Dealing with Workplace Stress

Fort Worth Business Jurrnal:

Most often we do not realize that when we go to work, we are thrown into a mountain of stress in addition to what we already deal with at home and in our personal life. This can be overwhelming for some of us. Learning to deal with work place stress can improve our lives.  Establishing work life balance can help us to live a stress free life.Work place stress can be traced to three sources:

  • Self-generated work place stress:  It will help you to realize that it is not what anybody says or does that produces stress, but rather how you perceive it.   If the meaning is negative we feel badly and become distressed.

We have a choice and we are not helpless. Reframing the issues and looking at the problem from a different perspective can generate alternative ways to deal with the situation. For example, if you receive criticism from your supervisor, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow, you would not be stressed.

  • Job-related work place stressBecause of the slow economy, many company leaders had to tighten their belts and cut their workforce in an effort to trim budgets. Often the workers at the lowest level are let go. The workers left are required to do the job of two or even three workers and their work load increases. In addition to their increased workload is extreme job insecurity.

To avoid being let go, learn a new skill and/or gain a new specialization so that you become indispensable to your company.  If you do lose your job, you will have a better chance getting hired with the new skills you learned.

  • Company culture of stress: As economic pressures continue to mount, stress begins to creep up. First it effects mid-level executives involving managers and associates, and then begins to erode the morale of upper management.  This creates a company culture of stress throughout the organization.

Company leaders can reverse this by reaching out to workers and listening to their concerns, acting on the feedback and creating relationships based on trust.  Investing time and energy to create an environment of trust will foster creativity and innovation. This can help unleash a new and more vibrant company culture.

Stress not only has a personal impact on the individuals in a company, but it also has economic impact. Stress can cost companies up to $200 billion a year.  Fortune 500 companies have been able to avert this cost by engaging executive coaches to deal with work place stress and enhance productivity. Results have shown return on their investment was 1 to 6, that is for every dollar spent on creating a stress free environment, the company made six fold profits.

Have You Found Your Passion?

While a graduate student at the University of Delhi, in the capitol city of India, Om Prakash became involved with Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ freedom movement. He served as a community organizer for four years until India gained freedom from the British. Towards the end of this period, he was imprisoned by the British for his activities as a freedom worker. During a deep meditative state the outlines of a life of service to others began to emerge and, by the time he was released from prison, it turned into his lifelong passion.

Some of us are still seeking our passion in life. For those of us who have found it we may be struggling with finding time for it and all our other commitments in life. The book ‘From Change to Transformation & Beyond – Maintaining Balance on the Fast Track: A Personal Guide for Aspiring Individuals’ by Dr. Om Prakash,discusses the importance discovering your passion through  possibility thinking and wisdom beyond experience. The outlines of this discovery process is discusse in the chapter on Schel in this book.

The author Dr. Om Prakash, Ph.D. is a Corporate Performance Coach and a Clinical Psychologist with 35 years of experience in working with corporate leaders, small business owners and individuals who aspire to discover their maximum potential for optimum success in life.

Creating a Life Plan

“If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will take you there,” said the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. And even when we know where we want to be in life, we don’t always know how to get there. Successful lives don’t just happen, they are designed that way. A life plan enables you to design a blue print for your journey to success.

As an architect of your life, you must first have a clear vision of what your life will be like when you are successful. This vision will be tempered by the core values that determine your priorities leading you to discover the mission of your life. Let me illustrate this process by my own example:
Vision: I will touch the lives of people in my care by empowering them to achieve their maximum potential for optimum success, and help them attain health and happiness in their lives.

I plan to actualize this vision of service to others in my personal encounters with my clients and patients as a coach and a therapist, and by creating and publishing empowering and uplifting self-help literature, web content and workshops for inspiration.

