Are You Choosing to be Stressed?

Stress and Life Balance Are a Matter of Choice

Stressed Man

Photo by geralt

Most of us never anticipated the amount of stress we would face in our future careers or the lack of life work balance when we decided what we wanted to do with our lives. If we had we probably would have selected something different. The problem lies with us rather than the careers.

Distinction Between Conditions and Mindset

I was taken to task this week by a coaching client who coolly said, “A balanced life is a matter of choice, ya right!” So please let clarify. The conditions that cause our stress or our lack of life work balance are not always within our control. Our thinking is a matter of choice. How we think about the conditions or pressures affecting us that determines whether we have a positive stress spurring us to great action or negative stress causing us to react in a stressful manner and reducing our productivity.

Mindset Variations

Very few workers are not expected to “do more with less” anymore. This has caused a great deal of job stress. A common negative response is “It is impossible to get this done without the proper resources.” Compare the feeling with “We need to brainstorm how we are going to make this work with the resources we have.” It is how we react to events, rather than the events, that causes the stress.

The workload increases (sound familiar?) and again you always have choices. The choice becomes between reactive or reflective. You can react and say I must work a lot more hours to get this down or you can take the reflective approach and decide to take the time to figure out how you can get the critical done and still keep the balanced life style that is sustainable in the long term.

On the personal side you may think “my husband is so negative” and respond no matter what I do he is going to complain so why bother. Or, you can take the reflective approach and ask yourself “I wonder what he would like to see?”

In all these cases I think you would find it less stressful with option two.

Infectious Words and Attitudes Can Cause or Reduce Stress

Words and attitudes, negative or positive, are infectious. One of the most commonly reported causes of job stress is the stress and negative attitudes of fellow workers. You can only directly control your own words and attitudes, but if they are positive it will spread. And they spread the environment around you improves for all and it tends to spiral upward. Remember my blog on second hand stress?

Ask Yourself Why You Are Stressed

When you are feeling stressed or negative ask yourself why. Once you are aware you can chose the attitude change you want to have. First you need to be aware.

So as you can see, a balanced life is a matter of choice; not chance. You chose life work balance for yourself; no one else can determine this.

This Week

What are you going to do to improve the stress in your environment around you this week and work towards life work balance ?

Please leave a comment to let us know so we can all benefit from your reflections.