Do you come home from work too frustrated to relax and enjoy your evening? Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, feeling angry about developments at the office? Do you hear yourself complaining to your colleagues about how things are done around here?
Professional life has always been full of annoying developments and tedious challenges. Things have seemed even tougher in recent years, with all the belt-tightening and industries in crisis. It is understandable if you are feeling frustrated, and maybe even angry.
But just because there are strong reasons for your negative feelings doesn’t mean that you can afford to indulge in them. If you want things to improve, you have to find ways to let go of the bad stuff at work. Here are some reasons why:
- You need to be present. If you are preoccupied with how they treated you last week or last year, you won’t be fully engaged in what’s happening today. You will be less alert to new developments, less creative and more likely to make mistakes and errors of judgment.
- You need to be energetic. If you can’t let go of your frustration, you won’t sleep as well, your stress level will sap your energy, your health might suffer and you won’t be at your professional best.
- Colleagues want positive interactions. Your best friends will be willing to listen when you experience bad breaks, but even they will get tired of you if you can’t move on. People are attracted to those with a positive attitude. And research suggests that we do our best work when sixty to eighty percent of our interactions are positive.
Is it possible that your level of frustration might be undercutting your productivity or upward mobility at work? If so, there are lots of ways to let go of your anger or negative attitude:
- Notice. Becoming aware of your frustration is the first step to letting it go. Some people find it helpful to write about their anger in a journal.
- Be grateful. Research demonstrates that we can’t experience gratitude and anxiety at the same time. Our anger naturally dissipates when we focus on things for which we are thankful. Make a list of those aspects of your job for which you are most grateful, and focus on the list a few times a day.
- Take breaks. By pausing and shifting your focus you can dispel your frustration and find new energy. Whether it means chatting with a friend or spending a few minutes meditating, take breaks in the course of each day at the office. A program of regular exercise can help you to reduce your stress level and feel more optimistic.
- Forgive. When you can’t let go of your anger about how they treated you, you remain bogged down in the past. When you choose forgiveness you can move out of the past and enjoy more full engagement in the present. Many spiritual traditions offer guidance about learning to forgive. One popular book in recent years (and the topic of an “Oprah Lifeclass”) is Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.
Want to hear about issues like this? Bev and her colleagues are available to provide coaching and create training sessions, workshops and retreats. Talk to Bev if you’re looking for ways to address topics related to your work life and other challenges and transitions. Meanwhile, check out Bev’s website www.ClearWaysConsulting.com.
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