Stress in the workplace is almost at epidemic proportions especially in academic and professional environments.

People are feeling bullied and undervalued, their lives at work are a misery and they feel trapped in an adult life they do not want but cannot see how to escape.

In this world of work, the demands on the human being are often inhuman but our need for security, our need for stability and our need for status conspire to trap us in situations which are unhealthy. Going into work every day becomes something we either switch off to or actually dread. The time in the workplace is unpleasant and wears down our spirit, we feel like we are treated as valueless serfs in a system of management which demands servitude. In this world of the workplace our relationships with our colleagues break down, our relationships within our families suffer badly and our relationship with ourself is simply disenfranchised. We lose sight of who we are but much more penicious is the fact that the process of punitive management sedates our senses to such a degree that our own ability to be self reflective is completely anaesthetized. We accept our daily suffering as a natural condition of being employed in an academic or professional role.

Your life does not have to be this way.

If we consider where our life view and ambitions lay when we were a child and an adolescent then it is difficult to see how we have ended up so stressed and depressed on achieving what seem to have been our life goals. Your life does not have to be this way. Stress in the workplace is not a state of being it is the imposition of a brutal regime on your life. That regime relies on making you feel trapped, unable to move, unable to think clearly about any possibility of change and constantly under a pressure which demands more and more of your life energy. You loose sleep as your mind turns from one seemingly pressing concern to the next. An endless queue of screaming anxieties press in on your dreams and shatter any hope of real relaxation into shards which stick into your sanity. You snap at your loved ones, you argue with partners, perhaps you drink too much, almost certainly you are on some form of medication.

The first question to ask.

When you are experiencing stress in the workplace the first question to ask is “Am I happy?”. This may seem completely ridiculous to suggest as a starting point because most people will say they are not happy and indignantly insist that this is obvious. Actually, whilst it should be obvious, whilst it should be apparent, when you are trapped in the stress of the workplace the management process discounts any idea of happiness being either important or of a high priority. Do not be fooled by Human Resources, the clue is in the title; human resources not human beings.

The people who run Human Resource programmes, all of those involved in workshops and programmes designed to aid or assist anyone suffering with stress are under that same workplace stress themselves. Indeed, in many organisations such solutions to the problems of workplace stress are initiated by those who have already suffered badly. These internal therapeutic operations are not there to serve the interests of the individual but to protect the management organisation from litigation whilst trying to diminish the number and issue of  sick days within the staffing community. All focus is on discplacing your needs and replacing those needs with the demands of the academic or commercial management.

In this environment, whilst you may know that you are not happy, whilst you do not feel happy, you actually subsume that feeling in the interest of ‘keeping the job’ or ‘looking for promotion’ or ‘protecting your status’ or any other distraction this workplace can manufacture to keep you away from asking the obvious question; “Am I happy?”.

Only once you sit yourself down and actually ask the question, say it out loud to yourself, do you then start to open your mind up to the truth of the situation and reveal a doorway to a different future. Asking the right question is always the beginning of leaving any dark place in life.

Stress in the workplace

The Prisoner of Lies

by Akane Takayama

“The Prisoner of Lies” is a collage by the contemporary artist Akane Takayama. Takayama states, “In the landscape of money any view or perspective of the world is lost. All we can see is what we call wealth even though we have a poverty of purpose.”.

“The Grail Quest” reviews mythologies of the past and uses them to help us understand where we are in the present. If you need someone to be available as you negotiate your way out of your own suffering at work then please feel free to contact me by clicking on the e-mail address at the top left of this site.

I work with personal one to one consultation in my office or by video link.