Numerous studies have shown that the major source of stress for most people is related to their jobs and the workplace. Domineering bosses, a heavy workload, deadlines and unusually high expectations contribute to stress in the workplace worldwide. This in turn cause many people to develop health problems that include high blood pressure, depression and anxiety disorders. I have seen this particularly in the customer service field, in which I have some experience.
I will share with you a horror story from a job I once had…
I have had more than one job where those in management would mistreat their staff. Some employees don’t complain for fear of losing their jobs, and sometimes when they do complain, it does no good. If you are asked to take your complaints through the “chain of command”, this does not always work when someone in the “chain of command” is part of the problem. All of this contributes to high stress levels. Many moons ago, I worked as a teller for the now-defunct Great Western Bank when I lived in San Jose, California. The money was good, but the working conditions were terrible. One of the supervisors was insulting and verbally abusing staff on a regular basis, often leaving people in tears. Whenever someone would complain, we were told this supervisor was “having personal problems” and that this somehow excused their abusive behavior. Add to this the fact that at this particular job, there were a hundred and one things that could get you fired. The branch manager was constantly reminding us how easily we could be terminated if we stepped out of line. And indeed, it seemed as though someone was getting fired every week. The atmosphere in the bank was always filled with tension, and we were all wondering who would be next! Eventually, it was my turn for the chopping block. I had returned from a 3-day vacation, after which I was called into the office and informed that $100 in Traveler’s Cheques had gone missing from the vault. And, since I was the only one responsible (other than a supervisor) for keeping track of the traveler’s cheques, then naturally they assumed I was the one who took them. They were asking me questions like “How are things at home?” “Are you struggling financially?” Anything they could find to determine why I would have stolen the traveler’s cheques. But the thing is, I did not take them. I wasn’t the only person who had access to them. The other person was a supervisor, and whenever we counted them at the end of the day, we had to sign both of our signatures. The supervisor was never questioned, and I was the one who got fired. All of this happened a very long time ago, and I can only assume it was the supervisor who took them and then placed the blame on me. How is that for job stress? When I left there that day, I actually breathed a sigh of relief. Even though the pay was good, even though I was temporarily out of a job, I would no longer have to deal with all the nonsense and drama. Fortunately at the time I had other options. Some employees continued working there because they had no other options.
Which brings me to another point: If one of your co-workers complains about their job, it’s not fair to say to them “If you don’t like it here, why don’t you leave?” Many people stay at jobs they hate because they don’t have a choice. They still have rent and bills to pay. They might have kids at home that need food. It’s not as simple as “If you don’t like it, then leave”. Some people can’t “just leave”, as much as they may want to. Show some compassion.
Over time, I found ways to help me deal with stress on the job, no matter where I was working. Depending on your work environment, you may not be able to implement all of these suggestions, but some of them you may find easy to do.
1: ENERGY CLEARING ROOM SPRAY
You can create an energy clearing room spray using Sage or Lemongrass essential oils and distilled water. There are a couple of ways to do this. The simple way is to mix 3 ounces of distilled or spring water, 1 teaspoon of vodka and 10-18 drops of Sage essential oil. (A great combination I like to use is 10 drops of Sage and 10 drops of Lavender). Also add a pinch of sea salt. A glass spray bottle is ideal, but plastic will work as well. Place a small crystal in the bottle, either Amethyst or Rose Quartz. Before anyone arrives, spray the solution all around your work area, room or anywhere you want to neutralize harmful energies. Sage is a powerful plant that disperses those yucky energies and clears the room for beneficial ones. A more potent spray can be made by simmering sage leaves and lavender flowers in a pot on the stove for about 30 minutes. Strain out the herbs and allow the water to cool, then add to the bottle with the other ingredients.
2: CREATIVE VISUALIZATION
Before anyone arrives, sit down, close your eyes and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state. Visualize your work area completely filled with blue light and say three times, “This is a place of peace and tranquility” or “I will react in peace and do my work in peace” or “All who enter this area will be filled with peace”.
