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Ask HN: How to not bring emotion from work back home?
268 points by steve371 on June 8, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 226 comments
Even after working so many years. I still get moment that I want to snap. Any way to not bring emotion from work back home?

Workout usually will just make me more angry.

Meditation/music can only help when you are not at the edge point.

Talk to people helps. But one person can only bear with you for so much. Even though it is a good friend/love you very much.

Even tried chatbot. Again, not working when at the edge point.

Workout, meditation, distraction, talking with people didn't work for me. They were ways to silent the emotions and postpone the problem.

What worked for me was a lot of self reflexion. Understanding way I was angry in the first place.

I found out that happiness is just the way of approaching things. That the world is just a projection on your head. An interpretation of the five senses + state (learned experience mostly).

Changing the input, just mades you an slave of the environment. Changing the state, gives you back control over your feelings.

If you reflect about why the feelings appear in your mind that generates stress, anger, you can start accepting them, welcoming them, until the point you no longer get anger, or stress...

For me, it become a routine. A) a way to trigger the self reflexion, or consciousness while stress happens B) find the reason for the feelings.

Example: People don't understand what I say, and then do other things. It bring up fear, rejection, mostly coming from childhood. Ok. I converted an unknown unknown into a know unknown. I excuse my self and decide if better communication skills is a task that I am willing to commit learning, on that case I do, or I just acknowledge that I often going to have mistakes and laugh about it.

Time over time, I was able to have happier live. Even enjoying the sadness that sometimes generates things not going the way I wanted at work.

I love your comment. It is raw.

I have also begun to look at the world reductively, sense + state, as you said. It helps.

What I found is most powerful, however, is to fall in love, then to focus on building intimacy.

Not very scientific, I know. But I think we can all agree that being in love is a wonderful feeling. The problem with love science is that love feels out of control and science requires tight controls to measure and validate results.

There is no way to do this with love, thankfully, but it works.

In the process, I have come to accept my faults and helped my partner to accept hers. Through mutual understanding and support, we have been able to grow together through shared experiences.

We have also had our share of arguments, and we have both given in to moments of human weakness and self-destructive behavior. But, through accepting responsibility for those off moments, apologies, and forgiveness, we have only grown closer. If we never fought, we wouldn't recognize how good we have it otherwise.

I would make one addition to your beautiful comment by suggesting that the ultimate answer does not lie within.

The answer to anger and host of other issues lies in the deep, time-tested reflection of who we are in another person's eyes.

This is especially true when a person feels unworthy of love.

You touch my heart...

I think in live, we go through phases. Once my best friend told me my ex, lied to me for six years and both of them stop talking to me.

It was a huge disorienting dilemma. It implied a lot of suffering, even desires of committing suicide. Then I started to do tens of therapies of different types, meditations of different types, studied psychology and physiatry and overall, I think all the experience was profit. But was difficult.

Right now, I think is really difficult to change the way we see live from a comfort zone, as there is no incentive for the brain to change that values. Being said that, we can improve behaviour from the comfort zone. Not the values.

Coming back to your comment, after your best friend and your girlfriend betray you, all the trust schemes are destroyed, and any partner that I found... fears kick in, and I ran away.

So I decide to stop trying to have a partner, and let my brain to do its magic, and decide for me when I should fall in love.

One of my favorite quotes:

"There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved."

-- George Sand

Happiness is dependent on other people holding up their side of the bargain? You have to have luck as well as effort, in order to be happy?

A grim thought.

This quote does not actually imply the same person(s) in both clauses.

It certainly does when it's posted in the context of a romantic relationship!

Meditation is broad on possible styles. Mindfulness being on of the simplest practices to explain and practice. We're all experiencing mindfulness all the time, we just haven't become aware of it yet, or we judge ourselves to harshly, "That was to simple, I can't be doing it right."

What you describe is a analytical type of meditation where you step back from the stimulus of a thought and accept that it happened and caused you to feel a certain way and if it reflects reality or not. This is a wonderful meditation practice that you can use to make good change in your brain. You are more mindful then you give yourself credit! :)

Makes sense. I think what you are describing here seems to me like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and that probably indeed will help your symptom (and then maybe over time the new ways of seeing things may become easier or more permanent - or you could/should consider changing jobs?)

I really like your explanation. Incidentally, what you describe in paragraphs 2+ is what I understand "meditation" to be.

You mentioned that meditation did not work for you. Can you explain what you take "meditation" to mean? It may help me and others what meditation is and what it strives to achieve.

Really good point. Thanks.

As you pointed out, the understanding of the word "meditation" is not shared by all the people.

To prevent some kind of bias from applying to the person, and knowing that on average, these ideas are going to bring fears like "I don't want to be a monk", "I don't want to be weird", I prefer to separate the concepts far away from the word from the beginning, even before the thought of association appears in the mind.

For that, and without knowing the audience, I prefer to go to the concept first and forget about the word or start and endless discussion about what the word really means that most times bring us far away from the initial topic.

You probably saw the same with feminism. It is easier to talk about the concepts behind, without referring to it, than start a discussion about what feminism really is. Right?

Do you think this makes sense?

Precisely, it's Vipassanā (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipassan%C4%81), the original wisdom developed by the Buddha.

Or is it? There's not much evidence that the Vipassanā of modern practice is exactly as Siddhartha Buddha taught it: https://vividness.live/2011/07/07/theravada-reinvents-medita...

There are alot of meditation techniques and meditation practices. Most of them revolve around the idea of using the thinking mind, the analytical process, to gain insight about something.

If you do orthodox meditation, you should know there are levels called "dhyanas" or "samadhis" that roughly correspond to your concentration level. The higher the concentration level, the easier it is to see whats going on (like the levels of a building, higher = more range), so you gain a better insight.

This information is not much shared in meditation circles, so people waste their time and lives not knowing they should really request a teacher to show them how to increase their samadhi power and continue to make progress.

Where could one go to start learning?

I found this book very helpful in approaching some of the things OP talks about.


Also, check your blood pressure regularly every morning and evening, for a few weeks. You could be non-symptomatically hypertensive (for all sorts of reasons); talk to your doctor if you find your blood pressure consistently on the higher side.

What you described is essentially meditation, more accurately dzogchen meditation

I know some people here have suggested jumping to another position, which certainly is a viable option, but consider the fact that emotional hardship will always occur in our lifetimes. Similarly, it's worth gaining some self-awareness around why things are activating, whether they be good or bad (activating or deregulating your system in a heightened state or a low-energy state).

My advice is see a therapist on a somewhat regular basis; we are quick to ensure that we always keep our bodies in check and healthy but rarely do we consider that perhaps mental therapy is also something we should do regularly. You've said it yourself, talking to people helps; my suggestion is see a therapist, it is their job to help you gain introspection and be your guide; and in general give you a safe space to express how you really feel and what's activating it (good or bad, ups and downs). It's helpful to have multiple people that you can lean on for this thing, a therapist might help guide you towards creating a community of people that you rely on.

I like the analogy to body maintenance.

I think we should just admit that therapists have two modes - an acute mode for treating the mentally ill, and a "personal trainer" mode. With the latter, therapists do the same for the mind that personal trainers do for the body: they teach you to feel and occupy your mind so you best know how to gain strength, avoid injury, and move with economy and grace. They catch bad postures and minor twinges before they lead to strain and injury. They identify and strengthen weak points in order to keep the whole thing in balance.

You can live without a therapist-trainer just like you can live life without a personal trainer. But those lucky enough to have one will live a life with less injury and hardship, and have accomplishment and contentment within easier reach.

People in "life-long therapy" tend to be the objects of ridicule. But IMO many of them (maybe unconsciously?) are actually onto something - that lifelong therapy is actually a pretty good idea. Maybe they keep coming back not because they are self-involved and enjoy drama, but because they've found that, even though they can do without just fine, they do much better with.

I have an awesome therapist that I see on a regular basis. Much of the conversations range from your everyday emotional highs and lows to diving deeper into the neuroscience of behavior and activating memories. When you approach emotional experience with the full depth that your mind brings to it, you can begin to understand what drives you; but more importantly, at least for me, it creates a tremendous amount of grace and compassion towards how you treat yourself. It has taught me to allow myself to feel compassion for when I am angry, or sad, even overly optimistic and happy. But more importantly I understand the value of impermanence, and repairing and reconciling the issues (issues btw which can be positive experiences as well, not just negative experiences) we face with each other and ourselves.

I'd also add to your list of value that you begin to understand, embrace, even love the full depth of human fallibility/frailty. Sounds like you have a good thing going.

100%. I remember talking to my 14 year old niece about her seeing a therapist. She comes from a very old-fashioned area and I told her that some people would judge her for doing it. My next words were "Fuck. Them." She's never heard me swear before or since and I think she'll remember what I said for that reason.

I've seen a therapist, again for anger issues, for an extended period of time. Have never regretted it. A couple of points that I'd make in general that may or may not be useful:

First off, there's things you have a right to be angry about and things you don't. In the latter category, it's okay to feel angry, but it might be worth delving deeper into why that is. In the former, again it's okay to be angry but you want to think about what you can do to get yourself out of it. My wife just switched jobs for this reason.

Second, society pulls a real number on men's mental health. Plenty of emotions are considered weak and not appropriate for men. This gets re-routed to the acceptable emotions, notably anger. It's worth thinking about how this effects you.

Third, sometimes you're not angry about what you think you're angry about. Therapy really helps in these situations.

Fourth: it's ok to be angry. It's not okay to take the anger out on people. It's also really hard not to if you're constantly angry like I was. Apologise, a lot. The apologies will start to sound thin pretty quick unless you're taking concrete steps to do something about it, but in any event, always be sorry.

