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LA Times Tackles Job Stress, ... What's Missing?

Sunday, August 16, 2009
The LA Times tackles “Job Stress.”  

In an article, “Sick of it” about how on-the-job stress is detrimental to your health, you’ll learn all the things you should “do,” to lessen the effects of on-the-job stress (e.g., take a quick walk around the office), or the things you should “not do” (e.g., don’t eat junk food), or the things you should “avoid doing” (e.g., consuming caffeine and simple sugars).  But what you will not learn in this article is what to do in-the-moment when the frustration, feelings of overwhelm or anxiousness flood your system and seem to take charge of your experience, making you “do” all the things you know you shouldn’t do!  What is missing is how to manage these emotions that trigger the unhealthy behaviors that keep us stuck feeling stressed and reacting in ways that do not serve us. Well, here’s a powerful and effective way to instantly get back in charge of your emotions.

The ABC’s of stress management:
  1. Acknowledge the feelings of stress within you whether they are physical or emotional.  Maybe it’s tight shoulders or jittery stomach, maybe a feeling of anger or panic, or the inability to concentrate.  Simply acknowledge you are feeling stressed!).
  2. Breathe with attention directed to the feeling wherever you feel it – allow yourself to experience it. Stay with the feeling (e.g., stiff neck, jittery stomach or frustration, impatience) and feel it.   
  3. Cleanse that feeling from your physiology.  Again whether it is a physical or emotional feeling—use the power of your breath to release the feeling.  As you inhale slowly, acknowledge the feeling.  As you exhale slowly, release the feeling.  So inhale – acknowledge; exhale – release. 

Using these 3 steps of acknowledging, experiencing and releasing the feelings of stress, we will feel more calm, and when we are calm we will find ourselves thinking more clearly, making better decisions, and maybe getting the job you’ve always wanted!

When we don’t acknowledge and allow ourselves to experience the feelings of stress within, these feelings will continue to trigger unhealthy reactions—eating chips/cookies, drinking more caffeine, multi-tasking our way to anxious distraction, blaming our co-workers, and staying stuck in a life of reacting!  Learn to take charge of your emotions by turning toward them and letting yourself feel them (rather than “doing” something to avoid them).  We have been conditioned to believe that by facing negative emotions we will intensify them, but that it just wrong!  As I always say, “face it or get chased by it!”

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