Manchester Manchester, March 19 (The Conversation) Work is something most of us do, although it’s not always pleasant. Whether it’s long hours, grueling tasks, or just the repetition of a daily routine, work can sometimes be something we need to do rather than something we want to do.
But given that the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime, it makes sense to try and enjoy it when you can. So what can you do to be happier at work and reduce stress? I was the lead scientist on a government project investigating how our well-being and emotional resilience can change over the course of a lifetime.
As part of this project, with help from the New Economics Foundation think tank, the team identified several things that can reduce stress and increase well-being and happiness – all of which can be applied in the workplace. So what helps? 1. Be Active Exercise and other physical activities won’t make your problems or stress go away, but they will reduce their emotional intensity and give you mental space to solve problems – and keep you physically fit.
Research consistently shows the positive benefits of exercise, so why not book your work day with some physical activity.
Walking to and from work is a great way to create some disconnect from the workday. If that’s not possible, you can get off the bus a stop earlier, make your lunch break active, or maybe find a physical education class to do before you start work.
2. Connect with people When you examine most scales of happiness, relationships with others top the list.
During the pandemic, many people suffered from a lack of social contacts in their well-being. In fact, a good support network of friends and family can minimize your work problems and help you see things differently.
It’s also worth getting to know your colleagues. The more you invest in your relationships at work, the more enjoyable you can find your day.
Helping work colleagues and others in your life can also increase your self-esteem and give you a purpose that is essential to your well-being and happiness.
3. Learn new skills Staying “cognitively active” is critical to your psychological and spiritual well-being and can open up new opportunities for your career development. So try to keep learning – take a class, develop a new skill, or pick up a new hobby, it all adds up.
Keeping things going in your life outside of work is also important for your emotional and mental well-being. In the UK we work some of the longest hours in Europe, which means we often don’t spend enough time doing the things we really enjoy. Don’t work excessive hours. And make time for socializing, exercise and activities that you enjoy.
4. Stay present This is about “being in the moment” and not looking to the past or too far ahead. Enjoy the present and you will appreciate it more. In fact, there’s a lot of research out there on the positive aspects of mindfulness and how it can help with mental health.
You don’t have to sit and meditate for hours either. Being in the moment is more about bringing your brain back to the now. A more mindful approach to life is something you can practice any time of the day, it’s just about being aware and aware of your surroundings – the sights, sounds, smells. You can do this while taking a walk, in a meeting, or brewing a cup of tea.
5. Recognize the positive Staying present also helps you recognize the positive in your life – which allows you to be a glass half full instead of a glass half empty.
Accept that there are things at work or in life that you cannot change and focus on the things that you have control over. Remind yourself to be thankful for the positive things in your life.
6. Avoid unhealthy habits Ultimately, given what we know about their long-term consequences, excessive alcohol or coffee consumption or smoking as a coping strategy for work stress will likely have a negative impact on your happiness, even if they seem to have a quick pickup.
7. Work Smarter, Not Longer Prioritize your workload during work hours and you’ll have more free time to do the things you enjoy. Accept that your inbox will always be full, so focus on the important things first.
The more you take charge of your work life and get the balance you need, the more likely you are to be happier at work. With stress-related illnesses accounting for almost 60% of all long-term illnesses in the UK, you need to prioritize your well-being and try to reduce work-related stress where possible. (The conversation) AMS
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)