Author Topic: Mindfulness in a high stress job  (Read 1405 times)

Offline stephenofiowa

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Mindfulness in a high stress job
« on: February 06, 2014, 02:29:05 pm »
I help manage a large university communications office, dealing with everything from media requests, or crisis management, and a typical day is filled with hundreds of phone calls, meetings, hallway conversations, requests and demands for one thing or another. It is the antithesis of peaceful and mindful, and the pace (especially with 24/7 technology making hard to ever be completely unplugged) is really quite beyond healthy human capacity. And because of the pace, and the peculiar environment of a university, it is easy for encounters to feel abrupt, unfriendly, and sometimes openly hostile. But it is my job and I meditate daily to try to build up that tiny sliver of airspace between the sharp emotional hooks that come sailing my way minute by minute so I don't react to my never-ending reactions. :) I'm curious if others are in similar positions and to learn what particular practices have been helpful to them.

Offline Marcus Epicurus

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 04:19:50 pm »
meditate, meditate, meditate........as often as possible

and, during the workday, try and stay mindful and remember that nothing is permanent and things will change....for the better as your practice matures and develops

and when someone is hostile or pressing you, try and feel compassion for them for they are suffering too

hope that helps
The non-doing of any evil,
the performance of what's skillful,
the cleansing of one's own mind:
this is the teaching of the Awakened.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 09:14:39 pm »
Quote
OP:  "I'm curious if others are in similar positions and to learn what particular practices have been helpful to them."

I can relate to your predicament, but during a time frame almost two decades ago before I retired.  It was easier for me, because I could leave the phone at work, and disconnect the one at home.   Then I was able to go about my after-work life.  Long walks in the woods, jogging, cycling, canoeing, were all helpful.  Meditation as others have suggested would have been beneficial.  But none of that is possible until you disconnect.  Staying connected is a choice you have to re-examine. :wink1: :dharma:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline PimonratC

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 08:58:53 am »
meditate, meditate, meditate........as often as possible

and, during the workday, try and stay mindful and remember that nothing is permanent and things will change....for the better as your practice matures and develops

and when someone is hostile or pressing you, try and feel compassion for them for they are suffering too

hope that helps


 :headbow:



.

Offline PimonratC

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 09:02:17 am »
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OP:  "I'm curious if others are in similar positions and to learn what particular practices have been helpful to them."

I can relate to your predicament, but during a time frame almost two decades ago before I retired.  It was easier for me, because I could leave the phone at work, and disconnect the one at home.   Then I was able to go about my after-work life.  Long walks in the woods, jogging, cycling, canoeing, were all helpful.  Meditation as others have suggested would have been beneficial.  But none of that is possible until you disconnect.  Staying connected is a choice you have to re-examine. :wink1: :dharma:


Disconnect,  this is good suggestion.


.

Offline Nakhonphanom69

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 02:38:50 am »
I also have high stress as well. This article helped me a lot.

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 08:01:40 am »
         
Quote
It is the antithesis of peaceful and mindful, and the pace (especially with 24/7 technology making hard to ever be completely unplugged) is really quite beyond healthy human capacity.
 

           I work in a maximum security prison as a supervisor second in command of a hundred or more staff at any given time and around 2000 offenders. I respond to almost every emergency we have for 8 hours 5 days a week and see things and have interactions which are violent, disturbing and sometimes life threatening. I tell you this not to show off some way in which we compare severity but instead to tell you that there ways I have learned to help deal with this, but I forget those things that help sometimes and its easy to get lost. It hurts every time I forget and I share the feeling of being overwhelmed from time to time regardless of cause.

Quote
But it is my job and I meditate daily to try to build up that tiny sliver of airspace between the sharp emotional hooks that come sailing my way minute by minute so I don't react to my never-ending reactions. :) I'm curious if others are in similar positions and to learn what particular practices have been helpful to them.


           I too recently came here with a tired feeling in my heart and feeling overwhelmed, I was reminded of several things. I would like to share them with you. I did not invent them, they are not the result of my invention in any way, and wiser people have been kind enough to share them various forms with the world, I have simply been lucky enough to encounter them when I went looking and earlier in life was hurting bad enough to put in the effort to apply them. I ask that you bear with me, I am not very succint, and if my understanding were perfect then I too would not have this on occasion but it is not and so I do.

          I find the first thing I lose is love and compassion before I start down the road to being overwhelmed. The hostile person before me is suffering and I see this, but instead of seeing his suffering as a tiny part of a greater condition of the world I get carried away by allowing my exposure to his emotion to take root. It is usually not the fist exposure that does this but as I carry each situation into the next and allow myself to see one contiguous work condition it happens. Then we are both in the same boat (the person I encounter and I) and while I can deal with the situation (because that's my job) I have lost the peace that comes from recognizing that this moment I am in with this person is temporary and in order to truly help others and to be at peace I have to remain objective and see their suffering as a problem caused by a root that is almost never the subject at hand and I must have compassion for them.

