For a long time I was employed with this small startup company. It had about 10 employees, most of whom had Ph.Ds. They hired me to do the grunt work, which at first sounded pretty exciting. My role was to enter data, email potential clients, make pithy jokes, look handsome, maybe order supplies once in a while.

Overall it wasn't a bad gig. The pay was adequate and the company was taking off. Within a year they had a total of 22 employees that they enticed (read: "stole") from their competitors, most of whom didn't smell like cheese, and their revenue tripled to the point where they were so "in the black" they were able to suck up surrounding matter.
So of course it was right around this time that I started to hate my job. Why? Because along with their doctorates they each also received a Master's Degree in elitism. The entire staff was consistently making mistakes in their own jobs, and convinced themselves as a group that – because they had doctorates – they didn't make mistakes, so the mistakes must have been made by me (or, to a lesser extent, another young coworker that cried a lot).

Mind you, there are a lot of times in life when we feel like we didn't make a mistake and have a rationalization that allows us to blame others even though in reality we did make a mistake.

This was not one of those times, as the "mistakes I was making" involved aspects of the company that I wasn't even given access to, let alone projects that I worked on. They had an accounting mistake, for example, that they claimed was due to my error. That would be difficult for me to do, since they actually outsourced their accounting to India.
Every day I was receiving emails or memos about mistakes I made and every day I had to explain how I couldn't have possibly made the mistake. I always had proof, so they agreed it wasn't my error in the end, and yet they continued to send me these blame filled emails. On my quarterly evaluation I ended up receiving great marks, except for one criticism that they all shared – I was too defensive.
Over time it got to be very grating, and while I can make jokes about it now, I was struggling inside. Every email, every meeting, every conversation I was afraid they were going to blame me for something else I didn't do. I was starting to get physically ill by the idea of even going to work, and while I was there I was experiencing considerable tension – so much so I could barely focus on my work.
The way the economy is today, I suspect a lot of people are suffering like I was. It's become dangerous to leave your job, especially with so few other jobs available. But when you're being mistreated or find your job stressful, the way it affects your body physically and mentally is nothing short of tremendous.

What I Learned From Japanese Psychology
I had been struggling from anxiety all my life, and I knew I couldn't stay at this job for much longer without my anxiety disorder coming back.
It was right about this time that I remembered something I learned from a sect of Japanese Psychiatry called "Morita Therapy." One of Morita's principles is the idea that rather than fight anxiety, one should embrace it like an old friend.

I realized that part of the problem I was experiencing was that I was dreading the emotions that I knew I would feel, and that clearly wasn't working. Instead, I decided I should assume I'm going to experience bad emotions, and treat them like something I expect rather than something I want to avoid.

That change allowed me to view work in a completely different way. Instead of dreading the next email, I would make guesses about what department's error they would blame me for. I even came up with an "Error Bingo" board with a free space in the middle, and if they claimed I made a mistake in that department I'd give myself an X and see how long it took me to get a blackout.
Suddenly, work wasn't as upsetting anymore. In a lot of ways, work became fun. The mindset of going to work and greeting the stress and anxiety like an old friend meant that in many ways, work became this game that I was playing.

I started to find new ways to make the bad parts of work fun. Some examples:

• No one at this job seemed to wash their hands after they used the bathroom. So I started coming up with creative signs to place inside of the bathrooms to promote hand washing, including a sign with an arrow pointing towards the handle that said "Did you wash your hands? Guess what, I didn't either. Pretty gross right? Have a nice day."

• I went home and filled out 100 humorous and inspirational quotes on small pieces of paper. I then went around the office during the off hours and hide each quote in various files and folders. Then, for the next several months, I watched as various coworkers kept stumbling upon the quotes and got very confused.

• I decided to turn my own tasks into a game. I started timing myself and creating goals. In many ways I even became a better employee, because now I was working extremely hard not to help the company – but to see if I could beat my "high score."
Out of nowhere, my job became somewhere I looked forward to. By embracing the stress and anxiety and accepting it as an unfortunate part of the workplace, I was able to avoid the negative feelings and look for ways to make my job fun for me again. And it worked.

I don't know if it's possible for everyone to make their job more enjoyable, and I don't know if it's easy for people to greet their depression and anxiety like old friends. But I do know that when I realized that I couldn't change an negative aspect of my career, I was able to discover something at my work I didn't even know was possible.

I discovered the ability to have fun.

And I can say that discovery changed not only my ability to handle this job, but also my ability to cope with stress and anxiety in other aspects of life.

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Rivera suffered from profound panic, anxiety, and anxiety related depression for most of his life. After overcoming those issues he decided to dedicate his career toward helping others cope with their own anxiety and panic disorders. He supplies information at www.calmclinic.com that is updated regularly with new coping strategies and data on anxiety and mental health.