Stress or Happiness at Work?
by Ebru Sznapkova
Many professionals do not question their happiness level, until it is too late. It comes with a domino effect; starts to hit and collapse each pillar of the life. The reality is there is only one you; at work, at home, at school, at social life. If you are unhappy at any of those pillars, you will be unhappy everywhere. An unhappy person then starts to search for the lost happiness in other pillars of his life and tries to compensate the unhappiness with other motivators, tools, habits for a short term that boosts the brain chemicals like serotonin, endorphin until it is sustainable. Unhappiness mostly creates the similar unhealthy habits in our lives, isn’t it? We develop different level of addictions to support and suspend our happiness level. For example; food, smoking, alcohol… It is not a coincidence that many people get help from those habits to overcome their stress level. As their stress increases, they increase the doses. Do you agree?
Is it something you observe in your life too?
Unfortunately, work is still perceived as a duty to earn money, to secure the financial freedom. We spend min. 8 hrs each day at work. We don’t even count the overtime, files taken home to be worked over the weekend, early morning, late evening home office hours to catch the deadline of the project you manage and of course business trips. We put work over other pillars of our life, because it provides us the financial freedom. Rarely we met professionals who really enjoy what they do, are satisfied and happy because of the self-realization at work rather than delivering the tasks. Therefore, many employees keep going on a rat trail despite of lack in satisfaction, motivation, inspiration. The sickness rates are high, burn-outs are increasing and the ones who can keep their emotions at a very low key are continuing to step up on the success ladder until they start searching for a deep meaning in life. We work with many executives who have achieved everything they desire in life financially but still they search for something they miss in the life; happiness. All agree on work – life balance and the importance of self-realization at work is the key to happiness.
HAPPINESS CAN NOT GROW FROM STRESS SEEDS! TAKE AN ACTION!
So how can you notice the symptoms of Chronic Stress at work?
Noticing the early alerts of the stress in our life, we need to increase the consciousness towards our emotions and take necessary action for those early symptoms of stress to convert them into real happiness at work.
Notice how you feel;
- Do you feel alert or safe at work?
- Do you feel any tension in your body during your interactions at work?
- Does your heart bit up faster while performing your job, esp. at meetings, replying emails, presenting outcomes? Or is it just excitement of results?
- Do you count the minutes to leave the meetings, office or do you forget time at work?
- Do you feel not appreciated enough or understood by the people around you?
- Do you keep running from one meeting after another?
- Are deadlines reflect your work clock or do you follow a time management plan?
- Do you replace your lunch time with meetings? Do you eat / drink healthy during workday?
- Do you have difficulties in concentration? Do you feel productive?
- Do you have difficulties to manage your emotions, does your emotions surprise you?
- Do you have good relations at work or difficulties to connect with your colleagues?
- Do you feel happy when you arrive at work each day?
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Stress
- Frequent Sickness
- Decreased Energy
- Digestive Issues
- Appetite Changes
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Rapid Disorganized Thoughts
- Perceived Loss of Control
- Low–Self Esteem
On top of all those symptoms, if you still expect to be successful at work while exposed to very high level of chronic stress; unfortunately, you cannot sustain the success for a long time.
HAPPINESS CAN NOT GROW FROM STRESS SEEDS! TAKE AN ACTION!
Recent studies show that brain functions decrease when human is exposed to very high level of continues stress and perform on a fighter mode for a long time. What we mean by fighter mode is; person who keeps running upstream and keeps cooking with gas to keep up the deadlines, projects and try to keep the balance in personal life.
Ask Help from Your Organization
Organizations are aware of the long–term stress impact on employees very well. Consciousness on stress impacts are very high due to the impacts stress create. There are new positions createdin the organization to support employee happiness such as; Chief Happiness Officer, each year there are conferences focusing on those topics and solutions are increased rapidlyto create, maintain work life balance. Organizational cultures are changing. Organizations are more and more investing in employee wellness programs. We started to speak openly about the great impact of the Mindfulness and Meditation programs at work.Stress Management is one of the core topics for the employers. There are very positive changes happening over the past 5 years as we observe with our clients, we are confident that all these efforts will help to increase the motivation, inspiration, productivity, joy and happiness at workplaces.
Tips for ImprovingHappiness at Work
Know and Respect your Values: Values are your compass. The compass that guides what is wrong, what is right, what is acceptable, what is not. Imagine if your compass operates differently than your organization. How would you feel? In long term this has a huge impact on motivation.
Believe in What You do: Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Create the results you will be proud of. This way your work becomes fun and will fuel your work with lots of “ Can Do Energy“.
Avoid Negative Minds: There are some type of people who have a negative mind set under being realistic approach. Those people enjoy killing any new idea or creative approach. They don’t like to think alternative or change their routine at work. Simply avoid negative minds and surround yourself with positive minds who will courage your new projects.
Set Goals and Measure your Achievement: What is measured is managed. Setting goals will give your days a motion. Positive motion towards your goals. Be brave to think bold dreams. Create solid goals to achieve.
Choose to Be Happy at work: Happiness is a choice. Creation of happiness is a conscious act. You are responsible from your own happiness.
Do what you Love: You spend more than 8 hrs per day at work. This means 1/3 of your day. Own your life, recognize your skills. Choose to practice what you love and enjoy. You will create your own heaven at work!
Take the Responsibility for your Development: Get feedback from your manager and co–workers and use this feedback to grow. Obtain the areas you would like to grow further. Learn a new skill. Attend a course. Work on yourself growth as this is nobody’s responsibility but only you! Do not postpone, Just Do it!
Work on your Work Life Balance: Do not carry your work to your home and your home to your work. Respect your time out of office and spend your time to refresh yourself. Have a hobby that makes you happy. Recharge yourself and spend time to relax your mind.
Do a Physical Activity: The easiest way to change how you feel is to exercise. When you change your physiology, you will change your psychology. This is the best way to release the accumulated stress in your body.
ExhaleStress Out: Breathe deeply and freely. The way you breathe, the way you live. If you keep the stress inside you, suppressed you will send an invitation to many physical and mental illnesses. The best way how to release the stress out of your body is to learn conscious breathing and practice on daily basis.
Change Your Mindset: A negative mind can never create a positive result. Identify the areas where you create negative limitations for your life and at work. Where attention goes, there energy boosts. It means if you focus on negative beliefs that’s where you will give your energy and be unproductive.
Do not forget life is one! Wishing you a wonderful life totally fulfilled with your passion and very happy daysat work!
Happiness is a state of mind. Every year many professionals suffer from Employee Burn Out which comes very silently. Address it in time. Value your life, time, skills and emotions.
To your Success.