I also want to recognize the point that there may be some associations with therapy that might make some people uneasy. Take it from me, that therapy is not about talking about all the bad things going on in your life and emotional health is not about trying to feel happy all the time.

To be truly human, means to feel the entire spectrum of emotion; to allow yourself to experience the good and the bad and to be okay with that. Therapy is about introspection, gaining awareness, and understanding impermanence, and the built-in analogy machine we call our brain - driven by the fading memories and experiences of the past.

When you understand that memory is a physiological experience, and that your mind is an analogy machine, then everything you experience - good and bad - has some consequential association with something you previously experienced.

Therapy, at least for me, is about keeping pace with that analogy machine and giving some grace to what it means to be human.

I'm against pathologising any normal reaction to stress. When the anger reaches a point where it actually becomes a painful hindrance in daily life it's an option to think about though. But there are also coaching and life counseling (not sure what the proper English terms are).

>But there are also coaching and life counseling (not sure what the proper English terms are).

Life coaching is just bad therapy from unqualified people. And they are often part of MLM schemes or associate themselves with (other) swindlers to part you from even more of your money.

I think it depends on the country and its regulations -- whether the profession is regulated at all. Anyway, coaching etc. is no therapy because the clients aren't (mentally) ill or anything. There is nothing to cure, which is what therapy is about.

Therapy and counselling can both be sought by people who are not mentally ill.

> Life coaching is just bad therapy from unqualified people.

Interesting how you know so much about things you cannot observe.

Yeah, therapy has done wonders for my ability to take action instead of letting frustration build up. For me, your emotions are your emotions, you can't just leave them behind. But you can often release them in a constructive way or at least vent them a bit :)

You can't wish them away, no. But if you change the right habits of mind (not saying that's easy) you'll have less negative emotions in need of unpleasant metabolizing in the first place.

I agree :)

My personal answer is that I'm a Christian and the teachings of the Bible directly address these issues.

Some of it involves a different worldview. Changing the world becomes both less important and more possible. It becomes easier to prioritize important things in life like caring for loved ones or for others who need help. The conflict of the day, whether political, personal, or work related, doesn't endanger the purpose of my life. The worth of my life is no longer defined by "success", power, happiness, or winning.

All this ties back, of course, to the Christ of the bible and His teachings. Ecclesiastes is also a powerful book when I'm feeling cynical. I honestly feel both Christ and Ecclesiastes are at time cynical and curmudgeonly; the positive examples are helpful to me. Reading and praying (about the reading, about life) probably serve the same purposes as the meditation techniques espoused in this thread, but it is more than just body hacking.

> Talk to people helps. But one person can only bear with you for so much. Even though it is a good friend/love you very much.

Talking to my church family and to a much greater extent God doesn't have the same issue. A healthy church family is a bigger group, all of whom are dedicated to your health in every way. And God has more than enough attention and patience for me.

In general people don't appreciate talk about religion, but people are advocating cycling, meditation, yoga, and major career changes. I hope a suggestion to read a bit of the Bible, say a few prayers, and trying something new Sunday morning isn't far off base.

For what it's worth, I've prayed for you Steve, that you can find emotional health and success in your life.

>Reading and praying (about the reading, about life) probably serve the same purposes as the meditation techniques espoused in this thread, but it is more than just body hacking.

Having been raised Catholic and now a practitioner of meditation for many years my experience is that meditation is nothing like prayer nor does prayer confer the same benefits as meditation. I've found meditation to be much more effective.

I'm also Catholic, and was looking at becoming a Trappist monk a few years ago. I just wanted to mention that there are many forms of prayer, many of which are nothing like meditation.

But there is at least one form of prayer, known as contemplative prayer, which is very like meditation. It consists primarily in being in the moment, stilling your mind, quieting your heart, sitting still, and breathing deeply. It's an ancient form of prayer dating back to the desert fathers.

The purpose of it is to allow God to overtake you, to be receptive to him. Sometimes this happens, but many times, it's just you sitting in silence with God, often, not even really aware of him.

This is by far my favorite form of prayer. Unfortunately, most people never seem learn about it, and instead are taught to be chatty, repeating rote prayers, or rattling off prayer requests or whatever.

> Having been raised Catholic and now a practitioner of meditation for many years my experience is that meditation is nothing like prayer nor does prayer confer the same benefits as meditation. I

Having been raised Catholic, and still being Catholic, having been taught various meditative practices outside the Church and seen some of those practices taught within the Church (and broader Christian community) as means of prayer (both explicitly, by name, as the meditative technique and other times simply teaching the same technique without reference to meditation), I would have to say that Christian prayer overlaps with meditation.

There are forms of prayer that are not meditative, and I have no doubt that even for similar techniques simply the presence or absence of religious loading in the intent makes a difference (in what direction differing between individuals) in practical effect for many people, but they certainly are not categorically disjoint domains.

OTOH, I don't think the suggestion upthread of reading and reflecting on the Bible as an alternative to meditation for the same purpose is a particularly good one,especially for those not already Christian. Reading and reflecting on the Bible—or the Quran, Tao Te Ching, etc., can certainly have value, even for non-Christians (-Muslims, -Taoists). But generally that will be distinct from the value derived from meditative techniques, unless the "reflection" itself uses those techniques. And even then, the use of the religious source material as the basis is more likely to be distracting than helpful in the meditative sense for those not already at least positively inclined to the religious content.

Fair enough.

I was just saying that both "Christianity" and "meditation" are pretty broad categories and I've seen overlap in both practices and effects of each.

As a Christian I don't understand how I would be able to put up with reality without the perspective Christianity provides.

I appreciate your attempt to share an unusual alternative (for this forum) in a non-confrontational way.

> Ecclesiastes is also a powerful book when I'm feeling cynical.

Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the Bible. It's also very much a book I would never recommend to someone trying to cope with negative emotions. Personally, reading Ecclesiastes just reinforces a worldview of nihilism.

This is further reinforced by the possibility the end of the book, which prescribes what to do in the face of such meaninglessness, was added on later. From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastes):

"Most, though not all, modern commentators regard the epilogue (12:9–14) as an addition by a later scribe. Some have identified certain other statements as further additions intended to make the book more religiously orthodox (e.g., the affirmations of God's justice and the need for piety)."

The book elaborates on why the world leads to an emptiness. And it's the Bible, not just some mopey livejournal blog, so it's comforting that it's not just me struggling with human existence. It's not that I'm blind or cynical or weak. The world just doesn't meet what I expect from a fair reality.

We expect a world that is fair. One that leads to lasting flourishing and life. I heard a smart theologian describe Ecclesiastes as a book that paints Christ with negative space. By exhaustively describing why the world doesn't fulfill us, we understand what we hunger for, and in the context of the rest of the Bible, we can see how God and Christ are ultimately satisfying in a way that people and the world aren't.

i can just say that this comment makes me angry


I'm not that commenter, but as a former Christian I must say that the most common Christian attitudes towards this sort of thing are highly irritating to non-Christians. Many Christians constantly bring up their religion and their terrible metaphysics* whether or not there was an invitation for them to do so, use their God to smack around people who don't behave the way they think they should, and generally lower the quality of any given discussion. Advice to pray to a God you don't believe in is useless advice. Imagine if I told you to sacrifice a lamb to Thor to cure your toothache.

* By terrible metaphysics, I mean to say that Christianity's incentive to act ethical, the judgment after death, also incentivizes people to disregard the world they actually live in, leading to unpleasant or even (counter-intuitively) unethical behavior. Some Christians also use these metaphysics as an excuse to treat non-believers like dirt. Not to mention taking the Bible as the infallible word of God that supposedly has all the answers, even though it's full of contradictions and blatant untruths.

FWIW, despite this comment probably coming across as quite hostile, I don't want to attack your faith. I'm just sick of the way some Christians choose to represent their faith in public.

This is a trait common to religious people. Society's secularization is still progressing slowly, and for a lot of people, their lives and worldviews are still attached to religion pretty significantly. I don't think this is a purely Christian trait. Embed yourself in Indian communities and listen to the conversations among us. Social life revolves around communal prayer and devotional singing, in addition to travelling to temples for services.

Personally, I see no showboating in the above comment. I see a sincere expression of something which helped, and I don't feel that it merits derision.

Thanks for elaborating.

> Advice to pray to a God you don't believe in is useless advice.

Agreed. But the act of praying to a god is actually an act of belief (i.e., trust) if you think about it. If the god doesn't exist, it's pretty worthless, though ultimately harmless as an isolated act. I happen to trust in God's existence and the teachings of the Bible, though. So it would be callous for me to see someone have existential struggles and not offer my well wishes and personal experience in the same area.

I'd reply to the rest of your thoughts in more detail, but I'd rather not get too off topic. I will say that your concerns with the behavior of "holy people" and "orthodoxy" is also expressed in the Bible itself. And it's directly answered in very clear words. So in that sense, a problem with many "Christians" (1) isn't blind unwavering devotion to the Bible as much as ignorance about it, or a failure to practice its teachings.

I'll also say that Christian philosophers advocate for abductive reasoning in (a)theist philosophy. It's a subject and train of thought I recommend well-read people be familiar with.

There's a lot of depth and breadth on these subjects, but there aren't many places where Christians are allowed to earnestly share on these matters. I hope HN doesn't mind indulging well-meaning people like me from time to time.

(1) I will point out that there's no regulation on the word "Christian". The Bible recognizes that as well, specifically mentioning in several places that many people will claim Christ falsely.

I've often reacted with annoyance towards the attitudes and behaviors you describe.

I did find the above comment on christianity as an option fairly chill. Might just be my current state of mind. I found it interesting to know what he gets out of it and found it brought up in fairly good (hehe) faith.

