We all need help at times in this busy whirlwind work life we have created for ourselves. When taking a break for lunch becomes “impossible”, or having a holiday now and again sounds like a forgotten dream, it’s time to stop and think, “What happened?” “When did things change?” “Why do I feel like a hamster on a wheel?” Maybe it’s time to find a good therapist.
Talking therapy allows you to open up your head to someone who really listens, who is objective and approachable. It helps you to explore what is going on in your world – what is it that is really making you anxious or stressed? Could it be linked to the quality of relationships at work? For example, pressure to meet deadlines pushes people to behave negatively and transfer their anxiety to other members of the team. You might think your boss hates you – but maybe her boss is putting pressure on her.
Perhaps technology itself feels like your worst enemy. You wouldn’t be the first person to admit to feeling sick in the morning at the thought of opening your Inbox for fear of a request or demand you can’t fulfil quickly enough.
The life-work balance has become harder to manage as expectations have increased. Texts and emails which are sent outside of work hours may be tempting to view – but then your free time gets invaded because you just can’t help thinking about your response. If you try to ignore it, it just keeps coming back until you give in and answer it…..just this one time you tell yourself!
Stress about work leads to anxiety and then you try to combat it with the easiest coping mechanism available. A glass or two of wine? Another cup of coffee? Chocolate? The feel-good factor provided can be high, but only in the short-term. Once the effect wears off you feel depleted and one of the long-term effects of a bad diet is that anxiety is exacerbated.
Bad habits are an integrative part of our comfort zone and we often take them for granted, but they can be changed. Becoming aware of our own behaviour is the first step towards changing it. We are creatures of habit – but there are positive habits that can be developed in place of the negative ones.
Looking after ourselves is the best way to start reducing anxiety. If you think about the advice you would give your best friend if they were in the same situation as you, this may alert you to see your world more objectively and start to think about alternative ways of living.
An experienced therapist will empower you to consider things from a different angle, and to start experimenting with what else works for you. Everyone is unique and everyone has their weaknesses, but change is always a possibility. It could take hard work and practice but anxiety and stress can be brought under control.