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preventing burnout at workplace
Stress

Resilience at Work: 19 Ways to Improve Resilience in The Workplace and Prevent Burnout

The average individual spends a quarter of their adult life at work.

Work doesn’t just provide us means to finance daily life, it can also give us a sense of purpose and structure.

But work can also be a major source of stress.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to prevent burnout and increase resilience at work.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Definition of Resilience?

Resilience refers to the ability to bounce back from adversity and negative experiences and recover faster and prevent stress-related problems such as anxiety and depression.

Lisen Schultz, acting deputy science director at the Stockholm Resilience Center at Stockholm University, describes resilience as “a capacity to persist, adapt or transform in the face of change in a way that maintains the basic identity of a system.”

Resilience is related to change and given the rapid changes experienced in our daily lives and especially in the workplace, developing resilience becomes a necessity to face daily hassles.

Why Is Mental Health At Work Important?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as: ‘A state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’.

Our mental health affects the way we think, feel, and behave towards ourselves and others. It also affects our productivity and work quality.

2 Key Components For Wellbeing

Most people measure their wellbeing by their level of happiness. But there is more to wellbeing than the positive feelings of happiness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that wellbeing also involves resilience: the ability to manage problems and challenges as well as bounce back, and recover from them.

In other words, wellbeing requires both, the ability to enjoy life and having the resources to manage life’s ups and downs without feeling overly stressed.

Work and Stress

Issues such as a poor working environment, unrealistic deadlines, poor communication, and interpersonal relationships quality, too much responsibility and workload, and a lack of management support can increase stress for people at work.

Not to mention that most of us will also have to deal with stressful situations outside of work.

Stress represents any challenge to the balance (also referred to as homeostasis) of the body, be it physical, psychological, emotional, real, or even imagined.

A challenge can be anything from weather changes to traumatizing experiences, pollution, sleep deprivation, feelings of fatigue, eating processed food, or deadlines.

Stressors can also be hidden, such as feelings of low self-esteem or a weak immune system.

Although stress isn’t a disorder, the mental health charity Mind argues that ‘it’s closely linked to your mental health in two important ways:

Stress can cause mental health problems, and make existing problems worse. For example, if you often struggle to manage feelings of stress, you might develop a mental health problem like anxiety or depression.

Mental health problems can cause stress. You might find coping with the day-to-day symptoms of your mental health problem, as well as potentially needing to manage medication, healthcare appointments or treatments, can become extra sources of stress.

This can start to feel like a vicious circle, and it might be hard to see where stress ends and your mental health problem begins.’

Stress is responsible for emotional and physical problems such as experiencing racing thoughts that won’t switch off, inability to concentrate, indecisiveness, irritability, impatience, aggressiveness, muscle tension, headaches, chest pains, indigestion or heartburn, constipation or diarrhea, sleep problems, etc.

Related: Definitive Guide to Relieve Stress Instantly and Lead a Peaceful Life

How to Improve Resilience and Emotional Wellbeing at Work?

To a large extent, resilience is a skill that you practice and build.

You have the potential to build resilience to deal with most situations, cope with difficulties and challenges, and bounce back.

#1. Raise Your Awareness

For you to change your perception about a certain stressor, you’ll need to be aware you are stressed.

Emotions and emotional memory are directly connected to physiological responses.

Whenever you experience a particular emotion or memory, your mind will forward assumptions and beliefs, and trigger physiological reactions that helped you cope in the past.

The result is a reaction and behavior that is motivated by a now unconscious belief, such as “there will never be enough money,” or, “my needs will never be met,” or, “people can’t be trusted.”

For example, if you have a belief that there will never be enough money, you may find yourself feeling stressed over money, even though you have a high-paying job.

It’s important to become aware of these assumptions and beliefs before you can gain control over your stress response.

