Is your job toxic?

By WEEK Producer

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:46 PM CDT

Is your job toxic? Is your work environment a place of tension, anxiety and fear? That's the topic of tonight's Ask Dr. Joy.

Career notes 3 reasons for the heightened negativity.

1. People are feeling anxiety, fear and pressure in the world and within their relationships and they tend to bring their own emotions to the workplace

2. Employees are being asked to do more with fewer resources which puts everyone in a place of heightened anxiety and feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated

3. Employees feel like they must perform under the pressure or that they will be pink-slipped, laid off or replaced by outsourcing employees. These things only add to the negativity on the job site.

So what can we do to keep ourselves sane in the workplace?

Don't be part of the problem. Learn to stay away from gossip and complaining. When you become part of the problem you increase your negativity level which leads to heightened "insanity"

Try not to over react. When we feel stressed in the workplace, we tend to react to things around us. Tempers fly, people become irritable and terse and that's the time to slow down, evaluate the situation and be calm and stay away from the drama

Try to align with positive people. If you are in a toxic environment, the worse thing you can do is align with others who are toxic-this only fills you with the fuel of unhappiness.

Workplace negativity can make you sick. If you notice you are getting more backaches, headaches, upset stomachs and the likes it might be that you need to get some distance from the job. Set some limits on hours you work, boundaries with other workers, and maintain a life outside of your job

Talk it over. Many work places offer Employee Assistance Programs or benefits to see counselors. Most therapists are trained to help with stress management, boundary settings and helping you find a real balance in your life. Typically you can get some real helpful techniques in 1-2 sessions.

The tough choice. If it is unbearable you need to change your viewpoint or move out of the environment. This may seem like a horrible solution to the problem, but some workplace environments are too toxic and it's not worth your mental or physical health.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.