Two Bad Habits that Can Trip You Up at Work

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us waste time on the phone or online, but there are more serious ways we can lose time and momentum. They are ruminating over everything and practicing avoidance.

What Does Ruminating Look Like?

Savvy Psychologist Ellen Hendrickson says ruminating is constantly thinking of something, but not taking action. This can be overthinking a problem that is real or obsessing over something that may not be. Either way, it’s non-productive.

We may chew over an idea, but fail to deal with it. We waste time and energy and weaken other skills when we do this. Just knowing something is wrong, and not doing something about it, can weaken a person’s approach to work. Sharing these thoughts can also drive others away.

If you catch yourself ruminating, make a list and consciously start dealing with the issues. You will feel a lot better if you change the flow, and you will be less likely to ruminate.

What’s Does Avoidance Look Like?

Avoidance means dealing with something, but not really confronting it. Hendricksen says it’s like covering you ears and yelling, “I can’t hear you!”

Avoidance can be things out there, or thoughts inside you, that you don’t want to face.

Things out there – Do you have things that you avoid that make you uncomfortable? Some people avoid flying, crowds or dentists. Others avoid public speaking, or large parties.

Whatever makes you uneasy will continue to bother you unless you confront it. Start with the dentist, or a short flight, and keep on going. You may be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more the world becomes. 

Things inside -  You may go to great lengths to avoid thinking about negative thoughts like emptiness, frustration or worthlessness. Lots of comfort food or a few extra brews may help you hide out, but really feeling better starts when you face the negative emotions.

When those negative emotions are left in charge, they can expand as they shrink your world. You may skip a party or avoid friends as your negative emotions grow.

Start small and reach out to a friend that you trust to talk about your feelings. They may share similar experiences, or offer other suggestions. At the same time, take steps to leave your comfort zone and stare down your negative thoughts. Launching a new project, starting to eat healthier, or walk daily may counter negative feelings with positive feedback.

In spite of all of your efforts, if negative feelings persist, you may want to see your doctor and arrange to see a psychologist to work through the issues.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tempe, Ariz.

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