Core values:

  • Concern for other human beings and respect for the individual
  • Harmony in bringing together disparate elements for the common purpose
  • Integrity and honesty in business dealings
  • Hard work in doing the very best
  • Using wisdom beyond experience for innovation

Mission: My purpose in life is to provide the very best care for my clients and patients by synthesizing western psychological and coaching techniques with the eastern philosophy of mindful awareness in creating transformative changes in their lives.

The Next Phase

Once you have defined your vision, framework of core values and proclaimed your mission it becomes relatively easy to set your path to success. These components of life planning remain relatively unchanged and become an enduring part of your life. What remains dynamically in flux is your strategic planning which will help you set your goals and objectives. Once you have your goals and objectives you can create an action plan for projects and tasks.

Strategic planning involves the creation of a roadmap, the path chosen to strive towards the end vision. It also involves development of action plans to determine the allocation of resources on the way to success.

Goals & Objectives: Translating your strategic plan into actionable steps is the main purpose of setting goals and objectives. You will use your goals and objectives to create the projects and tasks required to execute the plan.

Where Do You Start? Life planning is an evolutionary process. It takes time and persistence to think through the options in your life.  Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Set aside an hour or two each Sunday morning devoted to developing your life plan.
  • As you progress in formulating a segment, the outlines for the next one will begin to emerge.
  • Your plan may undergo several revisions which is okay. Remember it is an evolutionary process.
  • Accessing your life plan weekly will keep it alive and evolving.

In case you need assistance, a trained life coach can help and guide you through the process and enable you to make it an integral part of your life.

NeighborsGo Article, Dallas Morning News Irving Edition

Om Prakash 86 writes a book on Transformation

Longtime Irving resident Dr. Om Prakash is 86-years-old and still works 11 hour days. He is in perfect health, practices yoga, meditates daily, maintains his executive coaching practice, and recently authored, From Change to Transformation & Beyond, a book to help busy executives find life balance and success. Read More…


Dallas Observer, Sept. 28, 2010

Can an over-analytical control freak find inner peace—or at least get up in the morning—with help from an Indian life coach? Megan Feldman, former Dallas Observer Writer and Reporter.

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Dr. Prakash met Megan Feldman in July 2009 for a routine interview. As a cordial relationship developed, Megan decided to try coaching to help with her sleep difficulties. As she attended three coaching sessions with Dr. Prakash, she considered writing a longer piece about the life and work of Dr. Prakash, as well as documenting her own experiences. This article is the result of a series of interviews with Dr. Prakash, totaling nine hours, plus interviews with one of Dr. Prakash’s brothers and two of his local clients. The article was published in September 24, 2009, in the “Best of Dallas: We Can Do It” issue.

Reflections on Fort Hood Tragedy

30 December 2009 15:38 | Stress, World Events | Permalink

The tragedy at Ft Hood has been a puzzling incident needing serious consideration of possible series of events culminating in the loss of life. Some of the possible rationale to fathom this tragic event are as follows:Background InformationThere were serious indications, early on, of the inability of this care giver psychiatrist to perform at a level that would have met the standards of US Army. He himself had expressed his inability and unwillingness for deployment on various occasions and up until just before the tragedy.He was kept on the job perhaps because of the shortage of healthcare professionals in the Army (Ratio:1:750) and also because he represented the Muslim minority and to maintain minority representation in a mufti- cultural may and the society at large.Specific rationale that may have pushed him over the edge are:

1. Mental and emotional breakdown
He probably heard lots of horror stories from the returning soldiers which impacted upon him and he broke down mentally and emotionally may primarily be due to cumulative stress buildup to the threshold levels that could no longer be contained and in part also because most often there is little care for the care givers.

2. Conflict in belief Systems
Because of his religious beliefs which tended towards orthodox Islam, he was also conflicted in view of the fact that he would have to be in a fighting army in deadly combat with people who belonged to the same faith he professed. This psychological pressure to perform tasks that conflicted with his belief system produced a stress reaction resulting in this tragedy.

