We are all familiar with workplace stress. Whether one is a cubicle worker, a CEO, or even an entrepreneur, the adventure of making money will always involve some amount of anxiety, irritation, and duress. This short article will be focused on how to view that stress, and how to use your outlook on it to reduce its symptoms. Rather than giving in to it, and dealing with it in a negative way- alcohol, bitterness, quitting your job to live on benefits, joining the Labour Party and writing for the Guardian (jokes); finding a healthy way of approaching those aspects of your job or career can both save you massive amounts of stress in the short term, and catapult you to bigger and better things in the future.
The following strategies all serve to accomplish these goals.
One – Creation, Consumption, and Play
There is an extraordinarily good book on workplace stress and anxiety by an author named Charlie Hoehn called Play It Away: A Workhaholic’s Cure For Anxiety. I will insert a link to a video of him discussing the book at the bottom of the page, but the book itself is quite revelatory, and in addition to reading it several times myself I have (when formerly employed in managerial positions before I jumped into entrepreneurism) bought it for our managers and team leaders, as well as for entire teams of workers, as I thought it was that valuable a tool for workplace stress.
Hoehn’s main contention is that simple play, just like children and animals engage in, is the best remedy that exists against anxiety, depression, and the overall ailments of workplace stress. After trying every Western remedy in existence for his debilitating anxiety, this strategy finally saved him and brought him back from the brink. I also discussed Hoehn’s book in Fistfights With Muslims: One Man’s Journey Through Modernity, because it is of profound relevance to our confrontation with modernity and Western existential despair in general.
The other idea it leads into is the relationship between how much time we spend creating vs consuming, and how this affects our overall wellbeing. This is applicable to workplace stress as well, for it seems self-evident that those who spend their free time writing, building, organizing, and tinkering are going to be healthier mentally than those who spend their free time watching television, playing video games, and engaging in other forms of mindless consumption.
Two – Cultivate An Attitude Of Thankfulness
We recently profiled the importance of this, and a neat little trick that goes along with it. You can check out that article if you click here. Another key element of this is reading, especially reading fiction. Both these activities are significant because enough perspective should reduce one’s feeling of stress in most circumstances. Sure you have an overbearing boss, and a long commute, and a stressful job; but at least you aren’t a German woman at the end of WWII with the Russians approaching, or a starving child in some third world famine. I actually used to keep a VHS copy of the HBO Miniseries Band Of Brothers on hand for just this purpose, for whatever “first world problem” I was dealing with always felt a little less horrible watching the American GI’s freezing to death and getting blown up during the Battle of the Bulge.
Three – As Motivation To Build Passive Income, And Leave The Rat-Race
This is probably the most productive way to deal with workplace stress. For if you can pour every bit of anxiety and stress and resentment that might pop up into positive motivation, use that motivation to create passive income, and then eventually be able to quit that job (and all jobs!), you will not only be rid of those workplace stressors, you will be rid of the need to put up with any workplace stressors you don’t want to endure.
The same end result can be gained by starting your own company as well, and perhaps that is a topic this website can eventually cover too. For right now, if you are reading this and like the idea of eventually leaving the workforce and the rat-race behind you, check out Part I of our series on Passive Income by clicking here.
Four – As Testament To Your Unique Aptitudes And Abilities
I particularly like this way of framing workplace stress, which is to embrace it as evidence of why you are the person who is able to do a job that others aren’t. If you started with a company and worked your way up to a management position, and are now confronted with all the stressors managers deal with, that may be something ‘negative’, but it is also something positive, in that it defines why you were able to step into that job, and why you are able to succeed in it, when others did not get the same promotion, and couldn’t thrive under the same responsibility and stress.
The same is true with jobs such as that of police officer. Yes it must be terribly stressful being a cop, and dealing with the myriad things cops deal with, but how many other people could handle it in the first place? Sure its stressful, sure its dangerous, but that should evoke pride in individual cops, not pessimism.
