Different people have different ways of dealing with stress in their lives. Some might just veg out in front of the TV while others might go for a stress-busting jog. Yet others might call up a friend and complain until they feel lighter.
Healthy and Unhealthy Ways of Dealing with Stress
Not all ways of dealing with stress are created equal. Some might be healthier than others. Even something as harmless-seeming as talking to a friend might actually not be as beneficial as it seems. This is because when you’re complaining about something going on at work, you’re reinforcing your feelings of righteous indignation. Of course your boss should not have reacted in that way. Of course, you are getting paid less than you should be. And how dare so-and-so take credit for your work?
Rational and Emotional Ways of Reacting to Stress
Sometimes, these complaints might even be legitimate. Maybe you are getting paid less than you should be. Maybe someone did try to take credit for your work. But the point is: what are you doing about it? If you’re sitting down with a friend to rationally consider everything you should or could be doing, then there’s no problem. But if you’re just working yourself up into a rabid emotional state, then there isn’t much of a point.
Complaining Can Lead into a Vicious Circle of Stress
Unfortunately, many people complain a great deal as a way to relieve work stress. They might do it with co-workers or people outside of work. When co-workers go out for a drink, they might end up bad-mouthing their colleagues or higher-ups. In a way, it feels good to know that someone else feels the same way as you. But you can also get into a vicious circle while doing this. This happens when you keep complaining ad infinitum without reaching any kind of resolution.
Resolving the Situation to Relieve Stress
Wouldn’t it be better to speak to someone who can actually do something to resolve the issue i.e., the same colleague or superior in question? There’s always a way to state a problem which doesn’t sound that bad. And if you can present possible solutions, then even better.
Keeping Your Conversations Constructive and Positive
It’s not that you need to stop talking to colleagues or friends about your problems. But try to keep your conversation constructive and positive as far as possible. It also helps to address the issue when it has just begun rather than waiting until it escalates. Consider this the next time you find yourself feeling negative or speaking in a negative way about a certain person or situation.