Friday, January 30, 2015

A positive spiral

Now, normally a spiral is used to describe a negative event/series of events, but in this case, I'm feeling the opposite. Let me explain. One of my goals of 2015 was to focus more on the positive (ESPECIALLY at work), and do a better job of staying positive, managing my stress, and just generally enjoying work more. Now, this is no small feat. My job is very demanding, there are a lot of people every day with a lot of demands, and there's enormous revenue impact that I'm balancing at all times. I also work with others who tend to be very stressed. There are seven people in my personal office (we're short on space ;-)), and sometimes it just feels like a box of stress. Here's what I've seen so far:

Improved Work Enjoyment:
I've been doing a very good job of staying relaxed at work. Not perfectly, but an enormous improvement over the past year. And, you know what? I actually am starting to enjoy work?! For the first time since I started last October. I don't hate my job!

More Gym Time:
The desire to stay relaxed at work has also motivated me to start working out in the mornings a few days before I go to work, which nicely helps to manage my stress. See the positive spiral there? I feel healthier, more energetic, and obviously it's good for my health.

Positive Impact on Peers:
The more my attitude changes, the more I notice that it reduces the overall stress in the office, and benefits me plus everyone around me. When my peers start to complain about something that's bothering them, I listen, but I don't get involved in the stress.

Better Decisions:
I had two stressful encounters this week. I handled both of them better than I ever would have considered last year. Because I was more aware of the situation, I remained calm & thought through my choices, rather than responding with emotion.

Happier at Home:
Obviously, being happier & less stressed at work means I'm happier when I get home. I'm able to be a better parent, and lately I've been talking to the kids a lot about how keeping your emotions in check means that you make better decisions. I can actually now be (somewhat!) of an example of this, rather than all talk.

More Time:
Maybe because I'm not wasting time at work managing my own stress, I find I'm more efficient & have time to accomplish things. Or, because my head is not caught up in dealing with a stress spiral, I have more mental bandwidth to accomplish other things. All I know is that I feel like I have more free time right now, and it's glorious.

Positive Outlook:
Honestly, I just feel very positive about life, and my ability to change things (my weight, work, my life) & it's really liberating.

On that note, TGIF! So excited to spend time with the kids this weekend. We have our usual array of sporting events, plus the Big Game on Sunday. Go Seahawks! :-)

What about you? How are you managing your stress? What are the benefits you notice, or side effects when you're not able to manage your stress? Which team are you cheering for on Sunday? (I promise to only slightly judge if it's the Patriots ;-))


  1. We have had an extremely stressful month - my stepdaughter is creating a lot of havoc right now in our household. We have not been dealing with it well - I lost 7 lbs due to stress this month. My but can handle it. Me not so much. Hopefully things will get better soon here as we have a plan now. So glad things are looking up at your job. You certainly don't need stress from it as that can't be good with your disease. Have a nice week!

    1. I meant my butt can handle it (I needed to lose 10 lbs) lol. Almost at goal weight as a positive side effect :)

    2. The weight loss is at least a good side effect! Fingers crossed that things improve at your house. Stress over the long term is just no good for anyone. Hugs!

  2. Hawaii this is so nice to read! Very inspiring and amazing the impact that a few changes can have. ~ Pru

    1. Aww, thank you!! It is really exciting to feel like you can make a difference in your own life pretty easily. It makes me feel very optimistic. :-)

  3. I agree with Baroness's comment above; this was so nice to read! The part about it having a positive impact on your peers: I can really relate to this. The manager that I work for is so high-strung, taking a lot of the stresses at home to the office where it affects my other co-workers and I. I tried not to take it personally at first but it really has a way of wearing you down. I've started to notice how bitter I've become and I'm not proud of it.

    1. My manager and one of my peers commented on it on Friday afternoon, and it really made me feel good, and confirmed that it's having a positive impact on everyone (I thought maybe I'd made that up in my own mind ;-)). Now the hard part - keeping it up!! I hope your work situation is improved, SS!