3. Suicidal / Homicidal response
Desperation, and inability to cope and conflicting belief systems seem to have pushed him over the edge, resulting in oblivion complex in which the person creates a world of reality where life became a burden they can’t bear anymore. Anger mixed with suicidal tendencies leads to homicidal revenge response.

The aftermath

In the aftermath of this tragedy there are some other consideration that would have to taken into account. Some of these considerations are:

1. The morale of the soldiers
2. The role of Muslim soldiers in the army
3. The sorrow of the 600 families impacted by the incident
4. Guilt of the survivors
5. Dealing with the accused and lessons learned from this incident

Om Prakash, Ph.D., P.C.
Mentor Coach
Clinical Psychologist

New Year’s Resolutions: Why do they work? If not, Why not?

December25, 2009 15:12 | Discipline | Permalink

We have a tradition in our society of making new years resolution which involves setting goals; we make them with earnestness and a sincere desire to make meaningful changes in our lives. Unfortunately, we find ourselves disappointed when within a few weeks we have strayed away from the path often wondering, “Why does this happen?”Why do we fail in our resolutions?

Most of the goals are unrealistic and way beyond our capabilities
The goals are usually confused with objectives.
We do not have the discipline that is needed to accomplish goals
When we make a pronouncement to attain a certain goal without erecting support systems, we set ourselves for failure.
Most of the resolutions involve habits that are deeply ingrained in us and are controlled by the subconscious part of our mind. The conscious part of the mind which makes the resolution is unable to help us.

How do we make resolutions that are attainable?
To succeed we must be:
• Mindful of distinction between a goal and an objective
• A resolution is a goal that we wish to accomplish. The most important factor in succeeding is the distinction between a goal and an objective.

A goal is a source of inspiration, a statement of purpose which motivates us to make meaningful changes in our lives.

An objective is a meaningful small step that we take to make the goal attainable.

Example: If the goal is to be healthy for an obese person, the objective could be to loose two pounds a week. To be healthy will continue to inspire and the objective will continue to move this person towards an ideal weight.

Set Smart Goals
Each of the letters in smart goal planning stands for a meaningful idea in setting goals:

S – Short and to the point. Do not overload a goal
M – Meaningful in time and space
A- Attainable with the resources and support systems you have in place
R- Realistic and not a pie in the sky
T- Timely to meet and fulfill your needs

Create the discipline
We make resolutions to overcome habitual behaviors such as overeating, drinking. and smoking. These habitual behaviors become ingrained and are controlled by our subconscious mind.

In order to overcome these behaviors we need to engage in behaviors that are incompatible and compete with habitual behaviors and must be repeated over and over again to form new habitual behaviors.

The best way to form new habitual behaviors is to establish routines that are self sustaining and repeat themselves automatically.

Examples. Instead of having a drink to relax at the end of the day, sit down in a quiet place and meditate.

The urge to smoke after a meal can be overcome by going for a walk and breathing the fresh air.

The tendency to overeat can be overcome by drinking a whole 8 oz glass of water at room temperature 15 minutes before eating a meal


Before making any new yea’s resolutions please do some thinking and have a clear idea as to what your goals are going to be and how you are to achieve them. You may consult a professional if you needed some help to do so.

Dr. Prakash is a Corporate Wellness Coach and a Psychologist in private practice in the Metroplex.

The Gremlin Effect

Coaching revolves around client issues. The client has the answers to the issues he/she faces, but are not aware that they have the potential for self discovery. Coaches help their clients discover answers through asking the right questions. This process of self discovery through dilectical questioning is illutrated by the following narrative of one of my clients I worked with several years ago. John (not his real name) was facing possible termination from his job of 10 years at age 50 when his company was being acquired by another corporation. However, he was told that being the senior-most employee, he could continue to work for the corporation if he became an outside salesman. John was petrified at the prospect of becoming an outside sales rep because he had been working as an inside support clerk. The way he described his concerns, I perceived that he feared personal rejection at the hands of the customers if they refused to take his offer. I led him to discover the answer to his dilemma through series of questions: ‘John, how do you feel about the company you have been working for the last ten years?

