If you're a highly emotional person, you're more prone to stress. It's normal to experience joy and sorrow and other strong feelings on occasion, but if you react too emotionally to routine events, you can deplete your energy.
- Manage your emotional swings to avoid pitfalls that lead to stress. Accept defeats and disappointments without letting them ruin your whole day. Shake off your irritation at others and don't take offense if you think you've been insulted or criticized too harshly.
- Don't get too pumped up only to crash when inevitable problems arise. And don't let coworkers push your buttons and bait you into reacting impulsively.
- Here are three common emotional traps to avoid:
- Anger. Even if you have a right to be angry, that doesn't mean you should throw a fit. Your outburst will leave you feeling more stress, not less. In fact, a five-minute tantrum can produce two or three hours of lingering stress in your system.
- Fear. Every job comes with its share of fear. Example: Many people suffer from the "impostor syndrome" where they fear that others will expose them as impostors who don't know all that much about their alleged areas of expertise. If you go through your workday fighting off bouts of self-doubt ("I can't do this," "I'm not qualified for this," "I'm in over my head"), you become a stress magnet. Instead, replace fearful mental messages with empowering ones ("I will do my best," "I know more about this than anyone else here").
- Hopelessness. Job burnout afflicts many people. Stress can grow as they face an ever-increasing work load and faulty systems (such as unreliable computers). The result: intense feelings of helplessness and lack of control. The EAP can help burnout victims assess their options and find solutions.