        I have adopted the following: If anger is expressed at us, it is not because we created it. Anger was created long ago and has flowed through humanity for all of the time we have been on this earth. The one who possesses the anger and is expressing it allowed it to arise because they know no other way to react, their ignorance is shared by all of us in some way and having compassion for that condition and smiling at it and cultivating a desire to help with it for ourselves and for others gives insight as to what to do when it is encountered.

         Often this expression of anger is because of a subjectively understandable reason which appears in the conversation, through great effort and trial and error with many different approaches some which worked other which did not I learned which ways I could address the anger while working with the issue at hand. I say things like "Sir, I would really like to help you, I sympathize with you being upset and I can see why you feel this way, lets see what we can do together here." At further expressions of anger I work at saying things like "I need you stay with me on this so I can help you because I know that's what we both want" and other supportive things that do not invalidate how they feel but express that the feeling is impeding the solution to the problem they are having.  The statements are true but often what I see as the reason for their anger is not the reason that they anticipate that I am referring to. By using language that we are on the same side where the emotion is concerned I often receive a more cogent explanation of the circumstances that deal with my livelihood and get a clear view of what to do. I am always on the side of removing anger and frustration from the situation even if I do not share the goals of the person I am speaking with.

        I mean no disrespect and have felt this way as well but I observe your post reads as though you feel lost in a frantic maze. One where things come at you rapidly and the circumstances create frustration and then stay with you after you complete your work for the day....Which never really feels completed. Each day is, in fact, new. Tasks may get carried over but this day is not a continuance of the day before. It is a new day.

       If you see yourself in the position of a being who is going to be tossed around in the chaos of the environment for the day and view your circumstances and place from that point of perception then it will be true. If you see yourself as the one who will overcome the frustrations of the day and help others overcome their frustration and become stronger. If you see yourself as the one who will  learn what needs to be done to deal with your job, so that you can feel good about what work you have done, then that will be true. Anger, frustration, and jarring emotion and incorrect perception will try to steal this from you, and you must kindly remind yourself that you are a free being, choosing to do work. You must choose your place in the narrative you tell yourself about your encounters. When it goes poorly do not feel failure, see opportunity! Ask why it went poorly, what did you have control over? What would you change next time, if that too does not produce the reduction in frustration and anger, then seek another approach to that type of situation. I feel you must see yourself as smart enough to find an answer, you are not only in need of a shield from these things and a space safe from these feelings, but of a way to master them, because you are seeking a solution I believe that you can! You should believe this too!   

          When people speak to me in an abruptly hostile way I often look at them and ask them if they could please rephrase what they have asked, I remind them that I have offered no disrespect and am not treating them this way and would appreciate the same in return. I frequently see the recognition that I am correct on this point, I attempt to offer no disrespect to others, and so I request the courtesy of the same and almost always receive it, this works with people in person that I work with but may have little value with strangers or on the phone.

          Above all, cultivate compassion for everyone, have loving kindness for yourself, for them, for everyone if you can. They are suffering, you are suffering,  the difference may be that you know this and they do not. Helping the world in any way can feel like a thankless task, but never forget you are choosing to do it and it is the right choice! The alternative to doing this work may seem unpleasant but forgetting it exists is only a way of making yourself feel trapped, you are not trapped, you can master the art of what you are doing if you view each thing you face as a challenge to learn a path for and keep studying the wisdom of the teachings. They will provide great relief!



http://www.buddhistelibrary.org/en/albums/central/Dhamma_books/beingssutra.pdf


 

         
           

Offline Pixie

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 08:58:12 am »
.

It might be worth noting that the original post #1 in this topic was the only post on the forum written by someone three and a half years ago.

This talk from Ajahn Sumedho might be helpful for anyone suffering from stress:


"Stress and its Cessation".

https://www.amaravati.org/audio/stress-its-cessation/



_/|\_


.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 09:10:42 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Pixie

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 08:59:41 am »
double post deleted.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 09:04:49 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 10:56:23 am »
Mostly it can be not overcome over countless lifetimes, what dust corns are some year...

Still a young householder, maybe 10-20 years old, one year working, in short time management from draft to handig over some 10 Mio. infastruction building, my person waked up one night drenched in sweat. After short reflection: "What ever you do and did, is there something to blame? When doing things with concern and proper conduct, with virtue, why stress, things walk not wrong in that way or had you other experiances?"

After that, and firm aprove by overtinking it well, my person can not remember having anytime "real" stress again or any real bad dream.

Mastering virtue is sad to be the first step of liberation and freedom of stress, yet of course might need a lot of faith at first place. Give it a try, not much to think around so many things aside of what's the current work.
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Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 02:18:04 pm »
.

It might be worth noting that the original post #1 in this topic was the only post on the forum written by someone three and a half years ago.

This talk from Ajahn Sumedho might be helpful for anyone suffering from stress:


"Stress and its Cessation".

https://www.amaravati.org/audio/stress-its-cessation/



_/|\_


.

Indeed.  :lmfao: Well, It is there if another wishes to read it...I didn't notice it was a bumped thread!

