Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making our mental health a business

Recently I learned some news from a co-worker that upset me. Oh, it wasn't anything critical--a project I am involved in is scheduled to be completed sooner than I anticipated. I developed an angry temper because I learned the information second-hand, without hearing directly from the project manager.

I experienced several emotions. I was fearful that this project was moving forward ahead of schedule. I was angry for not being told directly of the change of plans. And as I rehearsed in my head plans to confront the project manager, I felt the need to vent my frustration.

However, I made a firm command to my muscles to not speak up at the next meeting. Recognizing the situation for what it was--a triviality--I decided to make my mental health my top priority and simply roll with the new schedule. While in former days I would have expressed my opinion passionately, I now realize that would not be very group minded. I excused instead of accused the project manager, and once the meeting finished I endorsed myself for not making a mountain out of a molehill.

We nervous people often want to speak up when we feel we have been "wronged," but in doing so the outcome is rarely satisfaction. Instead, in such a bid for a symbolic victory we usually feel embarrassed, guilty, or fearful afterward, analyzing what we said and why we said it. Dr. Low does remind us to not be "doormats," but to express ourselves with "culture" (that is, politely) if we feel the need to confront someone. Because in the end venting our feelings is not worth it if it costs us progress toward achieving better mental health. And at work this truly means making our mental health a business.


John said...

That's why rationalizing with your actions is still better to do than risks doing things that might go beyond well your grasp. I do agree with that nervousness thing but overcoming it often leads to inner satisfaction better than when you vent all that you feel as they are.

Dean.Is.Batman said...

I want to thank you for creating this blog. I've always felt very alone because of my anxiety...My friends and family don't have the same inhibitions that plague me every day and it's nice to read something so close to what I go through and know I'm not alone. Thanks.