Archives for worry
Across settings and disciplines, there is increasing evidence of workplace stress. In her New York Times article reporting on the lack of civility in the workplace, Christine Porath opens with the line,“Mean bosses at work could have killed my father.” According to her research, intermittent stressors like experiencing or witnessing uncivil incidents or even replaying one in your head elevate stress hormones and a host of health problems. Porah reports that bosses often demoralize employees by blaming, rudeness, mocking and discrediting. When questioned more than half report being overloaded themselves-having no time to be nice. Some openly disclose fear they will be less leader-like or taken advantage if they are nice. In her research on workplace bullying, Dr. Stacey Tye- Williams reports the upset underscoring the chaos stories she heard. Her impressions are consistent with the reality that 35% of employees in the U.S. report experiencing bullying in their careers. Bullying is actually more prevalent than harassment, which involves discrimination of a person for age, sex, race, religion or disability and is prohibited by law. Stacey Tye-Williams reports that there is bullying by men and women, bosses and employees. Underscoring the toxic impact of such workplace behavior is a recent study that found that there is a contagion to the low-intensity negative behavior in a workplace. Experiencing rudeness increases rude behavior. Of greatest concern is the reality that despite incivility, rudeness or bullying, most employees endure it and pay the emotional and physical toll. As Stacey Tye-Williams reports– People stay in the job because they have bills to pay. How can Mindfulness Help?
Resiliency has been defined as the ability to deal with adversity, be it small daily stressors or unexpected traumatic events. More specifically, resiliency is seen as having the capacity to return to successful adaptation and functioning even after a period of disorganization and disruption. Most often, resiliency has been considered a function of our ability to call upon enduring personal attributes as physical strength, intelligence, interpersonal strengths, independence, sense of humor, creativity and spirituality. While these are no doubt valuable assets for coping, recent research offers good news-- we can actually build resiliency.
Whereas most people are warned that the blessed event of a new baby may challenge the romance in their marriage – not enough warning is given to parents of teens. Lulled by the relative calm of the school age years, they find themselves suddenly embroiled in the challenging journey of adolescence which extends anywhere from age 12 to 18 years. Notwithstanding the love parents have for their kids and for each other, most parents will agree that the teen years can stress even the strongest of marriages. Why?
Last week the media reported the sad and unanticipated deaths of two men. Derek Boogaard of the Rangers died from an accidental overdose of the drug oxycodone mixed with alcohol and retired lieutenant, John A. Garcia, a 23-year veteran of FDNY who not only responded to 9/11 but responded and lost two of his men in the Deutsche Bank Fire. died by suicide. One can’t help but wonder if the tragic deaths reflect the danger of hidden depression in men. Increasingly we have become aware that although women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression, many men, beyond the 10-17% diagnosed, may also be suffering with depression. Depression May Be More Deadly for Men What makes depression in men so dangerous? It too often goes unrecognized and untreated because it is masked by physical complaints, substance abuse, anger and other stealth symptoms.
For as many people as there are who dream of being with the right person, there are as many who dread breaking up with the wrong person. Recently, there was a good deal of press about a study by social psychologists Ethan Kross and Marc Berman reporting that social rejection from an unwanted break-up was registered in the same regions of the brain activated when people experience painful sensations in their body. Clearly having someone break-up with you is not only emotionally but physically painful. Is it equally painful to be the person who sets in motion the break-up? While we may not yet have the MRI scans, most have personally experienced or witnessed through family and friends that breaking up is, in fact, “hard to do.” What I have found to be a commonly voiced deterrent for both men and women is the fear of being the bad one. What Does this Reflect? Whether the fear of “ being the bad one” is self-reflection or the expected judgment by the other partner, the fear of breaking up is complex and is underscored by human drive, attachment needs, sense of self, dependency issues, historical and cultural expectations.
In the previous blog “Worry may be Hazardous to You and Your Relationship,” we recognized that excessive worry is costly. It takes time and energy but brings little rewards. It often leaves the worrier feeling helpless, anxious, physically depleted and more worried. Interpersonally, it compromises relationships, leaving partners feeling swept into the worry, avoidant or angry. Worry need not be a life sentence or a relationship deal breaker. Drawing upon experts like Edna Foa and Reid Wilson who address coping with worries and obsessions, let’s consider some strategies for dealing with excessive worry -- what I call “CPR” for worries.