Offline ground

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 10:25:27 pm »
Why not quit the job? Are you attached to a certain self image that complies with social norms?  :teehee:
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 10:28:46 pm by ground »

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 02:38:51 am »
Why not quit the job? Are you attached to a certain self image that complies with social norms?  :teehee:
Why not read the dates - you'll see that the OP posted just once, to this thread, and never came back.  You are really talking to no one.  Are you attached to having your own words blasted out in the 'Net for everyone to see and marvel at?

 :fu:

Offline ground

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 04:58:56 am »
Why not quit the job? Are you attached to a certain self image that complies with social norms?  :teehee:
Why not read the dates - you'll see that the OP posted just once, to this thread, and never came back. 

My wisdom is timeless. Who cares about dates?  :fu:

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Mindfulness in a high stress job
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2017, 05:34:19 am »
Quote
Anemephistus: If you see yourself in the position of a being who is going to be tossed around in the chaos of the environment for the day and view your circumstances and place from that point of perception then it will be true. If you see yourself as the one who will overcome the frustrations of the day and help others overcome their frustration and become stronger. If you see yourself as the one who will  learn what needs to be done to deal with your job, so that you can feel good about what work you have done, then that will be true. Anger, frustration, and jarring emotion and incorrect perception will try to steal this from you, and you must kindly remind yourself that you are a free being, choosing to do work. You must choose your place in the narrative you tell yourself about your encounters. When it goes poorly do not feel failure, see opportunity! Ask why it went poorly, what did you have control over? What would you change next time, if that too does not produce the reduction in frustration and anger, then seek another approach to that type of situation. I feel you must see yourself as smart enough to find an answer, you are not only in need of a shield from these things and a space safe from these feelings, but of a way to master them, because you are seeking a solution I believe that you can! You should believe this too!   

          When people speak to me in an abruptly hostile way I often look at them and ask them if they could please rephrase [quote:  Anemephistus:  ..."what they have asked, I remind them that I have offered no disrespect and am not treating them this way and would appreciate the same in return. I frequently see the recognition that I am correct on this point, I attempt to offer no disrespect to others, and so I request the courtesy of the same and almost always receive it, this works with people in person that I work with but may have little value with strangers or on the phone. " 

Doesn't seem to work (for me) during online conversations with trolls either.  Don't know why.  But, over the last 19 years have learned not to care (as much).  Still feel like I have failed on my part to connect with and to help them to overcome what is torturing them that they have to be so disruptive and bent on causing chaos and harm to others.

A deeper, more introspective, examination of my own personal motivations to react in this way has led me to a greater appreciation of the harm caused by "the delusion of self", which invariably is identified as the root cause of feeling insulted, maligned, or somehow harmed.  This feeling has led me to and understanding that if we are truly ever changing, ever evolving psycho-physical processes then the person who was thought to be harmed no longer exists, as he died many mind-moments ago, during the moment when the perpetrator attacked.

This understanding is not original.  I paraphrase and condense from a story in a sutta of an Arahant, who was mistakenly identified as a thief, who had stolen from a villager, who attacked him in retribution for his crime.  In this culture striking an Arahant was a very serious crime believed to result in horrific karmic consequences to attack an Arahant no matter what the motivation for doing so.  When the villager was told by another villager of his mistake, the villager sat up all night waiting for the Arahant to return in the morning to the village on his alms rounds.  The mistaken villager ran out to him and begged him to forgive him for his terrible, unjustifiable acts against him;  explained the reason for his error, and made an alms offering to partially make amends for what harm he had caused.

In response the Arahant stated " No need for forgiveness!"  "The man who caused this harm no longer exists."

Written in The Dhammapada :  source: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.intro.budd.html   
Quote
A large number of verses pertaining to this first level are concerned with the resolution of conflict and hostility. Quarrels are to be avoided by patience and forgiveness, for responding to hatred by further hatred only maintains the cycle of vengeance and retaliation. The true conquest of hatred is achieved by non-hatred, by forbearance, by love (4-6). One should not respond to bitter speech but maintain silence (134). One should not yield to anger but control it as a driver controls a chariot (222). Instead of keeping watch for the faults of others, the disciple is admonished to examine his own faults, and to make a continual effort to remove his impurities just as a silversmith purifies silver (50, 239). Even if he has committed evil in the past, there is no need for dejection or despair; for a man's ways can be radically changed, and one who abandons the evil for the good illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds (173).



         
Quote
Anemephistus:  "Above all, cultivate compassion for everyone, have loving kindness for yourself, for them, for everyone if you can. They are suffering, you are suffering,  the difference may be that you know this and they do not. Helping the world in any way can feel like a thankless task, but never forget you are choosing to do it and it is the right choice! The alternative to doing this work may seem unpleasant but forgetting it exists is only a way of making yourself feel trapped, you are not trapped, you can master the art of what you are doing if you view each thing you face as a challenge to learn a path for and keep studying the wisdom of the teachings. They will provide great relief!

"Great advice, which should be blasted all over the internet!"...what is called in Buddhism:  "The Lion's Roar!"


Cula-sihanada Sutta:  The Lions Roar

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.011.ntbb.html
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 05:41:51 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

 


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