Carefully placed crystals can work in subtle ways to neutralize harmful energies and bring peace to the work environment. Place a large piece of Rose Quartz on your desk, on a table, or on the windowsill. If you can’t afford a large crystal, then fill a glass bowl with small Rose Quartz and Amethyst crystals. Those who are unaware of crystal magic will see them merely as a piece of office décor, but you will know they are working to clear the air of tension and bring peaceful energy into your work environment. Place your crystal where it will be seen by those who come into work area. I do not recommend Clear Quartz, as this stone is an amplifier. If someone has strong emotions such as anger, fear or stress, Clear Quartz will only increase those energies. Amethyst or Rose Quartz are recommeded as stress-reducing stones.
4: ESSENTIAL OILS
I have a bottle of Lavender essential oil I keep in my workspace, and I put a few drops on my wrists and temples when I am feeling stressed at work. You can make your own relaxing essential oil blend by mixing a few of your favorite scents together in a special bottle to keep at work.
5: SCENTED CANDLES
Place a scented candle with a relaxing, calming scent somewhere in your work area where will it be out of the way and undisturbed. Be sure to keep it away from curtains or anything flammable. Some candles are so strong they don’t even have to be lit, but if you can light it, all the better. Light and floral scents work great. You’ll know it is working when people walk into your work area and say “Oh, it smells good in here” or “I smell flowers”. If you can use them at work, scented candles are a great way to bring peaceful energies into your work environment.
It’s always good to get an idea of what your work day will be like. Purchase a tarot deck that you keep specifically at the workplace. Every morning when you arrive at work, hold your tarot deck in your hands, close your eyes and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state. Ask the cards to show you what to expect for that day at work. Then draw three cards. Familiarize yourself with the cards meanings or keep a “cheat sheet” nearby so you can see what the cards have in store for your work day.
7: PROTECTION SHIELD
This is a simple technique that activates your aura and energizes it to become a sheild that blocks out harmful energies. To activate the shield, do the following steps:
Close your eyes and take several deep breaths until you reach a meditative state.
As clearly as you can, visualize your aura, the energetic shield that surrounds your body.
See your aura crystallizing, forming a sheild around you. Some see the shield polished like a crystal ball, others may see it multi-faceted like a diamond.
Make the shield as real as you can make it in your mind’s eye.
Say three times: “I charge this shield to protect me from all harmful energies”.
It is important to take your time and do not rush this process. Your shield will fade over time and will need to be re-inforced periodically. The more you use it, you will be able to sense when it is fading. Mine usually last about 2 ½ to 3 days. For more information about protective techniques, see Christopher Penczak’s book, The Witch’s Shield.
8: RELAXATION MUSIC
Music is another great way to neutralize harmful energies and allow peace to come into the workplace. Buy special instrumental music for relaxation or meditation, and turn it on at low volume. It should be just loud enough where you can hear it but not distracting to you or your co-workers. Avoid music with drums or vocals. The idea is promote a feeling of calm and relaxation. You’ll be amazed how much work you get done with calming music playing in the background.
9: PENTACLES OF PROTECTION
This is something you can do when you arrive at work in the morning, and is best done when noone else is watching! Face each wall of the room or the East/South/West/North directions in your work area. Extend your right hand and draw pentacles in the air, projecting them in each direction. The pentacle is a powerful symbol of protection. As you “draw” each pentacle, visualize blue flame coming out of your fingers as you make the pentacle symbol. Draw the Earth-Banishing Pentagram first (as shown above), then enclose it in a circle with a clock-wise motion. Do this for each wall of your office or direction in your workspace.
10: NATURE IMAGERY
If you can, place photos of nature scenes in your work area. These can be pictures of trees and forests, flowers, the ocean or any type of imagery that promotes a sense of peace. Calendars and day-planners with nature scenes work wonders, but if you can place framed photos on your walls or on your desk, that’s even better. Plants and flowers in the workspace are also great ways to help neutralize harmful energies and bring a sense of peace into an otherwise stressful workplace.
Here is an extra tip: Don’t take your work home. Leave work at work. Some companies want their employees to make the job the center of their lives, but if you want to keep your sanity, you really cannot do that. I don’t know about you, but I have other things to think about when I leave work at the end of the day. I have other responsibilities and other things that need my attention. I have a life of my own outside of work and I’m sure you do too.
The above suggestions are just a few magical ways to help bring a sense of calm and peacefulness into the workplace. I do many of these and I have found them tremendously helpful.