> Advice to pray to a God you don't believe in is useless advice. Imagine if I told you to sacrifice a lamb to Thor to cure your toothache.

I'm atheist so to me it is as if it was your Thor example. It doesn't bother me though, I just disregard it. However, if I were depressed/stressed I could see it being irritating.

because my experiences with 'that' have been the worst of my life.

Angry someone has something that works for them?

The thread is full of great answers and advices, but I haven't came across this one:

I was dealing with similar situation like you. I had a hard time to find peace after work at home. I was looking for advices around and once came across an article(I can't find the article) which recommended that you should not stop doing activities which you liked as a child when you are an adult.

When I was thinking about it, that was exactly what I did. I stopped doing things which I enjoyed when I was a kid. I used to play a lot of Age of Empires and loved that and did competitive swimming. So I started with the swimming and it helped me both mentally and physically. After a year or so, I started slipping back to the same routine as before and not even the swimming was helping. I tried to do some research on the Age of Empires thing and installed it to my laptop after 10 years or so. Since then the strategy for me in critical situations is:

1st - Go swimming/biking/running, try to sweat it out. 2nd - If 1. does not work(happens like once in couple of months). Play some freaking Age of Empires for 6+ hours straight 3rd - If 1. and 2. fail, talk with people

Firstly, this sounded really silly to me and I think once I have kinds this won't even be an option, but in my current situation this small hack works pretty well for me.

James Altucher talks about a similar strategy in numerous places... here is one http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2016/11/ultimate-cheat-sheet-lo...

It's very likely that it was one of his posts on Quoara where I found this advice. Thanks for the reference!

this resonates a lot. I recently moved and now I have the space for a desk at home which allows me to play video games again, which I loved doing at a kid (starcraft, etc) and had to stop doing due to space for 4-5 years.

Now that I picked up video games again, I feel better and it's the best way for me to get my mind off work!

I feel the same way.

Recently I was facing a lot of escalating work-related stress that was spilling over to my home life. So I invested in a xbox 360 gamepad and started playing a lot of indie games on my laptop.

Best part of my day! Completely takes the stress away and I feel "recovered" when I go back to work the next day.

Random Game Suggestion: Mages of Mysteralia. I love how it lets you craft your own spells like drag-and-drop programming. So it touches TWO of my childhood loves

I feel like StarCraft and RTSes in general work really well in this scenario, because they occupy every brain cell available. Concentrating really hard on something non work related totally resets the brain.

And as a downside, I need to stop playing well before going to sleep. Trying to sleep right after a multi-hour game session is a surefire way for me to lie awake in bed for a couple of hours.

I do the same, video game sessions are great for refocusing, specially for weekends. Friday night gaming will take my mind off work. Early Saturday exercise allows me to start the weekend well. Given that I can leave your laptop at work, I try to have another computer at home so there is no way for me to access work email. I also snooze all work notifications in my phone. That gives me space to work on my own projects during the weekend and reclaim my mind's focus.

Gaming is just one of the things but an important activity.

hear hear to all of the above.

However, i suggest to swap talking with people and then go swimming, biking and running. Else the during the first 'part' you will only have your thoughts and opinion resonate in your own head, i think its better to have some more points of views floating around there first.

If you have a terrible job, no amount of therapy, exercising, and drinking will help you here.

You need to find a new job, plain and simple.

If it's your 10th job and you are feeling like this still, you have to figure out if it is bad luck (it does happen) or if it's something with you. Either way, it is sort of you, since you managed to keep finding and stepping into jobs you are unhappy at. Certainly, a hint or two during the interviewing stage was overlooked.

I agree with this. If you're a reasonably balanced person (meaning, the problem isn't just you) and your job makes you feel like garbage, you should try to find something else. I know it's not that easy -- I've been in the same situation. I've finally moved on and I'm in a _great_ place. I had no idea that life could be this good.

How long have you been in this job?

I've been at this new job for only a short time, so I'm aware that my perceptions can and most likely will change over time, but even if I compare my first couple of weeks at both companies, the new one has an infinitely better environment.

Awesome, best of luck!


"If it's your 10th job and you are feeling like this still, you have to figure out if it is bad luck (it does happen) or if it's something with you."

Or you could have just chosen the wrong career. Simply changing jobs may not be enough.

If covered by insurance, speak to a therapist weekly. Unless you are in one of a handful of professions, your work is nothing that warrants this amount of stress. No one is going to die.

There's tons of things that happen at an employer that are wrong, and that are stupid and that are complete nonsense.

There are things that you must simply let slide. Things that truly do not matter. Very few things REALLY matter. Very few things, and none of those things are the day-to-day work life.

Speak to a therapist regularly for a few years. One that specializes in trauma survivors.

I second this. I've seen both therapists and coaches of various types a number of times over the years, and have found it to be tremendously helpful in getting me through a number of rough/challenging patches.

It's really nice to have someone to talk to who has no vested interest in any part of your life. You can vent to them without having to worry about pissing anyone off or it getting around to anyone. A good therapist or a coach can offer a fairly unbiased outside opinion and even strategies for dealing with things that come up in your life.

The biggest thing to remember is that it's important to find someone who is right for you. There are a lot of people out there, and each has his or her own personality and style. Finding a therapist is a lot like dating in certain ways, so don't be afraid to move on if it isn't working for you.

Unless you are in one of a handful of professions, your work is nothing that warrants this amount of stress. No one is going to die.

Isn't that kind of stress supposed to impair performance? I'd think that keeping not-stressed would be even more important if people's lives were in question.

I'd second this, even if insurance doesn't cover it and you can find a way to pay for it.

I'd also recommend trying something like an intensive therapeutic seminar: https://www.themeadows.com/workshops/survivors-i-workshop

If you don't like therapy, maybe something like Landmark: http://www.landmarkworldwide.com

Some people put down therapy and taking care of themselves in general, my guess is because it takes alot of courage to actually address dysfunction with themselves. I've been that person at times too, in general though I've tried alot of these things and I don't regret having gone through them and I felt better coming through the other side of my own shit.

Strongly recommend avoiding Landmark and things like it. At least extensively research it. Landmark has a reputation for psychologically abusing and damaging participants. It has the flavour of an a-religious for-profit cult. Here's one story of many: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/08/landmark-42-hour...

I suggest doing something between work and home that you enjoy and that can fully distract you from work. Some hobbies are like this... an hour doing it and you will pretty much forget your work "self". Don't feel the need for it to be productive or purposeful.

I think much of the bad stress we get in jobs comes from our deeper understanding that the work is pretty pointless or simply unimportant to us. The idea of that (pointless) thing being who we are for most of our waking life is maddening.

Also, few of us are in high status positions at work (simply because of the typical hierarchical structure) even if the job or company is prestigious. Being in a low status role creates significant fatigue, stress, and anxiety, and is often the hardest to shake off at the end of the day when we are around true equals such as friends or loved ones.

So the best thing to do is to find work that feels more like play. But if you can't manage to do that, at least force yourself to play a bit after work to take the edge off. I recommend against making it about food or drink, since indulging provides a psychological salve that mutes the stress but does not truly evict it from your consciousness the way play does.

Playing music does it for me. It's not just concentrating on the music itself, but also, hanging out with a group of people who are practically a different culture than the tech scene.

For instance, I have had band mates who were voluntarily homeless, or who really just don't get the whole idea of showing up somewhere for regular paid employment. Some are certifiably crazy. The problems that are so urgent to me, they react with curious amusement, or just don't even give a rat's arse.

Noting another post in the thread, the regulars at the bar are probably another such culture.

Well by definition it's harder to come back from that edge. The whole point of regular exercise, meditation, and reflection is to not get there in the first place.

Stop trying to fix the symptoms, fix the cause. Why does work of all things make you this angry? Is it a lack of control? Would you be happier running things or doing consulting? Is it the project(s)? People/a particular person?

Stop trying to get rid of the cough and start trying to get rid of the illness. It is not normal to get so angry at work that you bring it home.

Very true. I would also add therapy. There is no way for "work" to get you this mad this often. The things that are making you angry at work are triggering deeper and more personal issues. Usually when I am angry, the root is a sense of guilt about something else.

I have known a number of people, including my ex, who needed some time to successfully make the transition without bringing baggage home. When my ex was having a bad day at work, he would come home and spend about an hour on his computer before he could talk with me without it going weird places. I have had conversations with people who talked about "Yeah, this is the real reason I stop at my favorite pub on the way home. Not for the beer per se, but so I have some time to myself between work and home."

You might also try working on this nutritionally. I have recently had good results with upping my consumption of vitamin C to get excess anger under control.

One thing I noticed was when I had a longer commute (maybe 20-30 minutes), I felt like there was more of a disconnect between home and work (the drive, the 520 bridge specifically). Then I felt like I was wasting too much time, so I moved closer to work. I really did feel like I took more of it home just because I was closer to home.

Sometimes it does just take some time to decompress, no matter what you're spending that time doing.

Driving mad is generally bad for your health in that angry drivers are much more likely to drive recklessly and get into accidents. Unless you can put yourself on a road somewhere where there is nobody to piss you off (and even then, some roadwork is going to happen more often than you would hope that makes you mad) it can just make anger worse.

This resonates with me. I realize I usually need some me time when I get home from work before I am ready to spend time with people. And I realize I end up very stressed if for some reason I get denied this down time.

What is the idea behind consuming more vitamin c? Just curious.

Always be working

Melt down at work in a spectacular fashion

Engage in a campaign of passive-aggresive attacks on the team causing your anger, explain it as an attempt to use negative feedback to get their working habits to change

Never admit your mistakes; make sure any mistakes you make regarding those teams' responsibilities are swiftly swept under the rug

Conflate your productivity with the company's: anything that slows you down is bad for all devs & the business's bottom line

Budding dictator right there.

