Nope, this post isn’t about a hard day that I’m currently having at work. A Quora thread recently caught my eye.
28 people responded to the question, including somebody who works in an emergency room, someone who works at an oil refinery, and a teacher.
Their answers got me thinking: every day, individuals are face-to-face with natural disasters, death, accidents, fraud, and more in their professions.
A bad day at my job? There’s internal conflict on the methods we should use. I’m pulled in different directions on projects. I have a lot of work for both of my jobs. My inbox is overflowing. One of the sites we use is down. On the scale of stressful jobs, mine isn’t very high.
I think we tend to adapt to our circumstances in a way that can have negative repercussions. If we’re surrounded every day by people who are handling the same situations that we are, I think we tend to exist within a cycle that allows and even encourages us to be stressed. If I’m surrounded by recruiters, suddenly LinkedIn Recruiter being down for a few hours feels like a big deal. But if I stop and think about what people in other professions have to deal it, my worries seem trivial.
Hearing about this cop who delivers news of death to family members or listening to my sister, who works with a 5-year-old with autism makes me want to think twice before I stress about my job.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t surround ourselves with people who are working on similar things. It can be very beneficial and often necessary. But I think we need to actively combat our tendency to justify our stress within situations that, let’s face it, really aren’t so bad.
Do you ever find yourself stressed about things you later realize aren’t very significant? What techniques do you use to combat this tendency?