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Stress & anxiety at workplace

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  • #401198
    S K
    Participant

    I am a social sector professional and have been working since over 13 years now. 3 months back, I got an opportunity to join a brand that I had been aspiring to associate with, so I took it up. However, I recently quit the same, without having another job in hand. I am not a job hopper; however, I could not manage the stress and anxiety caused because of my boss’s poor leadership skills, lack of vision, unstable emotional behaviour, and unrealistic expectations. This toxic work environment has led to 14-15 team members (I am the 4th person in my position to quit within a few months) quitting in the past one year of her leadership.

    My boss handles multiple portfolios; however, the one that I fall under is least of her interests and priorities. She does not believe in team unity/bonding (within her function), collaborating with other team members without her consent, which affects the overall work quality and outcome.

    Although I have had a few direct, but lesser intense toxic encounters with her (probably because I am still new), I have witnessed her yelling, mistreating, publicly humiliating senior people in the team, which had such a deep impact on me that my brain and mind shut down every time of such an episode. I dreaded going to work every day, always afraid of being reprimanded for things that should be least of her concerns.

    While I was still managing to perform somehow, I was all the time confused, blank and stressed because of the lack of clear direction, communication and overall negative work vibes. Every one at the workplace seem to be working under constant stress and fear.

    I have been blessed with supportive parents and friends; however, except a few, everyone else (including my previous boss) advised me against quitting this job so early, without having another offer in hand. I still chose to go ahead and quit as I was overthinking a lot and that was affecting my mental and physical health.

    I am serving my notice period right now. While my workplace anxiety and stress have eased up a bit, I don’t know if I did the right thing. I know there is no looking back and I have to move on, but my overthinking mind keeps going back there and makes me wonder if I gave up too early, or if I took an impulsive decision. I am praying every day that I get a job and soon, but that’s out of anyone’s control.

    I am an extremely sensitive person, but sincere and hard working (or so my previous bosses have said). I have a tendency of worrying and overthinking during stressful situations. I don’t know why I wrote this post and what I seek out of it. May be – all I wanted to do was pen my thoughts and make an attempt to calm my mind. I want to stay happy and optimistic, but at the same time, I realise I need to stay strong and build the ability to deal with such situations and not run away from them. Can anyone guide how they dealt with workplace anxiety and stress at professional and personal levels?

    Thank you!

    #401227
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S K:

    I am serving my notice period right now… I don’t know if I did the right thing” – in regard to your mental and physical health, I believe that you did the right thing for youself. I want to congratulate you for having served your notice today!

    I have witnessed (boss)  yelling, mistreating, publicly humiliating senior people in the team, which had such a deep impact on me that my brain…  Except a few, everyone else (including my previous boss) advised me against quitting this job so early, without having another offer in hand.  I still chose to go ahead and quit as I was overthinking a lot and that was affecting my mental and physical health.” – on paper, their advice may be a good advice, but in actuality: if you stayed in this abusive workplace, your mental health would have continued to deteriorate, followed by your physical health being affected.  In these actual workplace circmstances, quitting earlier than later is the right choice.

    Again, congratulations for going ahead and quitting!

    Of course, post-quitting, you’ll  still have to deal with anxiety because, like you shared, you tend to overthink, and you don’t have another job lined up. But you can find ways to manage it because you will not be exposed to the yelling and abuse by .. the boss from hell, if I may refer to her this way (?)

    Please let me know of your thoughts in regard to my reply, and if it’s of any help, I will be glad to reply to you further.

    anita

     

    #401255
    S K
    Participant

    Thank you, Anita, for your reply. You may be literally the 3rd or 4th person for positively responding to this move. Rest of them made me feel like I committed a crime / I am loser / I escaped or that I will never get a job now. Which is why I started wondering if I did the right thing.

    I understand their concern, but senior people, including my parents, my  previous bosses and even my counselor (the sessions are not helping at all), have said that we will keep meeting people like this in our life and we need to be strong and face such situations and not run away, like they think I did. They said one cannot keep quitting over such reasons. I believe a life without a value system or ethics is a life very poorly lived. I believe no one should face such a situation at workplace.

    I would like to know though – what are the small every day actions / thoughts for positive affirmations that will help overcome anxiety? My struggle with anxiety and overthinking continues and I really want to learn to manage it.

    Thank you!

    #401261
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S K:

    You are very welcome.

    Rest of them made me feel like I committed a crime / I am loser” – (1) the aggression you escaped in the workplace (“yelling, mistreating, publically humiliating“) is the crime, not you leaving it, (2) you were in the process of losing your mental functions (“my brain and mind shut down“, etc.), so the losing was in staying in that workplace, not in leaving it.

    They said one cannot keep quitting over such reasons. I believe a life without a value system or ethics is a life very poorly lived. I believe no one should face such a situation at workplace” – no workplace is perfect and many are far from perfect, but yelling, mistreating and humiliating workers is not to be tolerated and accommodated. You can decide on your minimal requirements of a workplace, what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate.

    I would like to know though – what are the small every day actions / thoughts for positive affirmations that will help overcome anxiety? My struggle with anxiety and overthinking continues and I really want to learn to manage it” –

    – these are my suggestions: 1) If you don’ t have one already, form a daily routine that serves you well. Routine calms anxiety,  2) Make daily aerobic/ other physical exercise part of your daily routine, 3) Start each day with a Focusing Exercise: mine includes a few simple yoga postures. Warrior 1 and Warrior 2, are two such postures. I  hold each for a couple of minutes. Sometime during, I repeat to myself the word courage (intending to be courageous today), and a couple other intents for the day.

    4) During the day, when you feel that your anxiety level is rising, change something about what you are doing: if you are sitting, get up and walk around, take a break, listen to a bit of music, etc. (positive distractions from elevated anxiety),

    5) List people and situations that elevate your anxiety and either avoid them or change something in regard to them: learn, practice and improve your people skills, such as assertiveness skills and resolving conflict skills.

    You are welcome to let me know what you think about the above and I’ll reply further.

    anita

    #401558
    S K
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry for the delayed response.

    I must say all of your suggestions are extremely helpful. These are all action-oriented and easier to follow, thank you so much!

    I am going to build on these suggestions and hope to further ease my anxiety and stress. Let me also share that I have already started feeling better – all thanks to Tiny Buddha platform and your responses. I haven’t felt so confident and at peace in months. Thank you once again!

    More power to you!

    #401560
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S K:

    You are welcome and thank you for your appreciation and kindness! Keep doing what works for you and please post again anytime you would like more of my input and suggestions.

    anita

    #401907
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, S K???

    anita

    #401934
    S K
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you for checking in on me. I am doing well. The anxiety has come down significantly, mainly because I will be out of this place in next 10 days and secondly, of course because of positive affirmations and your inputs. Can’t thank you enough! Regards, S K

    #401943
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S K:

    You did thank me more than enough! And you are welcome. Since my input helped you, please feel comfortable to ask for more of it anytime!

    anita

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