Try This: Self-Awareness Exercise

1. Think about a situation that made you feel stressed, angry, or frustrated.

2. Notice how it makes you feel in your body. Does the body feel tense, constricted, restricted? Notice any changes in areas like your jaw, chest, stomach. Notice your breath and heartbeat.

3. Notice the intensity of your emotions as you think more about the situation.

4. Pay attention to your thoughts. What are you really angry about? Write down these thoughts.

You’ll have a better chance of regulating the stress response when you address triggers and negative beliefs around a particular situation.

#2. Manage Difficult Emotions

Your emotions, even difficult ones, serve a purpose.

Emotions such as anger, frustration, or resentment are meant to alert you that something is wrong and action needs to be taken.

You may need to stand up for yourself or for someone you love, you may need to slow down to reprocess what happened and make effective decisions, or you may need to set boundaries.

Stress pushes you to take action and forces change when change is due.

Validate and Understand Your Emotions

Do you allow yourself to feel your emotions, or do you tend to repress them?

Many people were taught that difficult emotions, such as anger, sadness, or frustration are wrong and shouldn’t be expressed. Some people would even guilt and shame when they experience difficult emotions.

The irony, though, is that when you ignore or suppress your feelings, they only become stronger.

Difficult emotions don’t vanish on their own and don’t heal themselves. They build up inside us, like a debt that will eventually come due. They start poisoning everything we do, whether we like it or not.

Try This: Connect With Your Feelings

1. Think about times when you act out in angry or out of stress and spend a few minutes contemplating how that made you feel.

“When I act out of stress, I feel ___________________.”

Word choices:

AcceptableAggressiveAmazedAnxious
AshamedAstonishedAwfulConfident
ConfusedCourageousDespairDevastated
DisappointedEmbarrassedEmptyEnergized
FrightenedFulfilledGuiltyHateful
HopefulHostileHumiliatedHurt
InadequateIndifferentInspiredIsolated
LiberatedOptimisticOverwhelmedPeaceful
Powerful  PowerlessProudRejected
RelievedRemorsefulRespectedSatisfied
ScaredShockedTerrifiedVictimized
VulnerableWorriedWorthlessWorthy

2. Notice how positive or negative your choice of words.

#3. Change Your Perception

You might be thinking to yourself that if you can’t change a stressor in your life, such as your job, then you are doomed because your stress response is always active.

Don’t despair. You still have the ability to fix the problem by learning how to change your perception of the stressor.

Research shows that people experience a stress response when exposed to a situation that involves any of the following characteristics:

Novelty: the situation is new to you.

Unpredictability: you perceive the situation as unexpected or unpredictable.

Threat to your sense of self

Sense of low control over the situation: you have the impression that you lack control over the situation.

In this sense, similar situations can cause a little stress, a lot of stress, or no stress at all, depending on how the individual perceives it.

How Changing Your Perception Reduces Stress

By perceiving a particular situation to be manageable, your stress response will only be triggered long enough to motivate the necessary action.

A positive perception is also directly correlated to higher self-appraisal and belief in the success or manageability of a particular challenge.

For example, instead of worrying over your decision to change jobs, you may choose to change your mindset to believe that whatever choice you made would be okay.

You may, for instance, feel very confident that there is no such thing as a wrong choice because every choice can bring opportunity for growth and learning.

When you perceive a challenge to be manageable, you grow more resilient. This belief in your own ability and resources to handle adversity will help you gain control over the stress response.

#4. Establish and Maintain a Good Work–Life Balance

If you feel like work is taking over your life, that’s a clue you’re not balancing work and life well.

This doesn’t just include the number of hours you spend at work or working, it also includes the time you spend thinking about it and the constant access to the internet, email, and texts even when you’re away from work.

A healthy work–life balance requires that both your work demands and your personal needs are being met.

If most of your time and attention are invested in work, you end up with little time or energy for anything else. The cumulative effect of neglecting your personal needs can leave you vulnerable to stress and eventually burnout along with other mental and physical issues.

