How Work Conflict Makes You Unwell (And What To Do About It)

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness: 

1. Emotional:  How well you deal with stress

2. Financial:  How satisfied you are with your financial situation

3. Social:  How connected you feel to others and how supported you feel by them

4. Spiritual: Your sense of meaning and purpose in this world

5. Occupational:  The satisfaction and enrichment you receive from work

6. Physical:  Exercise, diet, sleep, and nutrition

7. Intellectual: Creativity and learning

8. Environmental: Being in environments that nurture and support you

If you were to rate each of them on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, what would you rate them?

When you are in conflict at work, 3 of your wellness dimensions are under attack:  occupational, emotional, and social.  You may find that you just don't enjoy your work anymore.  You may find yourself having to spend extra time and energy coping with the stress, both in healthy and unhealthy ways.  You may feel your sense of connection with your co-workers has evaporated.  With 3 dimensions impacted, your intellectual abilities may also be stymied at work, meaning a 4th dimension is also adversely impacted.  This may be the point where you want to run away, the critical mass breaking point.

What can you do?

1. You can look to address the conflict directly on your own.

2. If that is impossible, you can look to address the conflict directly with some help.  You could ask a supervisor for assistance.  You could ask an outside professional, such as myself for assistance.

3. You can look for another job.  If that would impact your financial wellness, you can try to hold out at your current job until you find the next one.

4. You can look to beef up other areas of your wellness dimensions to help you through the rough patch. 

Maybe you start going to church or temple or mosque or synagogue or any other place in which people gather in worship, increasing your spirituality dimension, looking for people with whom to increase your social dimension, and perhaps increasing your emotional dimension in terms of developing additional skills and strategies to cope with stress. 

Maybe you start a book group or take a class, increasing your intellectual dimension and perhaps meeting new people to increase your social dimension.  

Maybe you take up gardening, increasing your environmental dimension and your physical dimension.

Maybe you nest at home, creating a living space that boosts your environmental dimension with a pleasant, stimulating environment that supports your well-being.

Maybe you take up yoga, meditation or mindfulness to boost the emotional dimension.

Maybe you join the gym to boost the physical dimension and decrease stress, boosting the emotional dimension.

Maybe you spend more time with friends and/or family, nurturing the social dimension.

5. You can stay exactly where you are in misery. 

When you do this, you may find yourself doing things for short-term pleasure that may cause long-term harm to yourself.  You may eat more, smoke more, drink more, complain more.  You may have chronic headaches, stomach aches and/or back aches.  (There's a reason we call a difficult person a "pain in the neck" (or other areas).

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting different results each time.

What is one thing that you can do today to take care of yourself in a compassionate, caring manner? 

What is one thing that you can do today to boost one dimension of wellness for yourself?