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Overcoming Work Stress With Morita Psychology

Posted Aug 01 2012 10:35am

One of the effects of the struggling world economy is that those that would normally be able to find ample job offers with other organizations are now forced to stay in careers they would otherwise be able to leave as a result of workplace stress.

Because there is no guarantee of another position being available in a better workplace environment, employees are forced to remain at positions that are psychologically damaging, and ultimately find that their happiness decreases as a result.

Stress picture

Stressed at work? Morita Psychology can help.

Dealing with Workplace Stress

What makes this a serious problem is that few people have developed the types of coping mechanisms necessary to correctly deal with this type of stress. It can be extremely physically and emotionally damaging as the employee knows every morning that they are going to experience a great deal of stress and anxiety. Most people try to fight it – act as though it is not there or otherwise try as hard as they can to not let these things bother them.

But this rarely works, and often can actually increase the amount of stress you feel regularly because your mind becomes too concerned over trying to do whatever it takes to not experience that stress. You become constantly on edge, and even the slightest provocation (one that may not even be that stressful under normal conditions) turns into a serious event.

Morita psychology – a style of Japanese psychology that focuses on mindfulness – may be a better solution. Morita teaches that rather than fight your stress as though it’s something you can control, you should wait for it and greet it like a friend – something that you can use (like a tool) to expand your capabilities in life.

How to Bring Morita to the Office

Simply accepting that you have uncontrollable stress and anxiety is a crucial first step. It will stop you from trying to fight it and teach you how to live with it, knowing that it will be there. There are also strategies that are related to Morita that can be used to make your life at work much easier. Some of these include:

Using Stress As An Energy Tool

One strategy is to essentially wait for the stress as the trigger to work harder, and using the energy you get when stressed to motivate you towards your work. By using your stress energy as a tool rather than an enemy, you will essentially become thankful for that stress, and it will become something that you need in order to do your best in the workplace.


When you’re stressed, your mind normally focuses on that stress while you try to fight it. Morita teaches a strategy that involves purposefully giving yourself a block of time when you feel stressed to stress out about even more things than were originally on your mind, so that you can “get them out of the way.”

For example, if you feel stressed about a meeting with your boss and it starts to become overwhelming, you take some time to yourself to stress about everything else as well – your home life, your coworkers, your projects, and anything else you can think of. You allow this to overstress you so that you get it out of your system, and ultimately find relief knowing that the worry is out of the way.

Turning Stress Into a Benefit

Finally, you don’t just have to use the stress as a method of energizing yourself to work. You can also find ways to reward yourself for the stress, so that the stress becomes a benefit.

One example would be to rate your daily stress on a scale of 1 to 10. The higher your daily stress feels, the more you reward yourself after work with something nice/fun. Another could be a bingo game where you write down the different things that cause stress and anxiety and if you get a bingo on any given day you reward yourself with something you have wanted.

Utilizing the Power of Morita

All of these are examples of using mindfulness and Morita Psychology to make living with stress easier, where you will no longer fight stress and instead use it as a weapon to combat your day. When you’re stuck in a position you cannot leave, this type of stress recovery method can have some profound benefits that will easily help you recover from your toxic workplace.

About the Author: Ryan Rivera’s stress was often exacerbated in the workplace, which is why he now provides strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety at

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