Strategies to Overcome Job Stress and Get Back to Work
The following is a guest post by Ora Nadrich. Her bio follows.
Work-related stress is reaching epidemic rates. I work with so many clients who have pressure-cooker careers and extremely stressful jobs. Often, they are filled with negative thoughts about their work. I see firsthand the toll those thoughts have on a person’s ability to concentrate and perform.
When negative thoughts begin to percolate and wreak havoc with our emotions, it’s time to separate from them. That’s why I created the Says Who? method. It’s a straightforward, powerful method of questioning and challenging those thoughts that stops them right in their tracks. And by facing a negative thought with a question, we find out if it’s true — or if we can just let it go.
This is an approach anyone can use to overcome negative thoughts in any realm, including work. Here’s how to get rid of those negative thoughts about your job in 4 simple steps:
- Acknowledge the stress.Recognize its existence, even if it’s upsetting. Don’t deny it or try to push it away. Admit you’re feeling stress about your job, and accept that you’re having those negative thoughts. Doing so allows you to focus on what is happening in the “now,” which is actual and real, instead of focusing on the emotions surrounding the thoughts.
- Shift into observer mode.Shift gears out of reactive mode into observer mode. In reactive mode, you have no distance from your own negative thoughts. But in observer mode, you turn into a witness that is separated and independent from them. Then you’re in a position to ask yourself questions to help get calm and grounded.
- Ask that negative thought, “Says Who?”You are demanding that thought reveal who is responsible for it. In other words, how did it get in your mind? Once you find out, you can decide what to do about it. Is it your original thought, or was it someone else’s that you took as your own? You may even discover it is an old thought that has become part of your core beliefs, and now it’s time to challenge it and let it go.
Say you’re always thinking, “I’m terrible at my job.” Asking, “Says Who?” really means: “Why am I saying that I’m terrible at this job?” Then go one step further. Ask yourself, “Is it me? If so, why would I think a thought that makes me feel bad about myself?”
- Now you’re ready to continue the questioning process.The Says Who?method uses 7 simple questions (starting with “Says Who?”) to challenge your negative thoughts. Pose these questions to find out if this is your opinion, or someone else’s. If it’s your thought, you can decide if it’s worth keeping, or can be transformed into a positive, life-affirming thought that can help you get your work done, or venture forth to find a job better suited to you, and better for your well-being.
Here’s a look at the rest of the questions, using “I’m terrible at this job” as an example. But the method can be applied to any negative thoughts.
Question: Have I heard someone say this thought before?
What it means: Have I heard someone tell me that I’m terrible at my job, or not good at something else, and if so, why did I believe them?
Question: Do I like this thought?
What it means: Do I like thinking that I’m terrible at this job, and if not, why am I thinking it?
Question: Does this thought make me feel better?
What it means: Does thinking that I’m terrible at this job make me feel better about going to work? If not, why am I thinking it?
Question: Does this thought work for me?
What it means: Does thinking that I’m not good at this job work for me, and if it doesn’t, why am I thinking it?
Question: Am I in control of this thought?
What it means: Am I in control of thinking that I’m terrible at this job, and if so, how, and if not, how?
Question: Do I want to keep this thought or let it go?
What it means: Do I want to keep thinking that I’m terrible at this job, or let it go, and if I don’t, why?
The Says Who? Method us a powerful tool for stopping the stressful, negative thoughts we can have about the workplace. That’s because we tend to judge ourselves about our performance. This method stops that anxious “self-doubt on repeat” in its tracks, so you can stop judging yourself so harshly – and get to work. You can become more effective, successful, and productive. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, it helps you feel empowered — to do and be your best.
Ora Nadrich is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Mindfulness Meditation teacher, and the author of Says Who? How One Simple Question Can Change The Way You Think Forever. Her popular album, Ora Meditations, is available on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Amazon mp3 and everywhere music is sold. Learn more at http://www.oranadrich.com