Aspects of your life, such as rest, physical activity, healthy eating, leisure activities, and relationships are essential to help you cope with life challenges.

Assess your work-life balance by tracking down how many hours you’ve worked or spent thinking or worrying about work.

Think if you are neglecting other aspects of your life – time with family and friends, time for leisure activities, etc.

Becoming aware of the imbalance is the first step to taking action.

Here are a few ways to disconnect and leave work behind:

1. Set a firm cut-off time

Set a firm time to get away from work by planning something afterwards, like attending an event, attending a yoga class, or meeting up with a friend.

2. Leave work at work

Before you leave work, empty your head by writing down a list of tasks or work-related notes that are on your mind.

Writing things down can provide the same mental relief as actually completing the task.

3. Make the commute less stressful

Use your commute to calm yourself before and after work by using deep breathing exercises or a meditation app.

If you’re driving a good audiobook, or podcast can help you take your mind off work.

If you work from home, taking a walk can help you clear your mind and get some exercise done.

4. Set healthy boundaries

Set firm boundaries around when you are and aren’t, available.

Let clients or colleagues know that you won’t be able to respond outside of your working hours.

You can do this by setting up an automatic message that replies to out-of-office emails, like ‘Thank you for your email. My work hours are Monday– Friday, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. I’ll reply to your email as soon as possible.’

Even if someone sends a text, unless it’s an emergency, resist the urge to respond and reply the next working day.

5. Disconnect

Disconnect your work email and stay away from your laptop.

Do something you enjoy that’s completely different from what you do at work.

establish-balance- employee mental wellness

#5. Take a Proper Lunch Break

If you use your lunch break to get more work done and eat at your desk, reclaim back your lunch break and start doing something different.

The following is a list of things you can do on your lunch break:

1. Take an afternoon nap
2. Meditate
3. Read a book
4. Listen to an audiobook
5. Catch up on some podcasts
6. Catch up on your favorite TV show
7. Do some research on a topic you’re genuinely interested in
8. Have a Skype Date
9. Call a loved one
10. Send kind messages to your loved ones
11. Leave nice comments on friends posts on social media
12. Meet a friend for a lunch date
13. Go for a walk
14. Go to a park, take off your shoes, and watch the clouds
15. Stretch, or move your body in some way
16. Get a manicure or pedicure
17. Get a 15-minute massage at a local spa
18. Do some low-stress errands to reduce your post-work errand stress
19. Check out a local bookstore or library
20. Get a treat at a bakery
21. Visit a museum or an art gallery
22. Make some art
23. Journal

Taking breaks throughout your day, and especially during your lunch break is important to reduce stress and pressure and boost your energy.

It is also important to watch what you’re eating. Diet can make a difference to how you feel at any point in the day.

Bring food from home or choose healthy options when buying lunch. Avoid snacks that will make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly, such as sweets, cakes, and sugary drinks. Instead, snack on fruits, vegetables, or nuts.

Things-to-Do-on-Your-Lunch-Break- employee mental wellness

#6. Manage Stressful Busy Periods at Work

Having a proper work-life balance might not be enough to maintain your wellbeing when you struggle to manage the pressure at work – the amount of work you need to get done in the time you have.

The strain and distress that can result from being overloaded with pressure and demands can increase your work stress and eventually lead to burnout.

The best way to manage pressure is to remain present. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with how much you still have to do and how little time you have left, stay present with what’s happening and what you’re doing right now.

Here’s how you can do that:

1. Accept it

Recognize that there is only a certain amount of time available to get things done and let go of any thoughts of how unfair and difficult things are.

2. Focus on your breath

Focusing on your breath is the best way to bring your attention back to present and focus on the task at hand.

Breathing deeply will also help calm you and clear your mind.

Breath Work Exercise

1. Try doing this exercise lying down on the ground and notice how that provides a sensation of being grounded to the earth.

2. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your heart.

