White-collar stress

Posted on | September 4, 2013 | 1 Comment

Notes from Louis C. Feuer (1987) White-Collar Stress: A comprehensive, practical approach to relieving stress and insuring professional and financial success. Federick Fell Publishers, Hollywood (Fl).

A book ‘for those who will play some games, for those willing to engage in some non-offensive manipulative behaviors, and for those willing to take on a new consciousness about their image and the stressors created by the business environment… It is written for those who want more: more respect, more recognition, more power, and more money. White-Collar Stress is not for the timid, all-trusting professional, nor for the complacent, the self-satisfied, or the unmotivated’ (2)

Sources of personal stress

Lifestyle
To some, your home and its furnishings may not depict your real sense of success, and aren’t indicative of your financial status at the time, or your present available spendable income. The pressure to join the local country club, to purchase a new car almost every year, or to take that exclusive vacation, can lead to a traumatic home life and subverted resentment which may unknowingly continue to fuel the disastrous lifestyle. Learning to live within your budget—not the one set by your colleagues and friends—may be your answer.

Anything in your lifestyle that you can control, do so. A home you can afford to pay for, children’s education that is not financially smothering, living near work—these are factors which you can control to reduce home-related stress.

… staying close to friends and family that have become parasitic, or “adopting” a family member who lacks the ambition to make it alone—these should be carefully evaluated. It is important to determine how much anxiety your lifestyle generates and how it can subsequently affect your professional plans (27)

Performance
Much stress is related to your personal responsibilities. At work, there are usually more clearly defined and outlined job requirements and typically clearly defined objectives are delineated. Success is easily measured. Unfortunately, your personal life does not provide these same guidelines (28)

If you have accepted too many responsibilities and feel nervous, anxious, and pressured about completing all of your tasks, realize the time has come to streamline your schedule. You need to begin withdrawing from some of your responsibilities; letting people know that in your enthusiasm you had over-extended yourself and now need to decline certain roles… People appreciate honesty, since they usually want only the best from you. There is a limit to your time and energy and you need to let others know as you approach that point! (29)

Situations
You can avoid undue stress by managing your environment… For example, you may find yourself attending social functions where you feel uncomfortable. You should have graciously declined the invitation. You may have found yourself working on community projects that hold little interest for you, or were forced to deal with an army of incapable volunteers. It is imperative to think about yourself and your happiness before you commit to any activity, function, or social event, especially situations that can negatively affect your mental health (30)

Encounters
Much stress is caused by the inability to cope with those around you. People become stressors for other people… Socializing and doing business with those who upset you should only be continued after you determine (1) if you must continue seeing these people, and (2) why you have allowed these people to control your feelings (30-1)

Suggestions: Tell yourself that “In the end I will be a winner.” Keep in mind that you have trained and worked hard at being successful, and that you will not allow yourself to fail (31)

Time
Conceptualize time as an empty box to be filled with meaningful personal and professional experiences. Fill it with people you enjoy and events that you like (32)

You
Stress stems from how you perceive events and people. You can interpret the same issue differently—and with varying degrees of stress—based upon how you feel on a particular day… realize your behavior and reactions are controlled by you and exhibited at your discretion and for the benefit of your image (32)

Frequently ask yourself, “How do I feel?” and then try to determine if the feeling is created by, (1) what you did, (2) what you are now doing, or (3) what you are planning to do

Use the “Compared to What” Analysis for Stress Reduction: When you want to judge the significance of a stressor and rate its meaning and importance to you, stop for a moment and compare it to the most upsetting and stressful event you have experienced (42)

Call and invite friends to your home, meet them for lunch or share an evening out. Don’t wait for them to call you. They are just as shy and unsure of whether you will accept them as you are about how they feel about you. Make that first move. Pursue that relationship you sense could be right for everyone (44)

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One Response to “White-collar stress”

  1. The Swiss Cheese approach : home cooked theory
    September 4th, 2013 @ 11:13 am

    […] to Louis C. Feuer (1987), the ‘Swiss Cheese Approach to White-Collar Stress’ is a practice of ‘selective […]

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