The best way to not bring all that emotion home is not to have it in the first place.

Anger is caused by frustration is caused by desire.

People who dont give a damn about their jobs clock out at 4:56 and rest easy. The people who burn out or 'snap' are the ones whom take the most pride in their work. Learn to care less about your job.

If you already have the emotions built up, then simply recognize that fact and take them apart. Writing letters you dont send works pretty well.

> learn to care less about your job.

This. This 100x over. Present your opinions, back them up with data / rationale, and if they don't go with them: water off a duck's back. It's their mistake if it works out poorly, or you learn something new if it works out great.

If you have employers that don't let you practice this "giving fewer fucks" attitude, or hold it against you wrt career progression, that's when you start looking for somewhere else to work. No employees should have to physically or emotionally harm themselves as a part of their job. If it's not your company (you don't have founder-level equity) then it's not worth your health. It's arguably NEVER worth your health, even if you are a founder.

It is an important life skill, cannot be denied.

However, I cannot stop noticing that all the worst traits of the software industry start with the talented professionals amoungst us "caring less" about their jobs; and then the bozos running the show are free to go around wanking their minds and fucking up everything for everyone. If you ask the authors of every monstrosity out there, they will claim the Nuremberg defense, pennies to peanuts!

Just to clarify, I don't think it's appropriate to just "turn off" completely. Speak up. Make your opinions known, put the work in to back them up, but don't let that work be extra - build it into the time you need to prepare for meetings. Push back when you don't get enough time to do it.

If there's something alarmingly dangerous about the things that you end up doing, security concerns unaddressed etc, put the feedback in writing.

Don't clam up. Just don't let it eat away at you if you are ignored; dot your Is and cross your Ts.

It's a balancing act, of course. You have to get good at understanding and making the case for what's best for the company.

Care not about the job outside the job. Care much about the code while at the job. That's the true skill and it is very hard to do. As a coder you never really turn off, at least that's my last 20 years of experience.

The best way to "train" for this is to take a long cruise or other far away vacation. I took a transatlantic, 7 nights no Internet. Well I could have Internet paid in minutes at legacy modem baud rates, but "legacy baud" says enough.

water off a duck's back. Fuck it. (R)

Blatantly stolen from the great Jinkx Monsoon :)



Shifting to contracting helped me with this, as a contractor I was able to keep an emotional distance from the work, I always knew I only had a few more weeks or months and so if they wanted me to produce crap then so be it.

I've found an interesting divide amongst contractors on this - some are happy to treat it precisely that way, complaining a little about the crap they have to produce, but mostly content with the fact that it's not forever, maybe the next contract will be great, and the money really makes up for whatever crap you have to deal with. (Let's face it, if you're contracting and you're not making good money, you're just doing it wrong.)

For others, and this was very much me, the better contracts are those that last longer and are, really, much more like a full-time job, except it's typically just one project (and yes, there's the money aspect again).

The best contracts I had were greenfield projects where I was the team leader, had a lot of responsibility, and saw the project through from start to finish over the course of a year or more. The worst contract I ever had was three months - or, at least, it was that long until I quit - where I was paid better than I'd ever been paid before to produce total crap with a team of perms who were angry and aggressive and hated contractors, a horrible manager who hated everyone, and fellow contractors who either didn't care, weren't really up to the job, or were also miserable and quit - three in the space of a week at one point. I remember buying myself a sandwich one day, eating it, thinking to myself that the time I'd spent eating it had earned me more money than the sandwich had cost, smiling grimly to myself, and still being miserable because the job was so hateful. (In all fairness, I left at 5 every day and didn't give another thought to the job until the following morning, apart from a general sense of misery on the commute in. I'm sure I did complain bitterly about the job to anyone who would listen...)

During 25+ years of doing IT, I've been a contractor ~60% of the time, and I can say that for me, being a permie was the most stressful time of my life. It eventually caused me to have a total breakdown, which required lots of therapy just to recover. I then quit the job, and switch back to contracting.

Oddly enough, previously to that incident, I treated contracting no different to being a permie, I'd heavily invest, commit 110%, and push and push until stuff was delivered. I didn't know how to take my foot off the gas, even when I was only hired to do one specific thing.

I'm now in my second contract since my breakdown, and I have that disconnected attitude, when I can just walk away, and I try not to let the work issues affect me. I'm now a much calmer person (although that could be the daily drugs talking... I don't know).

It's all horses for courses at the end of the day, some people like to be neck-deep in work, and thrive on the stress and pressure, and others just want to be left alone to do what they are good at during 9-5 and then forget about work until the next day.

What is true though, is that stress will kill you, and no matter what your role is, it's not worth your life.

I guess it helped that I mostly did short term contracts, I think the longest was six months, often they were just a couple of weeks.

Hey bud, you aren't alone and, while I can't promise that everything will be roses, I can promise that you aren't alone.

However, I need to ask you a very serious question. You don't have to answer in public because it is a very personal thing. But, what do you mean by moments when you want to snap? And, when you say 'the edge point', what are you on the edge of?

If it's anger, have you ever thought of anger management therapy?

Or, if you are thinking of hurting yourself, please don't.

If you need someone to talk to, my email address is in my profile. I doubt that I know you in person and I am open to listening to anything you need to say.

Be safe and peaceful.

Thanks for offering. This is very kind. Just anger for me. If I am in that much trouble, definitely will seek for help.

You might want to look at what, specifically, makes you angry. In my case, my work doesn't affect me outside of work because I put clear boundaries. If I'm supposed to be in the office from 9am to 6pm, I'll be there, but at 6pm I leave, whether there's something important going on or not. Doing that systematically means that people don't expect you to be around and won't come with more work at 5:55pm. At home, I don't check my work emails and don't take work-related calls (there's a few exceptions, and it's usually agreed in advance with the company so that it doesn't become a habit).

All this helps me "recover" from a day of work and to feel good at home, knowing that I won't be suddenly interrupted for work reasons.

Again, it might depend on your specific case. If a work was making me angry I would simply quit, but maybe it's not an option for you.

Truth is powerful. It is stronger than willpower.

Anger is not a primary emotion. It is a secondary emotion. It cannot exist without thought. This is fact.

Anger is a response to unmet expectations. You expect and feel you deserve some "state of the universe" whether it is success, recognition, remuneration, respect, or basic human treatment. You then do not receive that thing you expected and believed you deserved, had a right to, earned, or very much wanted. That mismatch is where anger comes from.

The first way to stop anger, is to stop it from growing. If you know where it comes from, then you can change your circumstances or your expectations. Your body is presumed to have overcome an invasive bacteria when it can stop the invader from net growth. The same thing works for anger.

Anger cannot remain unless you replenish it. If you do not feed it, it does not grow. Do not review the thing that "made you angry" over and over. There is an brain hijack where you get a short-term emotional high, and find it harder and harder to resist replenishing the anger. You can't tell yourself "don't think of pink elephant". Instead you can say think very hard of "a". Read "how to live on 24 hours a day" for a good guide on focus mind on single topic.

If you don't like living in a world that makes you angry, try to make it a world that does not make others angry. If even a small majority has this as their process, then you get to live in a world where others help you to be less angry, less unfulfilled, less disappointed. You might find that fulfilling.

After you have the mental and emotional roots resolved, then you can look elsewhere.

Also, stay away from prescribed hormones. They hack the wetware. They make your biology fight your mind, instead of being its servant.

Best of luck.


> Anger is not a primary emotion. It is a secondary emotion. It cannot exist without thought. This is fact.

No, it isn't. That's just a particular framing of one kind of cycle that can happen. While it might not be typical, it is absolutely possible for anger to occur first, with the thoughts that "prompted" the anger actually occurring as a rationalization afterward. Human brains are amazingly adept at quietly generating plausible bullshit to fill in gaps that would otherwise cause dissonance.

> Also, stay away from prescribed hormones.

What does this refer to?

I feel that this is trying to treat the symptom rather than the cause. It's definitely not normal to come home feeling like you want to snap. Whether it's your work environment, or your personal circumstances, I don't know, but I think looking into changing one of those would be the more effective choice here.

At the edge point, I find it helpful to lie down and not react to any thought, sensation, or feeling until I feel stable. On rare occasions, I feel like I'd want to punch someone in the face just for speaking a word, and when I lie down, I feel the dire need to react to something. I put on a sleep mask, put in ear plugs, put noise cancelling headphones on top of that, and then play a decent volume of white (brown) noise in them, and very carefully do not move, think, or react... and if I do, i'll just go back to not thinking, not reacting to thoughts, not reacting to the repeating jerking urge to get up and do something, and I'll usually fall asleep for a bit. Generally, I've never found this to fail to clear almost any negative state I'm in.

It's just a psychological agitation. Even normal friction, etc. can agitate a physically sore spot, and you should just let up off it to let the agitation subside. Same idea, works great for me.

I actually pretty much do that every day after work to some extent or another, but I'm only really serious about not reacting to anything when I really have some anger/agitation/whatever that needs to dissipate.

When I'm really angry, just a workout won't do the trick. I have to work out to the point of sheer exhaustion to release all that negative energy.

Having an enjoyable commute helps me a lot. A long walk or pleasant bus ride (with optional music) is time to process emotions and to create a mental break between work and home.

Meditation can also help -- not as a solution at the moment when you're angry, but as a habit that can improve your mindfulness and ability to deal with your own emotions.

My last resort is distraction - reading a book or watching a movie or TV show I know will be engrossing. An hour or two later, the frustration has usually dissipated.

That said, if you're experiencing rage that you can't control, or are on the edge of "snapping" - whether into rage or depression or whatever - I agree with the previous poster who suggested you seek mental health services.