3. Inhale deeply through your nose as you silently count to three.

4. Exhale through your mouth as you silently count to six.

5. Repeat this six more times, and then see if you can work up to a four-count inhale, followed by an eight-count exhale, and then five-count inhale, followed by a ten-count exhale.

Once you’re done, notice how you feel calmer and more present.

Apps like Prana Breath, MindShift CBT, Breath Ball, and Health through Breath can help make breathing exercises easier.

3. Prioritize and plan

Successful people use the 80/20 rule to prioritize their work.

The 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle simply states that 20% of the work is responsible for 80% of the results.

So take a look at your tasks list and decide which key tasks are responsible for the most results (revenues, productivity, etc) and start with these.

4. Have realistic expectations and goals

Set realistic targets when it comes to how much could be done in an hour, a morning or a working day.

Leave room between activities and tasks. For instance, if have a meeting, block out a 15-minute slot afterwards to decompress or take care of anything urgent that might come up that you couldn’t have foreseen.

5. Manage your energy

When planning your working day take your energy levels into consideration.

For instance, if you’re a morning person, start with your key tasks first thing in the morning when your physical and mental energy and concentration levels are at a maximum and leave the more mundane ones for later.

10 Ways to Reduce Your Stress

  1. Practice deep breathing
  2. Meditate
  3. Spend some time in nature
  4. Write your worries down
  5. Listen to soothing music
  6. Exercise
  7. Spend time with people you love
  8. Play with your pet
  9. Quit or reduce coffee, alcohol, and sugar
  10. Avoid news overload

#7. Know Your Limits and Be Assertive Enough to Say No

Feeling overwhelmed with the workload you have doesn’t mean you’re incompetent or that you need to toughen up.

You need to know your limit and when more work isn’t going to be worth it, whether for your physical and mental health or you’re your productivity at work.

The Mental Health Foundation recommends that ‘when work demands are too high, you must speak up. This includes speaking up when work expectations and demands are too much. Employers need to be aware of where the pressures lie in order to address them.’

Being assertive when you need to say no and turn other people down is a skill that needs practice.

When you say no to extra work or unnecessary meetings, you’re saying yes to more important things; doing your job more effectively and maintaining your wellbeing.

1. Be clear about what you’re being asked to do

Before you commit yourself, make sure you’re clear about what’s involved and what the other person expects from you. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information.

If you don’t think you can do it, be clear about it rather than say yes and regret it later.

When saying no, be honest but give only one genuine reason.

2. Acknowledge the other person’s response but stand firm

For instance, you can say, ‘I understand you need someone to. . .

(acknowledging their response) but. . .I’m not going to be able to do it.’ (standing your ground).

3. Negotiate and compromise

You can still negotiate or compromise with the other person but be firm about what you can and can’t do.

For instance, you might say ‘I could ask someone else to do that for you,’ or, ‘I could maybe do that if you’re happy for me to drop a couple of other tasks and focus on this instead,’ or ‘I could get it done by a later date.’

Related: How to Firmly Establish and Enforce Healthy Emotional Boundaries?


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#8. Get Help with Your Work

Mind’s publication How to Implement the Thriving at Work Mental Health Standards in Your Workplace recognizes that employees themselves are ‘responsible for accessing support when they need it and raising any concerns with their line manager, HR or occupational health.’

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the load of work you have, talking with your manager about this or asking a colleague to take something off your plate or work with you on something can be essential here for your wellbeing.

Asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re admitting you’re inadequate in some way. It simply shows that you know your limit and has enough courage to speak up for yourself.

Be direct and honest when asking for help. Don’t drop hints.

Consider whether the other person actually has time to take on more work and simply tell the other person what you’re needing help with and what you’d like them to do.

Related: Struggling to Receive? 7 Steps to Open Up and Start Accepting Loved and Support

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

EAPs are programs that promote employee mental wellness. They provide referrals to mental health professionals and other services while maintaining strict standards of confidentiality.

