Apparently no one of particular note or fame said it, but it is an important summation, I think. That is: “before you diagnose yourself depressed or with low self-esteem, make sure you are not in fact surrounded by a@#%oles” (http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/10/25/diagnose/). This is an amusing way of talking about how our environment, physical and personal are tremendous influences on our perceptions of self. Many underestimate the impact a difficult workplace, or toxic relationship that may exacerbate or be the direct cause of stress.
When examining effects of the work place, the CDC website states these statistics:
- One-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.-Northwestern National Life
- Three-fourths of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago.-Princeton Survey Research Associates
- Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life stressor-more so than even financial problems or family problems.-St. Paul Fire and Marine Innsuance co. (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/)
One can start to look ahead at the trickle down effects when one considers the workplace is where most people spend the majority of their time. The effects on family and personal relationships can follow.
So, what helps? Studies show perspective shifts are among the greatest tools we have to combat ill effects of stress. That is not to say only look at the bright side, but to see the gains that can come from the struggle. Counseling and talk therapy are an excellent tools to help gain these skills and provide relief from what is often inescapable. Counseling can help in making gains to acquire what one wants in life and not avoiding what is unwanted or difficult.
David Aronson LCSW