Written by Dr Kathleen Stephany, RN, PhD, Psychologist
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, rhythm and harmony.
Creating balance in health and wellness can increase employee productivity and work satisfaction because healthier and happier people generally have more energy, take less sick days and seem to enjoy their work more, when compared to unhealthy persons. However, the opposite is also true. Unhappy individuals report poorer mental and physical health, less satisfaction with life in general, decreased satisfaction with work, and are at a higher risk of substance misuse.
Sometimes you are able to reduce the amount of stress you are under by changing jobs or your work routine, but at other times that is not that easy. You may have financial commitments that keep you where you are. So if you can’t change jobs or what is happening at work, you can still choose to change what you do outside of work to increase your physical and psychological stamina.
Yet, even when people recognize that they need to be healthier to help alleviate work stress and increase work satisfaction, they still do not know how, or where, to begin their journey to wellness. Sometimes they try to do too much too fast which sets them up for failure. I, therefore, counsel my clients to consider a variety of stress busting strategies but to only introduce ONE SMALL CHANGE AT A TIME.
When that one change becomes a habit they may be ready to add another healthy change to their routine, but less is often more. Here is my list of STRESS BUSTERS. You can add to this list or create your own >>>
#1. Get A Bit More Sleep
Even one more hour a night can make you feel better. If you have trouble falling asleep, consider relaxation techniques instead of medications.
#2. Make One Small Change In Your Diet
Even eating a piece of fruit instead of that cake or muffin, or cutting out that diet drink and replacing it with a vitamin drink or water can increase your wellness.
#3. Read Something Positive At The Start Of Your Day
Reading a positive quote or affirmation first thing in the morning will help set the tone for the rest of the day.
#4. Avoid Negative People & Negative Self-Talk
Whatever you focus on grows so be careful whom you spend time with and also be careful with what you say. Focus on what is good.
#5. Write In A Gratitude Journal Either Every Morning Or Night
Being grateful helps you to grumble less and appreciate the many blessings that already exist in your life.
#6. Limit The Amount Of Time You Spend On Social Networking
Sometimes you need to take a time out for you. Leave your phone at home when you want some peace and quiet.
#7. Spend Some Time In Nature
Nature is all around you but sometimes you forget to take her in. When was the last time you just gazed out the window?
#8. Walk More
Walking is free and is good for you physically and mentally. Even if you can’t go to the gym you can walk.
This week commit to making one small change that will enhance your wellness because becoming healthier may increase your happiness and productivity, at home and at work. Write your goal down on paper - this increases your commitment. Consider having a buddy to support you with what you choose to do and then just start.
Remind yourself that, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step.” Lau-tzu, Chinese Philosopher
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. Retrieved April 10, 2013 from: www.http://osha.europs.eu
Greenhaus, H. J., Collins, M. K., & Shaw, D. J. (2003). The relationship between work-family balance and quality of life. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 63, pp. 510 – 531.