It’s 2 a.m. and your body jolts you awake from a dream where you just ruined the biggest project at your firm and were then chased by an Excel spreadsheet. You wake up sweating and perplexed, wondering for a moment if this is a dream or reality. Sound familiar?
Work stress can take over our lives and even find its way into our dreams. A certain amount is expected, but it shouldn’t be an everyday battle. I’ve noticed that my stress doesn’t necessarily stem from the amount of work itself, but rather my attitude towards it.
I’m sure you’ve read countless ways to combat stress, whether that’s yoga, breathing exercises, eating clean or ancient herbs. And those are all great! But I found that the key to truly diminishing work related stress was to alter my mindset. Below I dive into a few truths that I remind myself whenever stress gets in the way.
It’s just a job
But really. Please remember that it’s only a job. This isn’t life or death (unless you’re a brain surgeon then it most certainly is and I commend you for your service).
We tend to place too much of our identities into the hands of our jobs. A career is just a piece of who we are, it’s not everything. And there’s plenty more fish (or jobs) in the sea.
A job is replaceable. You know what isn’t? Your family, friends, meaningful relationships, and your health. I believe those aspects of life should always be put first. Once we put a greater value on other areas of our lives, the burden of our jobs feels a little lighter and less stressful.
You can’t really fail, you can only learn
You either win or you learn. The main cause of stress is the fear of failure. But what if there was no such thing as failing, only growth? What would be left to stress about if you approached every task with the mindset that failure isn’t an option because it doesn’t exist?
I’m not saying that we won’t make mistakes or be disappointed from time to time. But rather those mistakes don’t equal failure, they equal a chance to do things differently.
Put things in perspective
When you think about the vastity of the universe, the fact that you presented a report with a typo is not all that important. There are FAR worse things that can happen to your day and people handling far worse problems than yours.
It helps to put things in perspective. I reflect on how lucky I am that one of my main burdens is whether I nailed a presentation at the job I love or not.
I recommend buying a gratitude journal and taking some time every week to write down what you’re grateful for. This might sound cheeseballsy but it’s a stress reliever in itself!
When we focus on what we already have, the future doesn’t seem so daunting.
All you can do is your best
I’ll wrap this up with something I constantly tell myself: all you can do is the absolute best you can. You’re only human, you’re not expected to move mountains or part the sea.
We can’t control every outcome that will occur in our lives. At the end of the day, all you can do is show up and be the best you can. Sometimes it will work out and sometimes it won’t, but doing your best will always be enough.
What are some things that help to calm your mind and eliminate work stress? Comment below!