How do you manage being upset at work?

She is at a place in her life where peace is her priority and negativity cannot exist.

We’ve all been in one of those work situations that could you leave you feeling stressed, worried, upset, angry, frustrated, disappointed or even irritated. When your favourite project is put on hold or cancelled after several weeks or months of hard work. When a senior stakeholder chooses to be difficult for no reason or is too “busy” or disorganized to get to your meeting on time. When your closest friend and ally at work decides to leave suddenly or your manager assigns you more work than you can realistically handle.

When stress is at its highest, just know it can only go down.

Stressful situations are all too common in a rapidly changing work environment that is constantly facing budget cuts, staff layoffs, redundancies and department reorganization. There’s no question that today’s business world puts extraordinary demands on people’s time and energy. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, or employee, you’re constantly being asked to do more with less. It may become harder and harder to manage your emotions under these circumstances, but it’s even more important for you to do so. After all, if senior management is forced into making more job cuts, they may choose to keep those who work well under pressure and remain positive.

In your personal life, your reaction to stressful or upsetting situations like these might be to start shouting, or to go moody and feel sorry for yourself for a while. But at work, these types of negative behaviour could seriously harm your professional reputation, as well as your productivity.

You cant control other people you can only control your reaction to them.

My response to these things used to be (and still is in many instances) to worry, get upset or overthink and overanalyse the details. I would turn events over in my head, playing and replaying dialogues real and imagined. Indeed, letting your emotions control you can cause you to forget about your goals. Maintaining emotional control and intelligence is key to success in every aspect of life both family life and work like. Many times when you allow your emotions to control you rather than attending to your master plan, you stray from accomplishing important goals.

If you want to test your memory- try to recall what you were worrying about exactly one year ago.

Few months ago, I faced a hugely stressful situation on one of my work projects that produced an immediate fight or flight reaction. Whilst I am not allowed to give specific details about my work projects, its safe to say this particular situation stressed the hell out of me and my husband who had to endure my non-stop rants in the middle of the work day. For the first 2 days or so after the ”incident”, I imagined a range of unsettling scenarios as alternating waves of anger, frustration and even fear washed over me.

Then I stopped. Instead of spending time fruitlessly analysing the possibilities, I channelled that energy into something more constructive, something that would give me some control. Worrying does not take away today’s trouble, it takes away today’s peace.

Never do something permanently stupid just because you are temporarily upset.

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. Here were some of the positive and constructive actions I took that ended up leaving me feeling empowered and in control of the situation:

  • I emailed one of my very senior stakeholder at the organisation I work about a recent successful work deliverable I had done he might find useful in another of his related high profile projects.
  • I accepted an invitation from our HR graduate recruitment team to mentor at a recruitment event.
  • On one of the evenings, I logged into my LinkedIn account, responded to previous messages from two head hunters that had sent some open great career opportunities in another financial institution.
  • I accepted an interview request from another recruiter for a Hedge fund.

Most of these actions were done via email or over the phone. As I kept going, my mood gradually changed from feeling upset to feeling empowered. Some of the things I did would directly help my wider organisation, others might help me learn or grow in some way or boost my career opportunities outside of my direct team and even organisation. By the end of the week, I felt very great. Even though (without saying too much) the work situation managed to resolve itself and I didn’t decide to go ahead with outside job opportunity, I felt great for establishing that there are other opportunities out there if I choose.

Take life day by day and be grateful to God for the little things. Don’t constantly get stressed over what you cant control.

Working hard and delivering value to the organization where you work is always the best strategy to follow. And continually learning new skills will help to safeguard your career in these unpredictable times. Find a role model or a mentor. Read books or take professional courses to increase your knowledge. I agree that there are organizations that are not healthy places to work, thankfully the organisation I work is generally a great place to work with fantastic working conditions, flexibility and limitless career opportunities. If you find yourself in work situations where you being treated very unfairly causing you so much stress, anxiety or even depression then, it is best to seek employment elsewhere.

I’m getting to a place where when something upsets me either at work or home, instead of reacting emotionally, I’m building a habit of doing something constructive that improves both my mood and my possibilities. Its not always easy to do but this is a habit anyone can develop in any aspect of their life.


How do you deal with stressful situations at work?



  1. Glory
    December 6, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    I love this!!!! It’s truth we can sometimes critically analyse situations for no reason. I always say to my self “let God take control” because I find that if I use my emotions to deal with some situations, I only block my own progress. I’ve really realised that life’s to short for all the useless drama! I love this reflective girl!!!!

  2. December 6, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    I have always tried to talk through things If something stressed me out.

  3. Abi
    December 6, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    I am guilty of making a tempest out of a glass of water when angry in the past but I have understood that I cannot allow nagative situations to ruin my mood. Concentrating on the the positive and things I have power to change really does the magic. Managing relationship at work it’s very difficult especially when your emotions are affected but it’s important not act in the heat of emotions if possible engage in more productive activities in the meantime like replanning or restrategising in the event of no agreement.

  4. December 7, 2017 / 10:13 am

    I am self-employed and work from home so don’t really encounter too many stressful situations. I’ve just learnt to only take on as much work as i can physically and mentally cope with, and always take a step back or some time out for reflection if needed.

  5. December 7, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    That’s very true, you can’t control others but you can control how you react and of course at work you are judged on you reactions so it’s something you need to approach with caution.

  6. hannah
    December 7, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    I was starting to get stressed earlier. i find it helps to breathe slow and to keep calm as possible

  7. December 8, 2017 / 7:30 am

    I think stress at work has to be one of the most unpleasant things as it can start to take over your life….I think it’s agreat idea to think about stress from a year ago and realise that it comes and goes just as easily.

  8. December 8, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    I find writing things down, seeing situations in black and white and then talking things through can help in stressful situations

  9. December 8, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    Your advice on not reacting impulsively is so key, particularly in the work environment. It is all too easy to fly off the handle and let rip, but never a good move.
    If things go wrong for me, I tend to take time out and change what I am doing, get away from what is stressing me and come back to it with a slightly more level head.

  10. Saude Atoyebi
    December 9, 2017 / 10:47 am

    This is a very insightful article Flakky.

    Conflicts at work or in our personal life is inevitable. It comes in various ways or forms which could include the feeling of being undervalued for your service or having your projects stalled.

    Like you, I have learnt to redirect my energies. I know that in the immediate aftermath of the conflict, I may lose the will to try but I am working on quickly picking up and trying again.

    I also try to see from the other person’s point of view however unreasonable they may be as maybe there could be the need for me to adjust my approach or strategy to make them more receptive to my proposal.

    Above all, self-improvement is everything because that remains with you irrespective of the organization you work for or the situation you find yourself.

  11. December 10, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Great advice. I worked in Law for many years and that’s a pretty testing environment – almost daily. You really do have to keep your calm and stay in control or it can be a ‘career defining moment’ and not in a good way.
    Linda Hobbis recently posted…Wrestling With Nappies Dad? Time For Some Nappy Hacks!My Profile

  12. December 11, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    To do something to give you worth definitely helps, unfortunately I’m super stressed at work right now, being made redundant in two months time, I’m four months pregnant with twins so super emotional anyway and work wants us to continue with targets etc, we now dont get sick pay as we’re technically on notice and when you’re needing time off for appointments or for a childcare situation, although it’s allowed, they let you know they’re only doing it because its company policy or the law. I just keep thinking, its nearly over and then i have an early maternity leave and a future of blogging fulltime to look forward to!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow!

  13. December 13, 2017 / 3:55 am

    Very good article! We wіll be linking to this great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.
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