The areas typically managed by an EAP provider include:

  • Job stress
  • Harassment
  • Workplace personality conflicts
  • Personal difficulties
  • Legal and family advice
  • Grief assistance
  • Balancing work and family
  • Eldercare, childcare, parenting difficulties
  • Substance abuse
  • Financial counseling

Today, 77% of US employers offer an EAP to their employees. To find service providers in your area, use an internet search engine. Keywords include “EAP service providers” and you may add your location to narrow the results.

#9. Build Positive Relationships with Others

Positive, supportive relationships at work, is key to wellbeing and good mental health at work.

Other people can a source of support and make being at work more enjoyable.

  • Be more welcoming and nice to new members of staff.
  • Remember what it was like when you were new and share the knowledge, the lessons, and the skills you’ve accumulated.
  • Aim to be sociable with your colleagues, especially when you take breaks, and before and after work.
  • Find common ground, offer tea or coffee, and help whenever you can.
  • Even a smile or asking how someone’s weekend was can make a difference to someone’s day.

#10. Harness The Power of Spirituality

Increasing your feelings of belonging doesn’t just involve connecting with other people. It also includes connecting to something bigger than you.

Being spiritual is not just about being religious. It is about giving and receiving love from something that is beyond what you see – it is about faith.

Faith helps you find meaning and strength to get you through hard situations.

The more meaning you have in your life, the more resilient you become.

One way to get started is to practice appreciation and to connect to your sense of awe.

For example, go out in nature and notice the small details with a sense of awe.

Try This: Explore Your Spiritual Beliefs

Use the following journaling prompts to explore your spiritual beliefs more:

  • What, if any, are your spiritual beliefs?
  • Are you living a life that is compatible with your spirituality?
  • How do these beliefs impact the way you live your life?
  • What changes can you make to your life to make it more compatible with your spiritual beliefs?
Stress Relief worksheets-min

What is Burnout?

When left unchecked, excessive or prolonged stress can result in burnout – a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion can affect all areas of a person’s life, not just work.

Burnout is characterized by three dimensions:

1. Energy depletion or exhaustion;

2. Increased mental distance from one’s work, or increased negativity or cynicism related to one’s work;

3. Reduced professional efficacy.

Feeling tired all the time, lacking enthusiasm about your work, feeling cynical and disengaged from what you do, are all signs of burnout which is becoming more and more common as our lives became busier and more demanding.

However, burnout isn’t simply a result of working too hard for too long.

“Burnout results when the balance of deadlines, demands, working hours, and other stressors outstrips rewards, recognition, and relaxation,” according to Alexandra Michel, a science writer at the Association for Psychological Science.

While feeling always tired and lacking engagement in your work can decrease your productivity, the risks of burnout run deeper than that.

In fact, studies have shown that burnout is also associated with obesity, insomnia, and anxiety.

While causation hasn’t been proven, research also shows a link between overworking and a higher risk of both stroke and coronary heart disease.

Preventing Burnout In The Workplace

In order to overcome the effects of burnout, psychologists usually suggest finding ways to make your workload more manageable (delegate more, say “no” more often, eliminate time wasters and distractions…).

But burnout isn’t only about workload stress. It’s workload stress exceeding the rewards of that workload.

#11. Determine How Long The Workday Needs To Be

Although success is being linked with little work and more leisure time, in real life, people with the highest status jobs and highest salaries are more likely to be overworked.

Overworking can become counterproductive and cause burnout. In fact, researches have shown that working more hours can only increase your productivity to a point before it diminishes.

This point seems to be around 49 hours per week. Beyond this point, you won’t get more done and you’ll put your health at risk.

So working more than 49 hours per week isn’t likely going to get you ahead in your career or impress your boss, or even help you keep up with your never-ending to-do list.

#12. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking is nothing but fast task switching. In fact, doing more than one activity that requires brainpower such as writing, reading, conversing… at the same time is impossible.

