Career

How to control your emotions at work

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Clinical psychologist and author of The Book of Knowing Gwendoline Smith shares a few golden nuggets for getting through the tough times between nine and five.

Many of the emotional difficulties we encounter in the workplace are due to our own internal dialogue, or what I like to call “the talk show of the mind”.

Here are a few tips to make sure we aren’t complicating matters for ourselves:


Be aware of personalisation

By this, I mean blaming yourself unfairly for something for which you’re not totally responsible. If one of your colleagues is in a bad mood, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you.


Make sure you don’t discount the positives

Although it’s easy to focus on what you don’t have and what you haven’t achieved, take the time to remember your achievements and positive qualities. As Theodore Roosevelt says, “comparison is the thief of joy.”


Avoid the endless spiral of ‘what if?’ questions

If you’re predicting negative consequences, then you believe you have the ability to predict the future, which would suggest that you’re a fortune teller. Save it for the Lotto numbers!

Remember ‘should’ statements ONLY leave you feeling guilty and pressured “she should have done that” or “I shouldn’t have to do this.” Make sure you’re not setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.


The Book of Knowing by Gwendoline Smith (Allen & Unwin, $25).

This article originally appeared in Fashion Quarterly Issue 1, 2019.

Words: Gwendoline Smith
Photos: Getty Images, Pinterest

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