stress is present in all working environment and therefore we need to find healthy ways of coping with a stressful day. What is your way of coping with a stressful day? Do you unwind with a bottle of wine, use drugs to pick yourself up or calm yourself down, or act compulsively by going on shopping sprees?
Today the Guardian reported on two RAF Typhoon pilots being given disciplinary action following a night’s drinking and “an alcohol-related incident”. The pilots were subsequently returned to the UK and declared unfit to fly which according to MoD officials will have serious implications for their future careers. Through our experience at Life Works, it has shown that people in highly stressed professions such lawyers, stock brokers and the armed forces etc, may feel the need to use alcohol, drugs, food or sex to cope with their feelings and manage their stressful lives. As humans we are all unique and our tolerance level for stressful situations will vary endlessly from person to person.
In the case of the RAF pilots, it’s clear that their occupation will inevitably involved life or death situations. However stress is present in all working environment and therefore we need to find healthy ways of coping with a stressful day. What is your way of coping with a stressful day? Do you unwind with a bottle of wine, use drugs to pick yourself up or calm yourself down, or act compulsively by going on shopping sprees?
This stress is managed by developing coping mechanisms, often subconsciously, to help you keep going from day to day. We find that there is often a void when the coping mechanism that has been suppressing the feelings is stopped. The 12 steps programme and having a spiritual connection with a higher power can be a healthy way to fill the void that you may be left with.
Our Inner Voice
Becoming aware of our inner critical voice, or our self speaking inside and it‘s running critical commentary, which have been with us since early childhood is another important road to filling the void within. It is a voice that is able to stop our personal growth entirely, or at least to stunt it severely. It may block our ability to live a creative life. Once the inner critic has reached the level of authority it is not uncommon for people to be required to eat, smoke, drink or use drugs, sex and exercise in a compulsive way in order to cover up the bad feelings that come from these critic attacks. The original issue is lost and the critic is now the problem.
Tuning into the inner critic can be an amazing experience as we begin to hear how powerful and all pervasive are the judgmental voices that surround us and feed the critic in our society. It is like a loud radio but we can alter the volume, change the station or turn it off.
How can you possibly try anything new or different when you are listening to your inner critic and come to believe that you will do something wrong. The inner critic on an inner level is the source of low self-esteem. That voice within you telling you what is wrong with you. It is a source of shame. It finds every aspect of the natural “you” unsatisfactory and it is relentlessly trying to change everything. There is no part of you that can avoid its gaze.
The inner critic can make you depressed. If your critic is running your life without any balance coming in from elsewhere its constant barrage of criticism can be extremely debilitating and discouraging. This can lead to physical and psychological exhaustion and depression.