Cognitive therapy for reducing stress at work is based on the idea that while you may have little or no control over situations or others, you have a great deal of control over how you think.
In using cognitive therapy for reducing stress at work it is key to accept the notion that by changing how you view a particular situation, you can impact how you feel and your subsequent behavioral reactions. For example, let’s say you greet someone passing by you in the hallway and they don’t reciprocate. If you think, “Oh my, Sandra ignored me. I must have done something to piss her off,” you will likely feel guilty. If instead you think, “She probably didn’t hear me. Perhaps she was daydreaming, preoccupied or in a rush to get something done,” you will likely feel fine since you are not interpreting the behavior as a slight or rejection.
Another example of using cognitive therapy for reducing stress at work might relate to needing to give a report or speech in front of a group of peers, bosses or clients. Many individuals experience anxiety in these situations because they think, “What if I didn’t do a good job? Everyone would think less of me. That would be terrible. I might lose my job.” These common but anxiety producing thoughts just result in you feeling fearful and may actually lead to you performing less well in front of others. Instead you could think, “I will do a good job. I am well prepared. Even if I do get a little nervous, most people are pretty understanding about how difficult speaking in front of group can be. It’s certainly pretty unlikely I would lose my job over it. In fact, with practice, I will likely feel more comfortable and do a better job.”
In my book, “Managing Workplace Stress and Conflict”, available on the products section of my website, www.cognitivetherapy.cc I provide numerous examples and strategies of the use of cognitive therapy for reducing stress at work along with a number of other useful behavioral methods.