In the past when I was stressed out at work due to certain situations or people, I often swept it under the rug. Recently I started challenging myself to deal more directly with my emotions.
Unresolved emotions hold on to me more strongly than perhaps normal people. It keeps me up at night and I’ve been dealing with sleeping issues for 10 years.
It’s not at all an easy challenge but it’s the only way I can get better.
Everyone deals with stress differently. I often find myself angry during a stressful situation and want to lash out at someone. Instead of lashing out, I challenge myself to step away and more thoroughly identify and analyze the stressor. My first step is trying to view the situation from a third party’s perspective. If I cannot do it myself, I reach out to a trustworthy coworker for a second opinion. While talking about the event with a third party, it helps me understand myself better.
My coworker pointed out the importance of trust at work. I realize my trust with coworkers come naturally at 100%. It however changes based on my interaction and/or observation of the person. We learn to trust people who keep their promises and who do what they say they’ll do. In other words, we assign credibility to people who can successfully predict their own behavior. Looking back I realize losing trust caused me to dislike the person and avoided working with the person. It’s important for me to bring this up with the person to prevent the negative relationship to continue. Although it was difficult having the conversation but it cleared up the air and helped me move on.
Growing up I was taught to always criticize myself in every conflict. Finally I realize that is not the best way to solve issues. Criticizing myself doesn’t always lead to improvement and often it just harbors negative emotion that is degrading to my mental health. The instructors who led the group therapy I participated always stressed the need to unlearn and relearn our emotion handling routines. It took decades to develop my routine; it shouldn’t surprise me that I’m still taking baby steps to unlearn and relearn everything.