Work Stress—How do you cope?

Whether it’s trying to deal with the demands of your work responsibilities, or struggling to have a healthy working relationship with your boss and co-workers, we all know stress is not good for our health.   So what can you do?  It can be difficult with the politics in your workplace to address things the way you might in your personal life.  It often requires you to take the, “high road”, and keep your professional presence intact for the benefit of your career.

A conflict with a co-worker you may see more than your own friends or family can leave you feeling frustrated.  How do you take control of the situation, instead of letting it control you?  It is always best to address anything, no matter where you are, directly with the person--instead of going, “above their head” to your boss or someone else you work with about it, if you would like to remedy the situation for the benefit of both your physical and mental health.

Your boss is mostly concerned about productivity, and is not a counselor listed in St. Petersburg, Florida that you can say anything to without a filter.  If it has been a consistent issue with the same co-worker, you may benefit more by pulling them aside to address it with them privately.  As an example, maybe they keep answering questions that are being directed towards you.  Respectfully asking them to please let you answer for yourself (which may require swallowing a bit of pride or emotion) could be a remedy that is between you and them, and hopefully the beginning of a better working relationship.  If they are quick to jump in with answers, that could be a sign of anxiety.  They may find it difficult to be patient while you are trying to thoughtfully respond to a question.  Trying to imagine where they might be coming from might help you to approach them a bit easier if confrontation is difficult for you.

If the conflict is with your boss--maybe you don’t agree with company policy, or how things should be done.  That is a hard one.  Ultimately, when you are working for someone else, it is most usually best to do your best to create an air of collaboration.  This can make you feel like you have an opinion, it matters, and you end up feeling heard.  If it is a situation or issue that needs resolving, thanking your boss once a resolution has been made can not only keep you on that “high road”, but also could make your boss feel appreciated, and in turn, he or she may appreciate you.

Work stress can be difficult to deal with.  But, no matter the situation, that Lou Holtz adage of, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you, and ninety percent how you respond to it.” has some value.  Respond wisely.

1. Take the "high road".
2. Address conflicts privately.
3. Create a collaborative environment.