Cut The Puppet Strings

Solutions to Reduce Stress

“I seldom feel on top of things when I leave the office, so I bring some work home with me. Usually I feel too exhausted to do it. After a few hours I start feeling guilty that I haven’t done anything I’ve ruined another night. Weekends are no better — now I spend my Sundays dreading Monday morning. I used to have a lot of responsibility and think that I was in control of my career. Now, I feel like I’m a puppet and my boss has control of the strings.”

Research from Martin Shain, a senior scientist with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto reveals that two of the main contributors to work-related stress are jobs with High Demand (continually having too much to do in too short a period of time) and Low Control (not having enough influence over the daily activities of your job). In small doses, stress can create a sense of challenge. But unending periods of stress often cause us to feel frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed. Instead of peaks and valleys of heavy and light workloads many of us are on an unending uphill climb. There is no downtime between major projects to feel a sense of accomplishment from the assignment just completed. When we feel our lives are no longer under our control we can experience a variety of emotions — anger and frustration become feelings of helplessness and lethargy.

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Written By

Lisa Culbert of Directions coaches clients who seek to change careers, achieve life work balance and have a fulfilling retirement.


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