A good therapist can help you come up with better outlets and coping mechanisms, or help you identify what in your life you need to change to avoid circumstances that trigger such frustration. It may take a few tries to find someone who works well with you, so don't get discouraged if the first person you try isn't a good fit.

Are you angry for a reason or just generally frustrated? (dissatisfaction with work, coworkers, etc.)

If you wrote it all down, do you think it would make logical sense?

Sometimes I'm just over emotional. Sometimes the place I'm working isn't a good fit. If it's not a good fit, I also find that my emotions get out of control as well.

If things are building, figure out what is building them and try to change that. Little things can make someone crazy for a few days, but if it's every day, it might be depression or burnout. If your stress never goes away and just keeps building on itself, it's likely depression or burnout.

Talking to a professional might help, very least it feels like you are taking action to make it better. They might be able to help you frame and understand what is bothering you.

> Meditation/music can only help when you are not at the edge point.

I don't think music will be particularly helpful, but meditation, specifically mindfulness meditation, will be most effective when you are at the edge. Try practicing for 10 minutes a day, and then when you are on the edge try your best to really feel the stress and experience it. Your goal is to build your tolerance to it, which you can only do by not running from it. It's just like working out: you need to practice and you'll get stronger. The 10 minutes a day of practice when you're not on the edge will help you build up to being able to be truly present when you are on the edge.

I built a shed in my garden. I sit in it and listen to classical music for about 45 minutes when I am stressed after work. My family and I both benefit.

This sounds lovely. I don't have a shed or a garden, but I do have a balcony and a year-old avocado plant. I'll try it.

I was able to be a much happier person after I realised that it is just like any other skill. So for being happy you have to train your mind. I personally prefer stoicism and the book "Daily Stoic" will be a good start. A ready made plan to increase your mental resilience and in turn happiness :)

If your job sucks, just leave your job. That's what I did and I am much happier now.

I was at a place that paid me very well but had very low standards for hiring. The interview was incredibly easy and, in retrospective, that was a big red flag that I failed to see. After that, if I get an easy interview I will pass on the opportunity. An overly easy interview means you will work with people that don't know wtf they're doing or how to recognize your talent/contributions.

You spend a lot of time at work, try to work at a place that doesn't drain you.

This may not be the right situation for you, but worth mentioning generally. I find getting changed when you come home helpfully because it helps reinforce the divide between work and home, and I find it easier to forget the worries of the day.

Can I just point out that if you're constantly irritable and grumpy you might want to get checked. In my case I've had weeks in a row where every little thing would make me flip, and it's apparently due to my shitty thyroid.

It's normal to experience emotions related to what happens at work. It's called "being human". And dealing with emotions - putting words on them, accepting them and moving on - is a key skill and a part of growing up.

What varies, in my experience, is whether and how much it is acceptable to discuss (and thus process) these emotions in the workplace itself. Being able to say "I'm sad / angry / joyful about X" makes a world of difference.

Once I became aware of that I started being able to remedy it. To start with I actively sought and encouraged discussions of the emotional components of whatever work I was a part of. Retrospectives were a great way of having a structured framework for these discussions (as opposed to giving the impression that I wanted to psychoanalyze my colleagues or vice versa).

After a while I noticed, too, that management in some places actively preferred the dehumanizing effect of making emotions undiscussable, because it afforded easier control over people. I started avoiding these places and selecting jobs that accepted and expected me to behave as a human adult.

I like the idea of the reptilian brain and the monkey brain. Not sure how true it is. All anger and similar emotions, I feel, reside in the monkey brain. And the best way I have found to shut it up for a good period of time is to jump straight into an ice bath. No mental preparation. Don't wait. Just jump straight in all the way. And stay longer than you'd like.


I see way too many people taking their jobs more seriously than they ought to. There's something very odd about people who sideline their families and close ones, because their daily work is more important. They're way too busy to speak, or meet or be nice even when they leave work.

I think unless you're in a field where lives are at stake, it's well warranted, and it's noble what you're doing. For the vast majority of us, it's a job. You have one, you don't. Most of us are smart enough to get a new one. You do your best, you do it at work, and keep it there. Note down things on a notebook, things that you can continue on the following morning.

Trying to be as honest, upfront, easy-going and helpful, the kind of person you are at home, also helps bridge things better. That way, you don't need to be a different person, and switch between them.

Generally, just take it easy, you're not out saving the world. Do your best and carry your bag home, not your baggage.

I like to take the Wolf of Wall Street approach. Percocet at home. (adjust dosage to tolerance) I microdose 8mg of xanax at work sometimes. Weed on days off. Masturbating a minimum of 4 times a day.

I write my tomorrow self a todo email at the end of a long day with items to pick up on tomorrow morning. I let that guy deal with it.

1) Reduce your physical vulnerability (diet, sleep, exercise) 2) Act on emotions if they are justified and you can do so effectively 3) Behave the opposite way if they are not, with sincerity 4) Identify soothing activities you can take refuge in 5) Build a life worth living, regular activities to focus on 6) Find a good therapist 7) Accept yourself

My work drives me insane. I cycle home. 30 minutes of fairly vigorous exercise and it melts away. I realise this isn't an option for many due to location, but it works for me.

I'm rarely emotional after work, but it does happen that I've had a bad day or a customer is being annoying.

My wife have annoying co-workers and customers that piss her off too sometimes. So when we get home we ask each other how the day has been. It usually takes 30 - 45 min to cover everything while we're cooking dinner. We aren't trying to solve problems for each other, unless asked to, we just listen.

It really helps to be allow to be vocal about the emotions of work, and it helps the other person to understand where any anger is coming from and where it's directed. If we didn't talk about our day, my wife could easily assume that I'm mad at her and vice versa.

At a point where I was having a rather bad period at work, my wife insisted that I listed three good things that happened at work that day, that remove the focus from the negative things.

I would encourage you to journal. It will help you to put language to your strong emotions and work out things that are troubling you. I wouldn't even worry about being coherent at first -- just try to get out all of the things you're feeling and why. It generally helps to do this in a quiet place.

Other folks have mentioned therapy / counseling -- which I highly recommend as well. I've gone to a marriage counselor with my wife for years and plan on doing it for the rest of my life (albeit only every 2-3 months now). You can take your notes to a therapist and make your sessions more productive.

Other folks have suggested switching jobs -- which might be a good idea. If you do have to switch jobs, you'll be able to make a more informed decision about what works (and doesn't work) for you in a work environment.

I would argue that the best course of action (in general) is to not use your emotions at work. Software development as an engineering discipline is best done in a dispassionate state. I can logically defend the decisions that I've made (and learned from the wrong ones).

Since you've been working for many years, practice this exercise when you start feeling angry - think of a time in the past where you were also angry and think of the outcome of that episode. You'll find that the emotion really doesn't help the situation and have to assume that it won't help the current situation either.

I'm not saying that you should be a Borg at work - it's good to feel emotions. But you're going overboard and eventually it will harm you (or already has).

My wife listens to me bitch and complain anytime I need someone to talk to. One day she simply told me to keep things in perspective. Think about all the things we have to be thankful for and question is it really worth it to get worked up over whatever it is that's bothering you.

Sleep, diet, and exercise. There's a good chance you need to improve in one of these areas—we all do.

Otherwise, think of stress like your email inbox; a stressbox. You can zero this out on a daily basis by being honest with yourself about what is important in your life.

If it's not important, delete it.

If it is important, archive it and come back tomorrow, wait for your brain to detach the emotion from the event. Anger is a symptom; you need clarity to figure out the cause of the symptom (the event).

If it's someone else's anger causing you stress, mark it as spam and unsubscribe; sometimes this requires telling someone to stop being negative around you.

First cause diagnosed: Did you drink coffee, or any others coffee drink? My experience is that, it destroy my mood and brings anxiety in the evening right after work. My wife recognizes me whether I drunk coffee at work or not. Try Matcha green tee instead of coffee.

Point for you: Good self reflection, point for you that you recognized this wrong pattern, and want to change it.

Second cause diagnosed: Please be aware that we as a human behavie strong context based.

In example after learning language being drunk you will not remember it when you are not drunk. When you drink again you will able to speak new language again.

The same is with your work place and home. For you now this is one context, you brings your job actor play and still playing it at home, even though you change your context (from work place to home).

To fix an issue build up (learn) your new role that you will play at home in example a lovely husband, or father.

Solution: When you are mindful enough before standing your home door, tell yourself that you from now on you are playing new role (great husband on example) and when you welcome your wife play a role.

After few days, the new paths at your brain will be created. and your subconcious mind will play that role without your knowledge.

Good luck

There are a lot of great deep, reflective answers in here. My advice is more tactical so take that for what it's worth.

1) Make sure there's a buffer before you get home from work, or if you work from home, create a buffer. During that time (could be as short as a half hour), do something that's not super stressful and not related to work that gets you thinking about stuff you're interested in. For awhile this was listening to audio books on the train ride home or doing crossword puzzles - as long as it decompresses you a bit.

2) Make sure you're sleeping enough. Fuses get short when you don't sleep and this fixes a lot of things.

3) If you're not working out or moving around, find something that you can do. If it's competitive maybe that helps. Squash, tennis, soccer league? Something that makes you run like crazy and gets your heart rate up.

4) Start work on that thing that's screaming at you from the inside because you're not doing whatever "it" is. Maybe something there - an idea, a project, a thing. What's been keeping you from working on it? Maybe life or your job seems to be preventing you from doing it? Start small. Talk to a few people and keep the fire burning. Learn more about it so you can start to think more strategically about approaches (or rule it out)

I like to dance. It's active, it's fun. There are many different types of dance. Do you want to dance with a partner or not? Slow or active? Strict format or completely free?