David Meyer, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor says “as long as you’re performing complicated tasks that require the same parts of the brain, and you need to devote all that capacity for these tasks, there just aren’t going to be resources available to add anything more.”

While attempting to multitask isn’t uncommon, it can lead to some bad results. When you switch between tasks that require effort and concentration you either are going to have to slow down on one of the tasks or you’re going to start making mistakes.

So instead of wasting our energy and working at lower speed and accuracy on more than one task, we need to prioritize our work and focus on one task at a time.

#13. Craft The Perfect Morning Routine

Most successful people in history have relied on morning routine to help them start their day on the right foot and increase their productivity throughout the day.

Hal Elrod, in his book The Miracle Morning, has written six simple habits to start the day right.

It’s called SAVERS. An acronym that stands for:

S — — Silence. Start your day with at least 5 minutes of meditation. Focus on your breathing and let go of any thoughts that might come to your mind.

A — — Affirmations. Write down on paper your ideal life in the present tense. If you want to become fit, you can write down “I take care of my health and exercise daily.” Then read your affirmation aloud with emotion and intent.

V — — Visualization. Close your eyes and think about your ideal life as if you were living it. Do it for 5 minutes.

E — — Exercise. Even an exercise as simple as stretching can be enough to make you alert and improve your concentration level.

R — — Reading. Reading something inspirational in the morning will give you something to dwell on.

S — — Scribing. You can write down your to-do list for the day, things you’re grateful for, and any thought that comes into your mind.

Related: Morning Routines: The Definitive Guide to Design Your Perfect Morning Routine

#14. Protect Your Time

Many of us lose so much time of our meaningful work because we have a hard time turning down requests from colleagues or resisting long coffee breaks and social media/news checking.

Some find themselves stuck in endless meetings they feel they have to attend even though it doesn’t seem to add anything to their work.

One way to protect your time is by scheduling deep work sessions in advance.

Cal Newport author of Deep Work, deliberately prioritizes his most important work over emails, meetings with colleagues, or spontaneous opportunities. He schedules blocks of time for his deep work in advance and fits other demands around those appointments.

#15. Constrain Your Time or Your Tasks

Depending on the type of tasks you’re working on, you can either constrain your time or constrain the tasks.

For tasks that aren’t well-defined, or not easily broken down into sub-tasks you can make progress on these tasks by setting a time constraint to work on them, like planning to work for two hours first thing in the morning.

For tasks that are well-defined, you can constrain them by setting a specific set of tasks to complete and work on as long as it takes to get them done without setting a specific period of time to work for.

#16. Take Restful Breaks

Not taking enough restful breaks can affect our productivity levels and even lead to burnout. In fact, our brains are built to detect change. When things are consistent over time, our brains stop paying attention to it.

So when you’re working on tasks that take a long time, eventually you stop paying attention to it. This is why taking a break is found to improve focus and productivity in general.

In order to benefits from your breaks, make sure your switch off from work, including not responding to emails or updating your to-do list.

Spending time in nature can not only improve your focus but also reduce stress, as well as improve your mood and sleep.

Related: 35 Easy Ways to Relax: Beat Stress and Anxiety in as Little as Five Minutes

#17. Increase Your Productivity For The Last Hour Of Your Workday

The way you spend the last hour of your workday can make a huge difference in how productive you are the next morning and the rest of the day.

Creating productive habits for the last hour of your workday can help you start the next day in a good mood.

The following are some examples of habits you can develop:

 1. Plan tomorrow’s to-do list

Having your to-do list prewritten for the next day means that you’ll know exactly what to do when you get into your desk instead of simply acting on whatever draws your attention.

When planning your to-do list for the next day, it’s important to look at your calendar and take into consideration the time that will be taken by meetings and other plans.

2. Leave something unfinished

Even with a prewritten to-do list, you might find yourself procrastinating on going through it. This is why leaving something unfinished in your last hour of the day can help you start working as soon as you get into your desk.