By focusing on the stress in one’s job as a testament to the special skills and personality traits you possess, and why you are able to succeed in it where others would fail, you re-frame the question of workplace “stress” into one of strength instead of weakness, and (philosophically at least) re-orient yourself from a ‘receiver’ to a ‘feeder’.
Five – As Part Of ‘Your’ War
Our ancestors ventured forth from their castles and encampments every day to do war with the world, and create a life for their children and descendants. Whether they were warring with nature, hunting food and planting seed, or warring with other tribes, defending their land and their valuables (and their women) from those who would take them, their day to day existence and survival was a war.
While chances are in the modern West your vocation possesses much less risk and romance than that, it is still the daily “war” you are engaged in. For if you suddenly quit that war, and surrender, bad things are still in store for your family. True you might not starve to death, or be sold into slavery, and even if you completely gave up you would still probably end up in some Medicaid-funded assisted living facility, buying cheap food with food stamps at Walmart each month, but your honor, as a man and a descendant of warriors, would have disappeared, and you would have lost your own personal war.
As a result, I think one of the other best ways to orient oneself to workplace stress is to embrace it as a part of life, and take pride in that fact that you are dealing with it head on- quite literally going to war with it, and with the world- just like your ancestors did thousands of years ago. You are part of one long line of men who were given brief periods on this earth in which to raise the lot of their tribes and families. You have the same chance that all of them did. Will you fight with valor, and mastery, and create a legacy of honor and wealth for your descendants? Or drop the ball and lose the progress your forebears made, squandering their accumulated wealth, honor, prestige, and potential, and wallowing in self-pity?
Life is short, and every year you do not spend “warring” against life is wasted not just for you, but for your ancestors and descendants.
Six – As Part Of ‘Our’ War
This follows from the previous entry. For if workplace stress and the process of overcoming it is one more noble part of the long chain connecting your ancestors to you to your descendants, it is equally relevant for our broader “tribe”.
Those who read this website are aware of the litany of horrors and threats our people face. Our prepubescent girls are gang-raped by the thousands in Britain and across Europe, our grandparents are beaten on the streets in countries like Sweden, our young men are outnumbered by alien invaders in Germany and half the rest of Western Europe, and our traitorous leaders allow for such horrors, and purposefully work to effect the death of Europe and the genocide of her native peoples.
With all this being the case one could argue that beyond the individual frameworks and imperatives, the most pressing and most noble aspect of overcoming workplace stress is as part of our immediate struggle to save Europe. For if this is to be accomplished, it will take the collective will and striving of each of us across the West. With this in mind all the things we have talked about: keeping perspective, going to ‘war’ every day, and building passive income, are part of the broader struggle for our macro survival. While you may be need to deal with draining bureaucracy or catty coworkers during the day, it is only so that at night you can train/write/prepare/organize/fundraise/fight. While right now you may be constrained by the ugly particulars of a vocation you dislike, it is only one small step on the road to building passive income, escaping the rat-race, and arriving at a place in which you have the freedom, and the honor, of fighting more noble battles.
All of these are strategies for how to look at workplace stress. They are also part of the broader task of coming to grips with modernity in general. Such is one of the main focuses of this website, for it is not just about the geopolitical- or 4GW- civil war in Europe, but also the metaphorical ‘civil war’ in each of us within the life-draining artificiality and meaninglessness of the modern West. This and the literal civil war are two sides of the same coin however, and of the same very real threat. The “Yawning abyss” and the “Iron Crown of the power of Evil” that Tolkien foresaw, have only gained strength in the century since he first confronted them. Indeed they have risen in power to heights greater than Tolkien could ever have imagined, and their tentacles are now enslaving the people of Europe just as much as Sauron and Saruman enslaved the free races of Middle-Earth. It is a privilege to fight these powers, and a privilege to have the readership of other individuals engaged in this same struggle. For all those reasons, and our noble mission, let’s set an example for those around us, and fight on.
Link: Charlie Hoehn discussing using ‘play’ to cure anxiety https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XfGBeVSdCs