February 7, 2013 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #608107
Hi everyone. I am a 20somthing female in a very harsh training program and this year has been super hard for me. I have been working for my career goal for many many years now, but this year is different b/c I am doing what is similar to a real job for the first time, and the work is high-stress, one of the most stressful out there, and I am often not performing up to par due to exhaustion, not liking the particular team I’m on, etc etc. I try to hold myself together, but every now and then I break down. It’s usually when I’m already tired, feeling sick, and had made some mistake I knew I made and then got called out on by an authority figure. I start crying in front of people at work in these situations, and it is like I can’t control it. I feel so embarrassed afterwards b/c it is a sign of instability and childishness. I am really hard on myself, and it is hard to be in such a stressful work place where no one cares about being nice, it’s all about what you can provide the world. I want to succeed so badly, but it’s like I have this deep rooted problem that I don’t know how to get rid of. Probably something to do with self-esteem or fear of upsetting my parents when I was younger, not being the best anymore at school like I used to be? I don’t know. I am going to see a counselor, but I just wanted some thoughts of positivity from anyone who can offer. Thanks.February 7, 2013 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm #929405snowbunny3318Member
First, try taking a few deep breaths. If you know anyone who is an occupational therapist, they probably learned a specific technique for deep breathing when they were in school. Try talking to them.
Its great that you plan on seeing a social worker. Try asking them about some relaxation techniques, you may even need relaxation therapy as well.
I hope that helps!February 7, 2013 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #929406anon1m0usParticipant
Join a gym. It has been proven to reduce stress.February 7, 2013 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #929407Yserbius123Participant
Maybe you need to find an outlet. I don’t know, scrapbooking, or learning TANACH or playing violent video games. Attach a ridiculous amount of importance to that outlet and maybe you’ll stop seeing your job as something that requires perfection.
That’s my 2 cents, it’s what I’d do in your situation. But for yourself, I would highly suggest you speak with a competent professional, like a Rov or a guidance counselor.February 7, 2013 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm #929408SaysMeMember
yserbius- playing violent video games?? Thats a healthy outlet for overwhelming stress?February 7, 2013 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #929409
Thank you for the advice everyone. I’ve thought of some ways to help cope – like keeping a photo or siddur in my pocket to focus on when I feel I am about to break, or trying to go to the bathroom before I feel the stress coming on and breathing deeply. But how do I get over the embarrassment of my already too many breakdowns though? I feel alone in this problem, like I’m some kind of freak who can’t handle life. 🙁February 7, 2013 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #929410yytzParticipant
Oy — I’m so sorry you have to deal with such a stressful work environment! I would say to quit and find another job — since there are many “toxic” work environments and the best thing is often to leave, since they’re too hard to change. But if you’re in a training program I know it may be impossible to switch to a different one. In any event, I hope you’re not facing years of the same ugly work environment.
There’s no reason to be embarrassed for who you are! Everyone has their own challenges. Some people are very sensitive to stress and criticism, and that’s one of their challenges. It doesn’t make you better or worse than anybody else. In some Torah sources the ideal is to achieve a level in which someone can insult you to your face but it doesn’t bother you — “Let my soul be like dust to those curse me” — but few people achieve that, and it can take a lifetime.
It can be painful or embarrassing to think about past negative experiences (like crying in front of coworkers). Just not thinking about them can help. When thoughts about them do arise, don’t beat yourself up about it — instead, thank Hashem for the challenges he’s given you.
It may seem absurd to thank Him for seemingly bad things, but it’s even in the Shulchan Aruch that one should always say, whatever the merciful one does is for the best. (This approach is explained in much detail in the book Garden of Gratitude by R’ Arush.) If you think about it a bit, you can usually think of some way in which what happened was really for the best.
I also recommend spending a few minutes, maybe 10 minutes a day, of prayer in your own words each day not only thanking Hashem for everything, but also asking for strength and guidance in dealing with your job.
You might also find repeating a certain phrase in your mind (for example, “Lord of hosts, happy is the man who trusts in you” from Tehillim, as recommended in the Yerushalmi) while you’re at work. As snowbunny suggested, a few deep breaths (with your eyes closed, and focusing your thoughts on one simple thing — like the greatness of G-d or your love for G-d or His love for you) can work wonders, if done several times throughout the day.
Anyway, I hope this helps, and may Hashem help you succeed in every way!February 7, 2013 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #929411
yytz Thank you, that was the most beautiful advice and really helped a lot.February 8, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am #929412Torah613TorahParticipant
Exercise regularly. If you don’t get physical exercise, things stress you out more.February 8, 2013 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #929413yytzParticipant
You’re welcome! I feel really bad for people who are in these kinds of work situations — in a rational world they wouldn’t exist at all. We need doctors and such but there’s got to be a way to train people for every profession without making people miserable (and for that matter to address workplace bullying as soon as it starts).February 8, 2013 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #929414
Thanks yytz. You would make a very good therapist! I know I have to always keep working on myself, but it is frustrating that if other people worked on their middot more, I wouldn’t need to work on getting thicker skin so much. I feel like I am being punished for crying, which is the way my body relieves stress. I guess I have some genetics that make me get stressed out easier than others, but I don’t really want to medicate myself for crying. I want to be stronger, but I also wish I could be rewarded for all my hard work to become a dr so I can help people and for being so nice and caring, but instead I am being told I need to change b/c I don’t respond well to criticism (usually when it is given in a cold way). Why did G-d give me such sensitivity? It feels like a curse.February 8, 2013 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #929415ThePurpleOneMember
maybe go to a therapist and use techniques then are u able to switch jobs or ur in skl? maybe u cud have a fresh start wtvr ur doing.. either way hatzlacha and best of luck!! hugggs!! must be tuff..February 13, 2013 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #929416
I wish workers had more rights. I feel abused. I have no psychiatric problem, other than some anxiety which all of us have. This is so frustrating. The world is not what it should be and the nice ones get run over! lolFebruary 13, 2013 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #929417snowbunny3318Member
I am also having a hard time as well. I don’t want to go into detail here for fear of being identified, but I am facing a multiple year- long scandal, which is one of the reasons that I am planning on making aliyah as soon as I can, because I just can’t deal with this for the rest of my life. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Maybe try relaxation therapy.
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