Tango is rather slow, salsa is more active. Capoeira is more like a fighting dance. Street dance is similar. Show dance is top sport. Ballroom or latin dance styles like salsa have a strict format. There are so many different styles like Lindyhop, real fun, but I recommend that you start with the more popular ones.

If you don't like that, there are more expressionist type of dances, like biodanza or five rythms. These are more like workshops, guided by a teacher. It's not about doing the right moves, and anyone can join, even those with no rythm-feeling. And you can dance in your own place, curtains closed, music loud. Dance like nobody can see you, or dance when nobody can see you if you're too embarrassed.

Another tip is improv or theatersport. You can put a lot of agression and energy in it. In general it's great fun and it has helped me overcome several anxieties.

For me, when I dance or do improv, after five minutes I've forgotten all about the day.

Self talk.

Nothing helps like talking to yourself. Build narratives and counter narratives and try to analyze the situation at hand. It's like taking a third person perspective for the sole reason of analyzing what happened, and why it happened.

Try to avoid getting into solutions mode. Don't even try to think about how you can improve or change the situation. Just understand and spend some time thinking about what exactly happened.

How are you so sure that your problems at work really stem from work, instead of being symptomatic of a deeper personal problem you might externalizing onto work? Is the coat of looking for a new job really that high? If your problem keeps worsening, that may eventually be eclipsed by the need to maintain your mental health. If not, then why can't you resolve the problems of work at work?

I'm guessing you're one of those lucky ones with a sane manager that values your productivity, nurtures growth by rewarding good work, and keeps a good tab on past accomplishments whilst protecting you when others make unrealistic or untimely demands of you, and intervenes only with actual wisdom rather than nonsensical judgement or belittling comments.

Consider yourself one of the few lucky ones. The rest of us have to deal with some degree of micromanagement, office politics, and other such nonsense on an almost daily basis.

Yep. :-)

I try to count my blessings every day. Also, in my limited experience, you find these jobs through past colleagues you trust to look out for your well-being.

I think the challenge you are facing can be resolved, but only through accepting the risks of social awkwardness.

The fact that you are reaching out to people is good. Don't stop. Find the people willing to listen and keep talking until you figure it out. Some people can't handle it and they will naturally peel away. Don't panic when this happens and don't blame yourself (or them) for having a real issue that you need to work out.

Keep reaching out to people, not chatbots. Soon enough, you will have sorted out your true friends (and you will also make new friends). The work you need to do lies in finding out who you are through the eyes of other people.

One more thing, don't do this on the internet. Go meet people in person.

Finally, we all need human touch. If you are not getting that, you will be angry because it is a need we all share. When you get touch, chemicals are released in your brain and you feel better. If you can't get this through other means, book a legal massage once a week. Thai massages are good if you are experiencing anger. I hope this helps!

For me, the key is to decouple my personal emotions from work. Now, I still get angry about mismanagement here and there, but I also set things up such that I can easily remove myself from the situation if things get to the table-flipping point.

The two main practical steps I'm taking right now are (YMMV):

1. Save/invest 50% (or as close to that as I can manage) of what I take home. This is about more than just living jobless for a month for every month I work. Barring catastrophic expenses, if I keep investing this money over ~14 years in a fund that averages 7% return a year, I will make around enough money to support my lifestyle passively, at which point a salary stops mattering and I can financially afford to leave any job, any time.

2. Build my resume with "extracurricular activities". In my case I'm earning an online master's degree on top of work (years of step 1 helps me afford this, and my program is relatively cheap). This makes it easier to find new, interesting work in advanced fields (and it's also just fun to constantly learn new things).

I found this book to be quite good:

> The Irritability Cure: How To Stop Being Angry, Anxious and Frustrated All The Time


It does a good job covering various reasons you might be upset, e.g.:


1. Someone did something they shouldn’t have done.

2. Someone was hurt, harmed, humiliated, embarrassed, offended, disappointed, or otherwise inconvenienced by what was done.

3. Some person or persons (other than myself) were unilaterally responsible (i.e. to blame) for #1 and #2.

4. The offending person or persons should acknowledge what they did wrong, offer to make amends, and/or be punished.


Then various things you can try to think about to short circuit being upset:


A) Failing to recognize how your own judgments, evaluations, and standards might not be valid for other people.

B) Failing to recognize how your own actions, past and present, may have contributed to what happened.

C) Justifying your anger, instead of looking within yourself for its internal causes.

D) Retaliating or seeking revenge, instead of openly and honestly dealing with what happened.


I know lots of advice in this realm ends up being things like stop and breath, exercise, use religion and forgiveness, but none of those things really do anything for me. If you can make a chain of logic to the bad result of being upset and then break the chain somewhere with one of those, I find that quite effective.

I've struggled with this for years until I realized that I'm the same person at home and at work and actively sought to be this way.

This is in contrast to some peers who have a professional personality (which is still gemslwves, but with restricted access to core identity) and a at-home personality.

Separating the two and turning one on/off at will is the approach I am striving towards.

Therapy. I started it out mostly out of curiosity and a sophisticated misunderstanding. Turns out, after a couple of sessions, I started realizing that my therapist was particularly impactful on me when we'd talk about work-related events, exactly because while I think I have a healthy approach to my personal life, I often let work stuff get the better of me when things get intense. Over time, we're taking about better ways to plan potential events ahead, and think really hard about what could really go that wrong when something happens, and it really helps putting things in perspective. I totally advise it.

There are many ways, of course, but I'll tell you what I do.

If I am angry or upset in any way I first think about it. If I cannot understand the anger I let people know what I am feeling and that I might need to be alone or just need some silence.

If, then later, still aren't any wiser about what I am feeling I start analysing my emotions. For me it helps to read philosophy or art (movies, music books etc). It is a way of looking at things from a different perspective and this can help me reflect on what is going on.

However, I never have the intention of getting rid of my emotions. Rather, I have an interest in my existence and metaphysics in general. So whatever comes of it I am fine with.

So, my advice is to let people, including yourself, know that you are about to "snap" don't try to not feel whatever you feel. Not everything has to or can be resolved.

Do you consume coffee or caffeinated beverages? Are you getting enough sleep? Consider eliminating coffee/coke/energy drinks/other caffeinated beverages from your diet. I've seen it work wonders for many people I know who were having work-related anger/stress/anxiety issues.

if you are in a state that allows marjiuana consumption, and you do not have any history of substance abuse, a microdose of THC would probably change your mood. That or a cold shower, a quick run (runner's high), or something that physically alters your mindset quickly might do the trick.

I will also add the thought that you might find it helpful to do volunteer work of a sort that really tugs at your heartstrings as a means to put your day job in perspective.

I paid accident claims for over five years and a lot of my coworkers found this to be disturbing work. But, among other things, I had been a military wife and raised two special needs kids. It was rare that I took any of the emotional stress home with me. I stressed about making quota every day, but most of the run of the mill accidents did not get a rise out of me. Once in a while, I would read something particularly gruesome and have trouble with that. But I think this was on the order of once a year or so.

From my experience, when you're at the edge, the only thing to do is release the anger. Chopping wood, sledge hammer to rocks, in general doing he-man break shit. Preferably in private.

Once that's worked out, I make sure to give the anger back to the person who's sourcing it. If I need to check myself by asking the person questions, I try to do it. But other than that, I really try my best to reflect that negative energy back at its source. And while I prefer being overt, I will be covert when the situation indicates that is necessary.

Or as another guy expressed to me, you need something like the pressure relief valve on a pressure cooker to blow off the steam a little at a time, so you don't explode.

One more thing. A lot of people talk about "letting go". A wise man once told me he didn't know much about letting go, but he was real good at leaving things alone.

Trust me, if you leave alone instead of letting it go - you'll revisit. Over. And over. And over.

And it's going to be a little bit worse every single time. Find closure.

That hasn't been my experience. I think the key is, letting go isn't a conscious act.

This is one of the most common use cases for users of our wearable device, Pavlok. Adding a zap when noticing negative emotion kicks you out of automatic limbic system mode, and into human awareness/prefrontal cortex mode.

Here are a couple users who spoke about it



Holy shit are you the dude who was on Shark Tank? That episode was hilarious hahahaha


Real talk: you need to figure out your priorities. Either your friends and family are a support system that helps you accomplish something meaningful and important in your career, or work is a thing you happen to do that pays the bills so you can have fulfilling personal relationships.

Neither choice is necessarily better. It's extraordinarily difficult to prioritize both - the entire point of a priority is to tell you what isn't important. I'm personally biased towards friends and family, but if you have an important mission to accomplish, go for it.

What is causing you emotion at your workplace? Are you being treated unfairly?

My short answer would be to find a new job. I've never had a job that caused me so much stress it caused issues at home. Sure, there have been times when my boss did something to really piss me off and I got angry, but those are isolated incidents.

At one of my jobs I was promised something that never came (I should have gotten it in writing). I asked about it every year, until it bothered me so much I gave them an ultimatum. They refused, I quit and moved on, and am much happier in the end.

I've never been able to separate work from the rest of life, even after more than a decade of working.

The only answer for me has been to find better jobs, or, better yet, taking long periods of time away from work entirely.

I would recommend exploring Emotional Brain Training (EBT) [1]. Wired for Joy [2] and Spiral Up [3] are two related books on the subject. Find a therapist that works in this space to coach you through it.

[1] https://www.ebtconnect.net/what_is_ebt

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Wired-Joy-Revolutionary-Creating-Happ...

[3] Sorry I can't find it anywhere

People have been dealing with problems like this for thousands of years. The solution, developed in almost every culture, has been some form of spiritual practice.

I view spirituality as the technology of human existence, and take a pragmatic and heterodox approach. The key is practice and action - you don't get anything out of simple belief.

