I believe that quality of life comes from balance and harmony. Balance to me is good emotional, mental and physical health. Balance produces a positive life perspective and attitude. Harmony creates healthy relationships. Balance and harmony go hand in hand
If life is out of balance, other areas in your life will be too. If harmony is lacking in your relationships you know it. Harmony is when your relationships blend together like a choir singing on key.
I have found that one of the biggest culprits in keeping life out of balance and relationships out of harmony in my life is work.
I saw in my coworkers, especially the probation officers I worked with, that work stress was manifesting in physical health problems like hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and hypothyroidism. Extended periods of stress can lead to depression.
My coworkers were middle age men and women, mid-forties to early-fifties, many former athletes who should be physically and mentally healthy. Yet work stress was taking a toll by creating or exacerbating health issues.
Work stress manifested in decreased job satisfaction, an increase in sick days off, and extended periods of time away from work. There was a whole lot more grumbling and complaining going on too. Where I worked, these were called mental health days off.
I came across a video a few years ago titled, “Stress: Portrait of a Killer” by National Geographic. The video looks at health issues related to stress in general, as well as work-related stress and the impact it has on us. As a result I put together a training for my coworkers titled Manage Your Emotions-Manage Your Life.
Law enforcement personnel, such as the probation and detention officers I worked with, work under high levels of stress and vigilance, which is an elevated state of watchfulness, always being on guard, expecting something could happen at any moment. But many of you work in areas filled with stress and time pressures.
The problem was that at the end of the day, these officers did not know how to shut off the stress or stop the vigilance. The result could be seen in the early development of stress related health issues. Work was regularly in their thoughts. My desire in training these officers was to make them aware of what could be ahead if they did not get their stress, vigilance, as well as other negative emotions like anger under control, and give them ways to do this.
I noticed that many of these same officers would talk about work away from work, and take work into their homes mentally, thinking about work away from work. The more you talk about the things at work that cause stress, you keep your stress turned on, which does not allow you emotions to settle down
I developed a concept of “Shut the Door on Work” while training 250 probation officers how to leave work at work. My idea was to give them a visual image at the end of the day as they were walking out the door. What about you? Do you leave work at work and focus on life, family and friends?
Quality of life comes when life is balanced. You need time to spend with your family, friends, and to pursue your outside activities and hobbies. When work goes with you when you leave work, it robs you of time to spend with others or on yourself unfettered by work thoughts and talk. in the important areas
I have a friend who answers work calls when were at lunch. I finally told him to turn off his phone from now on, or do not ask me to lunch. Answering work calls when you are at lunch with others is just plain rude and inconsiderate. Turning off your phone at lunch or dinner for 30-45 minutes is free time for you to spend with others or to catch your breath when your alone.
Balancing life will be difficult the more you allow work to follow you out of the office. I have a friend who when he is stressed out at work, it increases his emotional reactivity, and spills over negatively into his relationships at home.
Find ways to fill your life with positive activities, fun hobbies, quality time with family and friends, and plenty of personal time to refresh and renew each week when you are away from work. Add to this balance mix exercise, even just walking, and healthy eating.
I tell my clients who are working on making changes in their lives, even big ones, like changing how you think about work. Any changes you want to make will take practice, more practice, and then staying consistent until it becomes your natural way of thinking and behaving. Changing your thoughts and attitudes about work so it does not invade other areas of your life, takes time, but the reward is great!
To learn some tips on how to control your emotions, change bad behavior and improve your life, purchase my book “Take Control of Your Life” now or contact me today to schedule a free introductory personal life coaching assessment.
As an expert in emotional intelligence, I also deliver keynotes, small group presentations and seminars for companies and organizations striving for effective communication, leadership and team performance.