April is National Stress Awareness Month. It is important that during this time, we discuss what we can do to decrease our levels. However, what about workplace stress? According to the American Institute of Stress, there are numerous studies which show that workplace stress is the major source of stress for American adults and that it has progressively escalated over the past few decades. Increased levels of job stress have been associated with increased rates of heart attacks, hypertension, and other disorders. What are some of the main causes of this stress? 46% cite their workload, 28% mention people issues, 20% state juggling work and their personal lives, and 6% believe it is a lack of job security.
How Does Stress Affect Your Career & Your Wellbeing?
Stress is a highly personalized experience and can vary widely, even in identical situations for various reasons. One’s job stress and the severity of it is dependent on the extent of the demands that are being made and the individual’s sense of control or decision-making leeway is provided in dealing with them. There are scientific studies based on this model, which confirm that employees who sense that they are subjected to high demands but have little control are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
It also has been found that occupations do not really matter because some individuals thrive in different types of fast-paced or slow-paced types of occupations. In other words, the type of role for an individual is very key to their levels of stress and managing them. This is why finding your dream career can also change your life.
Finding Your Dream Job Leads to a Healthier Life
Yes, this is true! Is it worth it to put your health and life at risk everyday just to stay in a position that makes us feel bored, anxious, stressed, or frustrated – and ultimately, unhappy? No, it’s not. You may think that it’s impossible to find a career that you love and doesn’t leave you feeling drained or unfulfilled but that’s simply not true. Your own happiness and fulfillment should be enough reason to make a switch, however, if it’s not- living a longer life should be.
What are some reasons that a fulfilling career leads to a healthier and happier life? Let’s take a look at some.
- Loving your work- and where you spend most of your waking hours is bound to make you happier. There is at least one study that cites older individuals with more positive moods were 35% less likely to die within the next 5 years. This verifies that the happier you are, the longer you will likely live.
- Fuel your purpose. We all have a purpose and figuring this out is one of the keys. Also, understanding that loving work and it is the greatest service that we can provide to others and to society, is important. Living with a purpose is critical to living a healthy life.
- Enjoying your job produces less stress and anxiety. If stress is the #1 killer, then this plays right into it. 85% of people HATE their job. That’s 9 in 10 people worldwide who don’t enjoy what they’re doing daily. Stress is a direct result of spending most of your waking hours doing work that does not produce joy, satisfaction, or reflects your strengths. If this is you, then it is time to seek a new career before it continues to affect your health.
- Being challenged is preferred to boredom. I speak to a lot of job candidates and most prefer challenging work over boredom. A mental challenge comes from loving your work, whereas, boredom stems from a lack of engagement. Mental alertness and consistently facing mental challenges keep your mind sharp and keeps you motivated and happy.
- Like attracts like. Having your dream career allows you to attract other people, opportunities, and a sense of community. It has been shown that those with more social connections live longer those counterparts who socialize less. If you feel better about yourself, you are more likely to make an active effort towards connecting with others as well as attracting those like-minded individuals to fuel those bonds.
In short, if you are unhappy with your career, then taking control of your health and stress levels is very much worth it. Our workplaces may be a major source of our stress; however, we have control over if we want to remain in a dead-end, thankless, unfulfilled position that gives you a case of the “Sundays blues” every evening and every weekend.