Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

How to remain calm and happy when conflicts at work arise.

If internal energy conservation, less stress, better health, inner peace and being in the driver's seat of your life appeal to you, consider applying the mantra of "letting go of fixing others" to include bosses and co-workers.

Untold amounts of energy are expended at work (and after work hours) judging, criticizing, analyzing, gossiping about and trying to fix bosses and co-workers.

Here are five reasons these behaviors are a waste of time and energy, and why they are self-destructive.

1. People who constantly criticize others subconsciously want to feel better about themselves, but this strategy does not work. Criticizing someone else does not create more self-confidence; it only builds ego-based arrogance.

2. Making your happiness at work dependent on needing someone to change actually sets you up to be a victim because you have no control over that person. People only change when they want to and are willing to do the work to make that happen.

3. Being judgmental takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. This happens because negative energies and their related toxic biochemistries are circulating in your body. While you are stewing, the other person is not suffering.

4. Judging others fosters adversarial relationships, rather than collaboration, and in the end everyone involved loses. Teamwork and collaboration are proven attributes of successful ventures.

5. If you start slacking at your job because others are not holding up their responsibilities, this also backfires. If you are a person of integrity, your self-worth will suffer if you opt to be a slacker.

Two constructive approaches

Option number one is to focus on what's right about your boss and co-workers. For example, if you are an employee and have issues with the business owner because that person lacks communication skills, you can either fester, or change the channel in yourself and focus on the positive. In this example, the positive spin is to appreciate that he/she created the business, which required vision, courage and perseverance. Be grateful that his/her business serves the community and offers you employment. Gratitude opens the heart.

The more you focus on what's right, the more others will respond with what is right about them. When bosses or employees are being held with disdain, there will be no opening for constructive change. People can feel criticism and judgment whether or not you verbally communicate it, and then they dig in and resist anything you might suggest, even if it is valid.

Option number two is to embrace the perspective that every person is doing the best she can given her life circumstances and skill sets. This doesn't mean you agree with everything your co-workers and bosses do. It means that you see that what they do is about their strengths and limitations, and not about you. This perspective opens up compassion for them, and compassion allows you to be on the same team working together toward the greater good.

The third (and final) option

Once you are no longer leaking negative energy and blaming others, and if you discover that the values of your boss and/or co-workers, or the nature of the job are not working for you, then you can choose to leave and find other employment.

Leaving because it doesn't work for you is empowering and commendable. It says you know what you want without blaming anyone or being a victim. You are free to move forward with a peaceful heart and the positive energy to focus on your next great endeavor. PJH