Steer clear of spiritual ideas that feed your ego, and gravitate toward ones that emphasize humility, service and acceptance. It works well for me, but as always YMMV.

Obviously this is what works for me so YMMV.

I like rock climbing as a workout. I specifically prefer that because it requires me to be 100% mentally engaged in it while climbing. It is a combination of meditative ways of thinking as well as physical exercise and blocks everything else out. Anger during climbing is utterly counterproductive. It doesn't de-escalate as much as it distracts and focuses.

And most importantly, it doesn't rely on transferring my frustration and anger to others...which is a bad habit of mine.

I think getting to emotional at work is its own problem. If you could just control your emotions after work, you could probably temper them enough during work to not have this be an issue.

For emotional health, it seems rather arbitrary to draw a line between 'at work' and 'at home'. The only real difference may be in what those environments consider acceptable, but you can't just switch between intensity levels. Emotion is, kind of by definition, not fully within your control.

Here's what a mentor told me many years ago:

Look for the clenching of your emotional fist. It happens before you say or do anything, and if you can recognize that and decide to delay a response until after you have time to think about an appropriate response, then you will be much better off.

It takes practice. For me, the positive outcomes from waiting reinforced the waiting behavior. I just know if I wait, it will always be better and I can respond in a way that won't make the situation worse.

Yoga. Do yoga. Go to a Yoga Studio, not a gym or a DVD; a studio. Find your balance, find your inner peace and just let it go. Really. This is transformative for me. That and Zoloft.

Do you happen to have a hole in your head, too?


I don't know how yoga compares in particular, but there is loads of research backing up meditation for stress relief. It's not mystical hoodoo. And of course mixing in physical exercise can't hurt.

My 5 cents... If you are reaching the edge point you dont know how to meditate.

I will recommend to read just few books for a start 1. Dao - Lao Tzu 2.The Willpower Instinct - Kelly McGonigal 3. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

you are not going to reach self-knowing or self-control using other people's thoughts. Everything good comes from the walked path, It takes time and practice.

And the way is not only to evolve from inside but from outside too, so "workout" daily is also important part.

Sometimes when this happens, I try to think of the worst -

What would happen if I lost my job?

What would happen if I were to die tonight?

Sometimes it helps to realize that nothing much really, I mean really, matters - ideology, opinion, software, even my own life.

Sometimes, 'Pearls before Swine' helps to put things in perspective! [1]

[1] http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2005/11/20

I second a lot of the things here, including regular therapy, self care, and thinking about whether another job would be better. You might also consider a job-specific coach who will help you figure out how to solve workplace issues before you hit "murderous".

But one other thing that works for me is long walks. I walk until I'm no longer angry, and then I turn around and walk back. Eventually, I get worn out, both on the topic and physically.

Mate, you need to deal with your emotion. You should become more aware of your feelings and what's causing them.

On top of that ask yourself what problems do you have in your life that you aren't solving?

Being angry is a symptom of your worldview not reflecting reality. What situations are causing you to feel that anger?

Last but not least, go see a good therapist. They're paid to understand your problems and help you get better mentally.

1. Stop watching tv and listening to any news.

2. Quit your job and work at a place(s) where you don't have to think. In fact where you are supposed to not think. Deliver things. Be a cashier. Rinse. Repeat.

Mike Rowe of dirty jobs said the happiest people he ever knew were those he featured on DJ.

Struggle financially. Earn your vacations and personal purchases. Make your time not idle like retired/unemployed do.

These eliminated my anger.

You might want to check out Stoicism, the philosophy, which has a lot to say about emotions. How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life by Massimo Pigliucci is a pretty good intro. You can also try diving right into original sources like the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, or the Enchiridion by Epictetus, or something by Seneca. There are many translations for all of these.

The book "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" by William Irvine is a good book on Stoicism that provides a good practical perspective on using the approach in your life.

Also, not on Stoicism, but "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story" is a book by Dan Harris, a news correspondent, bringing philosophical approaches to everyday life.

I was going to suggest the same. Stoicism as a practical life philosophy may help a great deal. William B. Irvine's "A guide to a good life" gives a practical intro and advice.

You need to be more busy in your personal life. You should be so busy you do not have time to think about work when you are away from it. Instead of stressing about the work day on your drive home, you should be looking forward to the things in your personal life. The whole point of trading your time for money is so you can have a personal life.

Thanks for all the great advices and comments here.

Every job has its ups and downs. Though I agree that if you constantly feel down time, that probably the time you take a break.

What I find hard is that no single method works for me for a very long time. (Probably because it can trigger the bad memory? ) So I need to find a new approach when I find the old one does not work any more.

hmm I think this varies a lot based on personality and your upbringing. But here are my $0.02,

try convincing yourself that you're not your code, you're not your work. You as a person is much more than just what you're paid to do. Perhaps consider going to the gym after work for 30-60 minutes, exercising helps improve your mood. I also think hobbies that are completely unrelated to your job helps keep your personal life separate from your work life. Personal belief the tech industry overall has a not-so-good culture where people expect your job to be your passion, and they expect you to be live and breath code outside of work. Try leaving that mentality behind, as long as you perform well at your job, as long as you have the desire to improve, it doesn't have to be your passion. I typically do calligraphy and music compositions after work, which are btw very meditative hobbies.

Hope that helps.

You need to figure out what the underlying issue is. Is it just about work? Are you happy (relatively speaking) when not at work, like weekends?

If not, figure out what's wrong. Could be that you need to change jobs, get extra or better sleep, vitamin-d (helped for me). It could also be that you need some professional help. There's no shame in that.

I think you need to deal with this before you get to the edge point. You need a way to understand your own emotions and why you are feeling like that, and start to resolve underlying things like stress, strained relationships, existential angst like what is the point of work etc. I find praying to Jesus the Messiah helps me a lot.

[Depending on where you are] you might find there are mental health services with 24h phone lines for people in your situation.

I have heard some military and law enforcement friends mention something along the lines of "hang your fangs at the door." In those fields, it's very clear who your "enemies" are versus "friendlies." I suppose there is some serious compartmentalization going on in order for this philosophy to work.

You need to remove yourself from that environment ASAP, find another job.

If all jobs make you feel like this then the problems deeper, either find something YOU want to do, like making a chatbot that would really help in this situation or maybe just forget about work, take early retirement, go see the world.

Life is too short to waste it on something making you angry.

You are up against the force of evolution here. For a million years the correct response to threat or stress or danger was fight-or-flight. Don't feel bad that you can't resist it, you were never meant to. What workout are you doing that makes you more angry? Maybe if you are lifting go for a run or vice versa?

If possible, buffer your time at work from your time at home with a physical activity which allows you to viscerally expend energy and possibly rage.

A workout could be good. Martial arts class, intensive cardio, something allowing you to express rage and get physically exhausted in a controlled, harmless, socially acceptable way.

> Meditation/music can only help when you are not at the edge point.

This sounds like a bad assumption about meditation to me. In my experience, regular meditation practice helps me keep that edge further away. Negative emotions are not useful to me or those who interact with me at work or at home.

hey, I deal with this too. Exercise does help with letting off some steam. What also does wonders is to list out the things that are bothering you, and then ask yourself - "is there anything I can (and should) do about this right now?" If the answer is yes, then do it. Otherwise, let it go for the evening, and the issue(s) will still be there in the morning. Remember too - your subconscious is a valuable tool, but you need to let go so it can do its thing! You ever have those eureka moments in the shower? You can have those same kinds of revelations in the morning regarding a problem that you thought was insurmountable the night before, but you have to stop thinking about it long enough to get the right perspective on things.

That's not normal or healthy. See a therapist.

Also meditation will still help but what you're taking about is a broader and deeper issue with how you process frustrations and anger.

That needs professional help. No shame in it - it's quite useful! It's not like they teach it in school is it?

Why do you want to treat the symptoms and not to cure the problem? It sounds you come emotional from work too often. It is not healthy to be like this for long time, so even if you decrease the symptoms it is going to take in your health sooner or later

I agree with the thread of people here saying "your job" is the problem here, EXCEPT, I'm betting it's probably not "your job" per se, but rather "some douchebag at your job." Hard to say, since you didn't give any info about that, and in fact weren't really asking about that. Normally I hate when people answer a "how do I..." question with "Now why on earth would you want to..." but in this case it's quite obvious the problem and the solution is further "upstream" if you will.

Anyway yes there's a component to anger that can be caused by shortcomings in yourself. And yes it reflects a frustration, a disconnect between what you want and what the world actually is. What has to be sorted out is whether "what you want" is reasonable to expect or not. Sometimes you're asking the moon and should accept you're not going to get it. Sometimes however, anger is your tough big brother, stepping in to stick up for you in a shitty and unfair situation. In other words if "what you want" is to be treated with basic human dignity in the workplace, that is absolutely not too much to ask. And again I'm wagering, the problem traces to one or two specific people. Perhaps you need to defeat them in some sort of battle (not physical, or you're going to jail) for them to respect you. Perhaps they annoy everybody else on the team too, and should be removed. Thus I'm coming back full-circle to "maybe it's not the job per se." Maybe your job is precisely the thing you wish you could be allowed to do, if only it weren't for these one or two assholes. Deal with the assholes. Defeat them if you can (and anger probably won't help you here... we're talking straightforward but discreetly sneaky workplace maneuvering) or retreat (leave the job) if you have to. Meanwhile all the other advice still applies... deal with your parental baggage, your diet/weight problem, your expectations of life, your emotions, etc. so that you're less vulnerable to this sort of thing (being made angry).

