Mindful Arts Therapy
Working out Problems by Brad Mathews
The phrase ‘work-life balance’ has been kicked around so much over the last few years there may as well be an associated Olympic sport. But what does it really mean? Depending on who you ask, you’re likely to get a range of answers from various respondents. Is there a hard and fast rule by which adhering will solve all mental health concerns?
We all need to allocate social time for family, friends, and recreational activities outside of the office. Failure to reserve such time impacts mental health in undeniable ways, such as allowing creeping depression and burnout to consume more of the soul and personality.
Still, without work to balance these obligations, life can take on similar qualities like lack of motivation, boredom, and unfulfilled needs to be recognized for a job well done.
Doing whatever task you or someone else has assigned to the best of your ability rewards you in sometimes innumerable ways. Taking ownership of our work, using imagination and resolve to solve problems, and completing a quality project sends dopamine to the brain. Positive, quality feedback, both personal and professional, is an essential recipe for this success.
When Stress is a Good Thing
Labor can be difficult. Whether you enjoy your job or not, pulling the will to get started can be a challenge, particularly on those days where things within you are not quite right. Setting achievable goals and keeping them manageable can be an effective strategy to combat any motivation deficiency. Adapt your goals by the day, the week, the month, and the year, to account for moods and you should see better results.
American psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck dispenses some sage advice for these trails: “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
Put another way, we can learn how to use challenging times to create our best work. Doing so efficiently can produce positive feedback to keep us going and launch us to new heights.
We’ve all had those days where bad traffic from snow or rain has made us late, an error or lapse in judgement has set off alarms among colleagues, and everyone wants something right now.
Some jobs produce more stress than others, but all do at some rate. Managing that stress effectively can be another key to maintaining a healthy balance of emotions at work.
When the list of tasks grows long, try breaking them down into manageable chunks or crossing off items one by one. Focusing on the mountain of work instead of the stones that compose that mountain helps to direct your energy to a single problem rather than the whole.
There is a paradox proclaiming that one can never build a heap of rice by adding a single grain on top of another, and so on. At what point does a few grains of rice become a heap, and when a heap already exists, when does it cease to be a heap?
Try removing one grain at a time, and the heap becomes smaller. When it shrinks, the challenges seem less daunting.
Stress can affect life outside of work in remarkable ways. Unchecked, it can damage personal relationships at home and minimize recreation time, among a laundry list of other realities. Effectively reducing stress by these means or others of your own imagination can affirm relationships and allow you to better enjoy recreational activities.
In years past, I have settled into ruts that I allowed to eat away at my personality, making me despise the person that peered back at me through the mirror. I compared myself to others in unfavorable ways and allowed fear to stop me from doing the things I wanted and needed.
These forces affected my career and creative processes.
One piece of advice I wish I’d learned long ago comes from Winston Churchill. “If you’re going through hell,” he opined, “keep going.”
I once had a profound crisis at home over a weekend that lasted into the following Monday. On Tuesday, I forced myself to go into the office, relaxed my mind, and got to work. At the end of the day, the crisis seemed less complex, and the solution seemed apparent.
I find relating personal stories an overlooked teaching strategy. In life, we will all be students and teachers at varying intervals. I don’t have all the answers, but hopefully by sharing this information, I can prompt you to approach work in healthy and rewarding ways.
The internet is a treasure trove of good information. I encourage you to further research this topic, and if in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.
About Brad Mathews
Brad Mathews is an author of thrillers and a Building Information Modeling plumbing designer with extensive experience. Visit his author website here: www.thebradmathews.com. You can also find him on Facebook by searching Thebradmathews, Links to his selection of novels can be found on his website.