Burned Out? Stressed Out? On the Edge of a Blowout? How to Stay Calm at Work

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By Lauren Thomas Hale, MA

Whether you love your job or wish you clocked in elsewhere, burnout happens. “Content” and “calm” are not words that most of us would readily identify with when we are on the clock.

Between busy schedules and demanding projects, it’s easy to feel weighed down by the stresses of the workplace. Unfortunately, many of us don’t handle the pressure well.

Fatigue, exhaustion, extra stress, and even depression are not uncommon among the working population. Furthermore, we often won’t take time to recover. Bottling up stress can lead to reactionary irritation and angry blowouts.

If this pattern continues for too long, you may find that your productivity, work relationships, and career advancement decline quite negatively.

After all, you can’t hold in your feelings forever.

Let’s look at how you can avoid angry blowouts by controlling frustration and promoting relaxation.

Think About Why You’re Angry

Maybe someone’s personality is rubbing you the wrong way. Maybe you didn’t get the promotion you wanted. Whatever the case, before you blow up at someone, really think about why you’re angry.

When you take the time to process your anger, you’ll have a better chance of controlling it. More often than not, getting angry isn’t the right solution for your problem. It’s okay to feel frustrated or disappointed, but there are other outlets to manage those feelings.

Control Your Response to Support Calm at Work

Try choosing a positive way to control your response, especially your physical response.

A quick remedy is to immediately start doing something, try taking a walk, counting to ten, or even taking a deep breath. Though simple, these acts will often give you the small bit of space and clarity needed to control your reaction.

However, controlling your responses long-term is easier when you are healthy and taking care of yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well. Do whatever you need to do to get back to a healthier state, physically and mentally.

Let Go of Situations That Are Out of Your Control

There are some situations in the workplace you can control, and some you can’t.

It’s important to recognize that forfeiting feeling calm at work and getting angry over things you can’t control will never leave you feeling satisfied or better about the situation. Really, it’s a waste of your valuable energy.

Take a look at the situation that is making you angry. If you can’t do anything to resolve it, the best thing you can do is let it go.

If something is in your control and you can resolve it, it’s still best to avoid doing that with anger. Try to look at it from a constructive standpoint, and figure out what you can do to solve the problem.

Talk to Your Employer

Sharing your feelings with your employer can make a big difference.

Talking to your boss or human resources department can foster understanding about your out-of-character behavior. You may both determine that you need some time off or fewer responsibilities.

Many times, employers are willing to work with employees to ensure they’re happy, healthy, and calm at work. Don’t be afraid to approach your boss or supervisor about your fatigue. Chances are, you’ll both come up with tactics that provide you with a measure of contentment and relaxation.

Restoring calm and avoiding anger blowouts at work is, admittedly, easier said than done. Especially if you’re already feeling you’ve reached the end of your line. However, if you take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, you’ll be less likely to experience those pent-up feelings of anger in an ongoing way.

The tools provided by a therapist can help you find calm at work and support well-being wherever you are. Let’s meet for a consultation to help you begin seeking your peace now rather than later.

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Lauren Thomas Hale, MA, LPC Intern, works with adults at the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin to help cultivate positive, personal growth and access the inner wisdom that resides in each of us. Lauren’s calm approach to counseling is influenced by her mindfulness practices and her ability to help clients integrate mind and body as they explore their past emotional experiences. To schedule an appointment with Lauren, you can reach her at (512) 270-4883, ext, 114, or request an appointment with her on the RCC Austin Scheduling Page.