workplace stress or any other kind of stress for that matter; however, nothing could be further from the truth. Just giving in to stress in the workplace will actually make things worse, not better, since avoiding stress or denying it actually causes the body to make more of the toxic ‘fight or flight’ hormone called Cortisol, the one that makes us sick in the long run because we all get far too much of it.
One of the unfortunate outcomes of letting work-related stress fester out of control is that it can affect our behavior and lead to troublesome decisions.
When at work, it is common for highly-stressed people to find themselves compromising values and ethics or making the wrong decisions. Sometimes, it happens from fear, sometimes it’s out of boredom and it can even happen out of a sense of misplaced loyalty. Whatever the cause, it’s easy to get caught up in the wrong things for all the wrong reasons at work.
Then, we may find ourselves paying a steep price later on and once on this slippery slope, it can be hard to get off. As feelings of entrapment increase, so do our stress levels. For this reason, we should always be careful to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to work-related stress. We want to be making good decisions that help us and not fall victim to work-related stress.
Instead of getting caught up in actions and behaviors that make work-related stress even worse, it may be a far better idea to do regular exploration of career ideas and jobs and allow yourself to do a little dreaming and imaging. This whole, far more positive, process can feel very freeing and lower work stress a great deal. In doing so, we will feel far less pressure to make decisions that can hurt us later.
If you never look outside the window of your existing job or career, you will never see the possibilities. Being stale at work can create all kinds of work-related stress and this can lead to all kinds of wellness issues – financial, relationship, parenting, health, etc. So, check out a few new career ideas. You'll be happy you did because your work-related stress will drop significantly.