‘I feel that they have been good to me and I would like to continue to work for them if I could,’ he said.

‘What do you think of the product and services they offer? I further enquired.

He paused for a while and then he said, ‘I like them so much that I use them myself.’

To further understand his hesitation, I asked,’When you go out on a sales appointment, you go out as a representative of the company, and the customer doesn’t know you personally.’

‘That’s right.’ he said.

‘When you offer them the product and services which you know to be good from your own personal experience, and they don’t take your offer, where is the personal rejection?’ I asked.

His eyes lit up and he said, ‘You are right, I don’t have to take it personally. Actually it is their loss to miss out on a good offer!’ John went through the company sales training, and within six months he became the lead sales rep for his company. Once he discovered the ideas and emotions that were preventing him from moving ahead in his life, he was able to attain his potential for optimum success.
As a couch I have encountered many clients who were handicapped by ideas and emotions that prevented them from moving ahead in their lives. These sabotors form the core of a ‘Gremlin’ which takes hold of them. When John overcame his gremlin, he was able to succeed.
The concept of Gremlin was introduced by Richard Carson in his book ‘Taming Your Germlin.’ He describes it as an internal structure which embodies a group of thought processes and feelings that maintain a status quo in our lives. Often operating as a structure that seem to protect us, it in fact keeps us from moving forward and getting what we truly want in life. The Gremlin losses its power over us when we can identify it for what it is, notice our options in the situation and then consciously choose what it is we really want at that time.’

You can become aware of your Gremlin when your internal voice speaks to you in some such phrases: ‘That’s the way it is,’ ‘With my schedule, I just can’t find time to…,’ ‘Men my age can’t find senior management positions,’ ‘I don’t have the discipline to…,’ ‘They won’t like it if I do…,’ ‘I can’t succeed on my own…,’ ‘I don’t have the answers/talent/experience/whatever they are looking for…,’ ‘What was I thinking of…,’ ‘This is stupid/too risky/ and I might get hurt…’ And the list goes on and on.
Are you aware of your ‘Gemlin’ that may be preventing you from moving ahead in your life? In case you have been handicapped by your Gremlin, I invite you to explore coaching to unleash your maximum potential for optimum success.

Om Prakash, Ph.D. Mentor Coach

Power of Possibility Thinking

Motivation to succeed is the most important ingredient in the success of any business, professional and /or personal venture. Possibility thinking generates the synergy for motivation to emerge. The prime example of possibility thinking is the Jewish concept of Sechel which means tapping wisdom beyond experience. In terms of our drive to succeed, it means: – Using the language of achievement rather than defeat – Acting with authentic confidence – Finding a passion and acting on it – Emulating someone who has inspired you – Seeing each challenge as an opportunity for growth – Being hard on issues and soft on people – Learning, listening and acting judiciously – Getting feedback and acting on it – Establishing balance between ambition, ethics and competence
Stephen Covey in his famous book ‘Seven Habits’ enumerates self-defeating statements clients make to themselves in their business transactions. Knowing that what we say to ourselves has the most profound impact upon us, coaches in their subtle ways, help their clients learn to make ‘power’ statements to themselves to energize their drive to success. Examples of such statements are presented below:
When the Client says …                                                  Coach Says
There nothing I can do …                                                         Let’s look at the alternatives
That’s just the way I am …                                                       I can choose a different approach
He/she makes me so mad …                                                    I control my own feelings
They won’t allow that …                                                            I can create an effective alternative
I have to do that …                                                                      I will choose an appropriate response
I can’t …                                                                                        I choose/  I prefer
If only …                                                                                        I will
Learning to use ‘power’ statements in their transactions paves the way to help clients start using the language of achievement and build authentic confidence in their drive to success. And other Sechel components begin to emerge as they discover their maximum potential for optimum success.

Om Prakash, Ph.D
Performance Coach