Edit: and by the way "your diet/weight problem," if you have one (I'm baldly asserting it but I mean it to be taken as pure conjecture) may be both the cause of, and caused by, the anger. Stress makes the body store calories. And then carrying those calories around in the form of fat, subconsciously reminds you of all the other times you were angry and stressed, and increases the chance that when presented with the same or similar situation, or even a dissimilar situation, you'll react again the same way.

Since this is a recurring issue I strongly advise you to seek professional help. There may be underlying issues that will not go away without treatment. All the methods you mention may be effective for issues. This sounds like a problem.

The best years when I left work related stress to home was whilst brisk walking close to 4 miles back home. It took me about an hour.

Also, an hour on exercise bike at home is good.

Benefits of above activities was/is - I cared more about food and sleep.

Lighten the mood and then talk to the universe/world (whatever you want to call the something that we are all a part of).

I know. I know. That might sound weird and all. But, it is the only thing that helps me. I grew up a very calm person but after many years in the military and a couple of combat deployments I seemed to develop a very strong aggression issue. I'm calm most of the time, but when something gets to me I can get into a deadly loop where it just gets worse and worse. It starts to feed on itself. Then, my wife can say something small and my internal monologue gets darker and darker and whinier and whinier.

So, yes, don't let it get to the "edge point"...that is hard. That takes a long time of understanding yourself (talking to the universe or journaling is the best way that I feel I make progress in that area too.) So, the first step when you get to the edge is to return to being happy. It doesn't matter what it takes. Watch a stupid video on YouTube. Just get back to a place of "happy" even if just for a moment.

Lighten the mood. Then, start journaling. But, the goal of the journaling shouldn't be whining: "why me, oh why me??" I've done that a lot. It is really not helpful at all. It makes it worse over the long-term.

So, what do you journal/talk-to-the-universe about? You start investigating who you are and why the current situation is making you upset. Start asking yourself: why am I angry. But ultimately, the goal is to drill down until you find the good in everything. For example: "Why am I angry that Joe is fighting me so hard with what I know is a bad direction as far as design patterns is concerned? Why do I care at all? Because I want to built software that I'm proud of. Don't we all want to build software that is well built and a meaningful creation? So, what Joe doesn't want that? Of course, Joe wants that as well. We just have different ideas about how to make the best software possible. By why am I so fired up and angry about it? Because I don't want to believe that I'm coming to work each day for nothing..."

Just keep going...even 15 minutes can make a major difference. I've had times in life where it took an hour and sometimes when it went on for over 6 hours. There isn't a goal in terms of what you are getting at. Productivity is certainly NOT the goal of the exercise. Just talking/writing is the goal of the exercise. In the end, my wife is happier and I feel that is the larger goal. I want to be kind to other people, especially my wife, rather than burdening people with negativity.

Can you work on whatever stresses you out at work?

If not, find a job that doesn't stress you out?

You said you tried music but you tied it in with meditation. Have you tried aggressive music to pace your mood? And then maybe some more relaxing music after.

(I'm curious if people here chime in to say this is a bad idea for some reason.)

Death metal is my go-to work music for when the fight with entropy feels like a losing battle. Especially as the rest of our capitalist society tells you to be happy all the time, death metal offers you the intuitive sense that you're not alone in the pain, and some solace in the fact that some people are brave enough to lament their difficulty out loud.

I think catharsis is really important and people should teach themselves to seek it the way they seek their professional goals, food and companionship.

Run for an hour. Seriously, with great music or a tech talk in your earphones whichever you prefer. Another good one is Heartfulness method of Cleaning or Relaxation. YouTube it there's lots of videos of it.

I had same problem. Ended up developing personality change. It was like 'they are all idiots, what can i do!!' and now it is 'they are all idiots, great, i am here to take advantage of them'.

I sip a cup of tea and gently remind myself what's important in life.

Take a long walk home.

"I can't! I live far away from my job." Yes you can: get out on a bus/train/whatever stop before your home. 1 hour walking is ~5 Km.

"I drive home bro." So park it 5 km before your work.

I usually would stop by grocery shop instead, and walk around looking for ideas to cook. But this is because I enjoy cooking and anyone in the house will not talk _heavy_ things while I am in the kitchen. I'm basically buying time for myself to be _not really at home_ for the first few hours.

Try to allocate some time to think about what happened, what makes you angry. Do this maybe when walking (That's what I do) or when commuting, and prevent yourself from thinking about it once at home.

Depending on what causes the emotions, you need new job, new position or different way how to deal with whatever causes those emotions in the first place. You should not be in such highly emotional state.

Get a new job.

If this is happening regularly then it's an indication of a hostile workplace.

Work should be a pleasant experience. It's not a vacation, but it shouldn't drive you to anger on a daily basis.

Just drink a beer in your pub and talk to a stranger about anything

Are you in therapy? If not, that might be a good thing to start doing.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Teaches you how to recognize when you are in an adrenaline-filled, tense state. Over time, you act and think more deliberately, even in equally tense situations.

For me getting hooked to something else I am passionate about takes me away from work worries. I am currently hooked to Self-Driving Cars, doing a Nanodegree from Udacity.

Efficient way - snap at work not at home, let everyone know about your problems and frustration. Man up.

Shortcut - crack up a beer or two when you get back home then think about happy things.

Advocating angry outbursts and drinking to suppress your problems both seem like terrible recommendations.

Get a new job before your entrepreneur spirit is crushed. Just quit. Seriously! There are way better gigs. Put that passion into something that can change the world.

There is this club. Can't talk about it, tough.

1. Humor helps. Listen to jokes/comedians. 2. Don't care too much. If you have sex, sleep and food you succeed at life.

Cycle. Seriously. Cycle. Meditate while cycling. Stop and view the scenery. Appreciate the beauty around you. Feel the miles go by.

Hit the gym, first lift (might release some 'emotion'), then use the spa for definitely disconnecting.

Hope it helps, it sure has helped me!

work should not be this stressful, leave your job.

I think the important part is to understand, that you are in charge for bringing those emotions from work back home.

It is hard, but always remember that people are responding to the situation, to their own drivers/measures, and their own issues, and _not_ first and foremost to the person you are - but to the message you deliver.

That isn't easy, but if you can forgive their action/reaction and don't focus on the person, you can start to separate those feelings out.

Take time in your responses to others - don't feel you need to respond to that email until you've had time to think it through, sleep on it if needs be. Do what you can to diffuse the situation.

But first and foremost question if this is the right company/culture for you. I've had working experiences that have upset me, but talking with people at the company actually helped to bring about great change - so I didn't need to leave (which was an option), but if it hadn't I certainly would have left, and I'm certain I would have found something new that I loved. In the end I did move on (for other reasons) and have found a position in a very supportive company - the benefits to me personally are huge and I'm sure they also positively impact my family and friends. Don't 'wear' the pain.

Lastly: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1768:_Settling

It's tough to accomplish before you get home, but I find a good nap really helps clear the head.

Why don't you change job to work at a place that doesn't mess with your emotions?

Well, most people use alcohol,I prefer exhausting yoga with some kick boxing afterwards.

I practice the letting go portion of meditation through the day. Or I swear in the car.

"Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck" : Read that book. It can help a lot.

This is a touchy subject, and I want to start by saying that everyone is going to have their own answer.

My answer, when I've been in a situation like this, is to literally talk out loud to myself about what I value and what I care about.

We only get upset about things that we care about. And we only get the most upset about the things that we care about the most.

I had a much more angry, frustrated life when I was a professional violinist than I've ever had as a software developer. When I would play some bad gig for a few bucks and some clown conductor would show up and ruin this piece of music that I spent my life studying, it would make me rage. Or if one of the other violinists in the orchestra I was sitting next to was fucking up and ruining things. . . again, rage. WHY ARE YOU RUINING MY ART, YOU SICK, IRRESPONSIBLE FUCK?!

Or if I was playing a solo with an orchestra that wasn't so hot. Ugh. Why are you doing this to Brahms?

It's genuinely hard to figure this out when you really care about something.

I ended up quitting music as a profession and going into software. I care about the companies that I've worked for, and I care about my role in that and the quality of the code I write. But it's not my life. And I still play my violin with a few groups in NYC. That's not my life either.

I think it boils down to understanding the difference between the means to an end and the end itself.

If you love software the way I love Brahms, great. But don't expect to get that love expressed or respected at work. Recognize the role that work has in your life. It's a means to an end. It's not the end itself. It's a way to get to do the things you love to do with your family.

I decided a long time ago that doing the things that I love the way they should (in my opinion) be done, was up to me. For me that was music. And to a certain extent it has become writing software.

In my mind, a job is a thing that you do, and do well and passionately, for the purpose of supporting the things that you really care about. Maybe it's family, maybe it's writing a novel, maybe it's being a dancer. Who knows.

Again, I want to be careful about the way that I phrase this, but it sounds to me that you have a priority issue.

You need to decide what's really important to you. When you figure that out, I suspect everything else will fall into place.

I'm sorry you are going though this, and I hope you come out of it in a better place. I could be totally and completely wrong, but I don't think there's any little ritual that's going to fix this. You just have to make decisions about what is worth caring about.

Is it your current job, or is it your family?

Go to gym straight after work, and then home. Works wonders for me.

If you get that mad at your job I would suggest switching jobs man.

Long ago, I found that running home (eight to ten miles) helped.

Learn an instrument.

Work on your posture. Check this study: [1]

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27634065

i've got the same problem but the opposite way, i'm struggling on not bringing emotion from home to work

and just as important... vice versa

Practice, practice, practice.

work less.


One simple trick I used when in the same situation, was to train myself to block all work-related thoughts. - "Stop! Does it help my thinking of work? No. Then stop." In the beginning you have to learn that you are actually thinking of work right now, so to adopt a pattern of blocking. Later, it gets easier.

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