Perspective Is a Useful Stress Antidote

Got some problems at work? Of course you do. Everyone does.

Consider this for a minute. If you didn’t have all those problems, how would you spend your time at work? Maybe solving problems is why you were hired in the first place.

Let It All Out

I hear you. I know you want to tell me about your problems. I can probably guess what they are.

  • Yes I know you have too much work to do and not enough time to get it all done.
  • Yes I know your boss doesn’t give you enough recognition for your efforts.
  • Yes I know your coworkers’ incessant chatter is a major irritation.
  • Yes I know your customer (or internal client) is acting like a demanding jerk.
  • Yes I know you didn’t get a raise last year and now your hours have been cut.
  • Yes I know the copier isn’t working…again.
  • Yes I know someone left the coffeemaker empty, and you had to fill it.
  • Yes I know you were just about done with that hurry-up project when your boss said to drop it and tackle a different emergency.
  • Yes I know you are stressed, tired, and nearly burned out.

What did I miss?

Time to Get a Grip

Here’s my advice: Chill. Relax. Mellow out.

If that sounds less than empathetic, it’s because I’m thinking about some other things I believe to be true. If you too believe them to be true, I guarantee, they will change your perspective.

  • I know that people all over the world are dying because they don’t have clean water.
  • I know that people sleep outside in the winter because they don’t have a choice.
  • I know that people live in constant pain due to chronic illnesses.
  • I know that people are afraid to walk their neighborhood streets at night because they might be robbed or worse.
  • I know that people have been looking for jobs without success for more than a year.
  • I know that people get in their cars and don’t make it home because they are killed in accidents.
  • I know that people search through dumpsters for something to eat.
  • I know that people move their possessions from one place to another in shopping carts.
  • I know that people in some places are killed for talking about what they believe.

What would you add to this list?

Perspective is one tool to help you deal with stress. You may well have a big problem on your hands, but I’m betting the thing that’s stressing you right now will fade from your memory within a week or perhaps even after a good night’s sleep.

Now what has you upset?

By Tom LaForce

Tom LaForce owns LaForce Teamwork Services, a Minneapolis-based consulting company. He's on a mission to create better results through teamwork. He wrote Meeting Hero: Plan and Lead Engaging, Productive Meetings.