Many times we think that stress is the result of our workload. We see all the tasks we have and feel ‘stress’ about those tasks. But this is only a part of the picture. The larger component of stress is how we ‘hold’ the work…how we relate to it.
When we relate to work with joy, when we see ourselves of service to a larger purpose or take a moment to enjoy the company of others, we don’t feel stress. Work becomes fun because we see it as a form of action in the world. We relate to it with gratitude because it means we are alive. This is why we can be quite happy doing something we love, not because the activity itself is pleasurable but because we bring to the activity a sense of excitement and joy. We make the activity joyful.
When we work with worry or doubt, usually indicated by ‘shoulds’ or ‘musts’, we feel stress. We bring to the work a heaviness that acts like an anchor on our lives. Usually this shows itself as a series of stories like ‘work stinks’, or ‘I dread this’, or ‘I must be perfect at this’, or ‘I should be doing this’. These stories drag down our ability to perform because they are pure negative energy.
The good thing is that you can choose how you relate to work. It may seem hard at first, but you can choose to see in everything the affirmation of life…even your job. The key is to first notice when you choose to bring a negative story to work. Identify that story. Understand it. Then ask yourself: What story would I prefer to tell? What is the positive, joyful, uplifting story?
This is your choice and your freedom!