How Work Stress Drove Him To The Edge of His Office’s 21st Floor!
Work Stress is real and brutal but we don’t talk about it until our back starts breaking or our spirit fades away completely. In fact, work stress has been one of the major sources of stress for Indian adults and the shocking numbers are only multiplying with each passing day.
Work stress not only affects the individual but its disastrous impact can be seen in the overall functioning of the company. Workplaces that pay attention to their employees’ mental health are said to have higher performance and larger turnover rates. Yet many of us cannot help but prioritize work over our declining mental health.
Ajay, 32 years old, Sales Head in a leading company shares a compelling story of how work stress forced him to contemplate suicide. His story is highly relatable, ordinary and yet inspires many of us.
The rat race can get painfully brutal especially when you are striving to survive in the corporate world in a big city. The constant pressure, the killing deadlines, and the dirty politics involved in your work life can really take a toll on your mental, physical and emotional health.
I was standing on the 21st floor of my sophisticated corporate building. From the outside, it looked like a dream, a dream which I had seen as a 22 years old naïve boy. When I passed my 3rd round of interviews and received the offer letter I felt at the top of the world because I had achieved something nobody in my family even dared to dream. I was part of one of the most prestigious real-estate companies and I could not be happier. However, after 3 years of working in a fast-paced company where the levels of stress were abnormally huge, I saw my dream slowly turning into a nightmare.
I was drowned in my work for most of the days and did not even remember the last time I slept peacefully. My mind would race with a million thoughts, and anxiety crept into my chest every single day. I was hit with depression and chronic stress. My declining health obviously had an adverse effect on my work performance, and it did not take even a minute for my boss to point out my lack of contribution to the company’s growth. I felt hopeless and worthless. I just wanted to go home and bury myself deep into my bed and never wake up.
I was standing at the edge of the 21st floor but I did not jump. The frustration fuelled my spirit and I decided that I am not a quitter. I will fight against all the problems that life throws at me. I went home and I did my research about job burnout and life stress. I found out that it was pretty common and many people suffered from it. The next day I discussed this with my friend, and he suggested that I should see a life coach immediately. He handed me a card and told me how his life coach transformed his life completely.
At 12 am on the same day I dialled the number on the card. Surprisingly, Mr. Sandeep picked up and was so polite and understanding. Instead of being mad at me for calling him at such an odd hour, he assured me that I could talk to him about anything. We spend 35 minutes chatting about life stress, and I felt so much lighter and understood. I slept peacefully that night and I knew that I found my saviour.
It has been 3 months since I have been working with my life coach, Mr. Sandeep. I wish I had words to express the changes his coaching has brought in my life. His energy ball technique, meditation practices, his constant motivation, and support have brought back the life I thought I had lost long back. He breathed a new spirit into me and changed my outlook on life.
I am still working with the same company, and I have not given up on my dreams. I know I cannot change the work environment immediately so I am trying to change myself. I learned how to cope with stress in better ways, how to handle the pressure, keep my boundaries and also work on maintaining my personal and work life.
Work stress almost got the best of Ajay. Work stress almost had him convinced that life is not worth living. We often tie our sense of identity, reason for living, our dreams and hopes to one thing. And when that thing does not work out, it is only natural to feel hopeless and depressed.
Our workplace is where we spent most of our time. If the place where you are spending half of your life becomes your major sources of anxiety and stress then life can feel excruciatingly painful. It is highly important to recognize the signs of work stress and work on it before the work stress breaks you.