Coping Mechanisms At Work

This article is written by EH at @happyops.

I wrote about some of my experiences with work here:

Recently I have experienced some difficulties at work, including difficult work colleagues, stressful projects, and tight deadlines. Unfortunately, very few of us get to choose our work colleagues.

The knee-jerk reaction to these situations is to turn to the tried-and-tested habits. The habits are typically unhealthy and do little to solve the problem. They are more like a momentary escape to try to forget the situation, whether it is smoking, too much Internet / TV, or a more destructive habit.

Here are some healthier coping mechanisms that I have put into place to replace these tried-and-tested unhealthy habits:

  • Morning Commute: Reading a Dharma book on the commute into work. This helps to set the right motivation for the day and to feel motivated to approach the day with in the right way. Rather than a matter of “daggers out” and preparing for attack, it is a matter of “patience ready” and preparing with kindness.
  • Live by the Dharma: Trying to live by the Dharma and apply the Buddha’s teachings to difficulties at work. This includes trying to see angry people as a kind teacher.
  • Daily Session: A daily session, whether it is a formal meditation or reading more of a Dharma book. It is a way of unwinding at the end of the day with something positive.

These are the resources that we will use as part of our Daily Session from @FPMTInc:

The idea is that by applying the Dharma in this way, the act of going to work and the difficulties that we face at work will not be for nothing. Rather than Dharma being an “intellectual” or “interesting” pursuit, we will be actively applying the Buddha’s teachings in real life. The “enemy” won’t be a vague feeling but a real person all up in your face. This will make the experience of work become part of our spiritual journey and development towards Enlightenment, plus you get paid as well!! This can help us to develop patience.

Difficulties are part of the nature of Samsara. Unfortunately there is no “perfect job” or “perfect office”. Rather than try to run away from the difficulties of Samsara, it seems more beneficial to face them head-on rather than try to deny them or run away from them. This can help us to develop renunciation for Samsara.

Wishing you every happiness, EH.