By Leo Babauta
There isn’t a working person among us who doesn’t deal with stress — whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, working for a struggling startup, or clocking in working for a company, work stress is inevitable.
But where does this stress originate, and how do we deal with it?
Most guides to stress will give you some actions to take: exercise, sleep well, eat right, meditate, and do some yoga at your desk. These are all amazing, and you should do them.
However, I’m more interested in getting at the root of stress. Dig down, ferret out the cause, and work with that directly, rather than treating the symptoms. Only once you deal with the cause of stress can you truly be a master of it.
Cause of Stress
Let’s take a look at some things you might be stressed about at work:
Difficult co-workers or boss
Uncertainty about your job
Uncertainty about whether you can succeed at this project
Competition, office politics, interpersonal conflicts
Not having enough time for family or personal life
Being overwhelmed by too much to do
There are many more possibilities, but these are a good sampling. In all these examples, the cause is really the same thing:
We are attached to how we want things to be. We have an ideal about how each of these situations should be, and our clinging to this ideal is causing the stress.
Let’s take the uncertainty about the job. Of course, that’s not ideal, we wou…