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5 Tips for Salvaging a Toxic Workplace

The worse your workplace is, the more it creates a long term impact on your ability to cope with stress.
You spend most of your day either at work or traveling to and from work, and when your workplace
causes stress, it can lead to a host of regular, daily symptoms, including:

  • Nausea before going to work.
  • Headaches and malaise while at work.
  • Twitching and problems concentrating.

Workplace stress is more than just a minor inconvenience. Over time it can damage your organs, all
while contributing to any other issues with stress and anxiety you may have in your free time.

The problem is that in today’s economy, there are fewer options than there were in the past. Ideally,
you would be able to leave your job, but that may not be possible anymore. That means that you have
to essentially turn your toxic job into one that causes you less stress.

You’ll have to tap into your own ideas, because your workplace is going to be different than others. But
here are some examples of how to make your toxic workplace less detrimental to your mental health.

1. Create a Game At Work

Find some way to turn your work into a game. If you have a job that keeps track of data, see if you can
beat your time. If you can’t think of a way to make your tasks more competitive, take things that happen
in your workplace regularly and turn it into a BINGO board, with a decent reward. Any way that you can
turn work into a game will at least give you something to do at work that makes it more interesting.

2. Turn Stress Into a Tool

You know that you’re going to be stressed at work. You need a way to look at that stress like it’s an
aid to your work, not an enemy. You can do that by using stress as your motivator to work harder.
Essentially, you work only a moderate amount when you’re feeling calm – enough to get by, but not
necessarily be as productive as you can be. Then, when you feel stressed, you embrace it like a friend, as
if saying to yourself “stress! You’re finally here! Now I can get to work!” and taking all of the energy that
stress provides and turning it into a tool that you use.

3. Plan Fun Things Around Work

Another issue is that many people let their work life extend into their home life. They do this by doing
very little after work, because of the fatigue that work stress causes. Avoid this feeling by planning many
fun things directly after work, so that you don’t have time to dwell on the stresses at work, and so that
you’re creating happier memories that override the negative ones.

4. Consider Natural Solutions

There are several natural remedies for relieving stress in the workplace, and all of them have the
potential to make your work more bearable. Several natural herbs like kava and passionflower may be
effective, as will relaxation strategies like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. By relaxing
yourself in the workplace, the workplace will always seem like a less scary environment.

5. Fake Happiness

An unusual strategy, but one that has been very effective at curing anxiety, is the idea of faking your
happiness in the workplace. Much like a game, you decide to pretend and act like someone that is
very happy all day. You commit to it as if playing a role in a movie. Faking happiness can actually make
yourself feel less unhappy, and also provides you with that daily game that we mentioned earlier.

Controlling How You Feel

You may not be able to leave your job, and you may not be able to get other people to be nicer to you.
Toxic workplaces are toxic workplaces for a reason. But if you can’t leave, you can at least find ways to
make your day to day life one that doesn’t affect your mental health as much as it seems. Remember,
the things in your life are only as important as you make them, and using the above tips can ensure that
your work life doesn’t leave a lasting impression on your mental health.

About the Author: Ryan Rivera’s severe anxiety often caused him to experience stress at work until he
learned to control it. He writes anxiety reduction techniques and tips at www.calmclinic.com.

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