This is called Zeigarnik effect.

When there’s something unfinished, your brain wants closure. This can make you eager to finish whatever is left unfinished first thing in the morning.

#18. Find Ways To Relax And Enjoy Life Again

1. Practice Self-care

Self-care should be a way of life, not just practiced when you’re burned out.

Eating well, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of quality sleep are simple yet effective ways in preventing burnout.

Find out what activities are most relaxing for you and make time to do more of them.

Related: Take Care of Yourself: (26 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body & Soul)

2. Do What You Enjoy

Burnout is caused by a feeling of resentment toward your job and not being able to do what you love or what is important to you regularly.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer says that people “will become resentful if work makes them miss things that are really important to them.”

This is why it’s important to know what you care about most and make more time to do it. If there’s a particular activity that you enjoy in your work, make time to do more of it. If, on the other hand, your activity of pleasure is not work-related like playing an instrument, make time to do it regularly.

It may seem like a counterintuitive idea, given the hectic schedule you might have, but doing more of what you enjoy can stave off burnout and rejuvenate your energy.

#19. Make Your Work More Meaningful

We seem to push ourselves for higher levels of productivity and higher output without asking what kind of output is meaningful and whether we’re spending our energy effectively.

First, you need to understand what makes work meaningful.

A meaningful life is about helping and connecting with other people, and contributing to something beyond yourself, like others, nature, or your work. Meaningfulness in our work improves our performance and job satisfaction.

Moreover, meaningful work and life produce more positive feelings on the long-haul which makes the effort worth it.

However, meaningfulness is rarely experienced in the moment, but rather in retrospect and on reflection when people are able to see the connection between their achievements and its impact.

Related: Why ‘Following Your Passion’ Is Not The Answer – (And Here’s What To Do Instead)

How to make your work more meaningful?

If you want to increase your feelings of meaningfulness at your work you can either look for a new job that offers more meaning for you, or you can adjust your current job.

The latter method is called “job crafting,” a term coined by psychologists Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane E. Dutton in 2001. The aim is to adjust your job description in a way that will create more meaning in your life and turn your current job into the job your love. You can do this through three main steps:

1. Task crafting. In this part, you adjust your role by picking up or dropping specific tasks. You can usually do this once you’ve proven yourself to your supervisor. You might even have to learn a new skill or expand your abilities.

2. Relational crafting. In this part, you, purposely, work on creating or deepening relationships at work.

3. Cognitive crafting. In this final part, you work on thinking differently about what you do and why it’s important.

With the ever-increasing demands of our work, we struggle to get things done. We turn to failed methods such as working longer hours, skipping breaks, and multitasking. However, these approaches often lead to burnout.

By managing your time better and doing more of your meaningful work, you can get more done without hindering your health

Journal Prompts to Help You Find and Follow Your Passion

Work Stress Quotes

“Trying to be a perfectionist brings increased stress and hinders performance.”  – T. Whitmore

“Believing that you must do something to perfection is a recipe for stress, and you’ll associate that stress with the task and thus condition yourself to avoid it.” – Steve Pavlina

“Mindfulness creates centered awareness. When you do one thing at a time, you’re guaranteed excellent results. If you do too many things simultaneously, it messes up your neural circuits. Focus on one thing at a time.” – Deepak Chopra

 “One of the best ways to reduce stress is to accept the things that you cannot control.” – M. P. Neary

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

“When money becomes your purpose, stress, and depression become your path.” – Prabakaran Thirumalai

“Stress can actually help you focus better and can be positive. Having small amounts of stress can stimulate you to think. Being able to manage your stress is key.”  – Frank Long

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

“Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life.” – Andrew Bernstein


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12 Ways to get in a better mood - employee mental wellness

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References

  • Portions of this article were adapted from the book Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace, © 2020 by Donna Butler and Gill Hasson. All rights reserved.
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