Kick-Start Your Year: Resolve to Improve Your Emotional Well-being at Work

Kick-Start Your Year: Resolve to Improve Your Emotional Well-being at Work
When you made your New Year’s resolutions this year, did you include improving your emotional well-being at work? You may have resolved to make some fixes in your personal life – health, finances and general lifestyle – but what about how you feel at work, where you spend most of your waking hours every week? Get a fresh start this January by resolving to amp up your emotional well-being at work. You’ll feel better overall, as this well-being will overflow into your personal life and you can reap the benefits of a more positive and productive work experience.

Take the First Step Toward Emotional Well-being at Work

Begin by identifying what might be causing workplace stress for you. Do any of these factors sound familiar?
  • Too heavy (or too light) a workload
  • Conflicting job demands
  • Lack of job security
  • Relationship problems with supervisors, coworkers, etc.
  • Communication issues
Learn more about stress at work and how it can affect you. And if you have any doubts about the importance of emotional well-being, here’s the Surgeon General’s take on it.

12 Ways to Achieve Emotional Well-being at Work

Now it’s up to you. Pick and choose from these tips to boost your mood, dispense with negativity and deal with workplace stress in a healthy way.
  1. Inject humor and laughter into your workday. Organize fun events with your coworkers (and not just for special occasions), such as socializing at lunch or after work.
  2. Fit some fun activities into your schedule. Use your lunch break to do things you really enjoy – and remember, exercise is a great way to improve your mood.
  3. Do some deep breathing to cut tension and anxiety. Breathe in through your nose, counting to six while your stomach area, then your chest area, expand and rise. Hold your breath for a count of two, exhale for a count of six, then hold for two. Repeat until you feel calm.
  4. Add progressive muscle relaxation to deep breathing. Sitting in a comfy chair, start by curling your toes as you inhale deeply. Hold your breath and the tension in your feet, then let your toes relax as you exhale. Continue this process, working your way up through all your muscle groups and finishing with your facial muscles.
  5. Practice yoga or tai chi. Both are proven to help in relaxation and stress management by calming the mind.
  6. Try meditation to clear out your mental clutter and improve your concentration. You can relax your mind as simply as this: Sitting still in a quiet environment, count silently from one to 100 while breathing slowly and evenly.
  7. Take yourself away with guided imagery. Close your eyes and picture yourself somewhere you would feel happy and relaxed, imagining the physical sensations, sounds and smells. For instance, at the beach, imagine the warm sun and sand, the repetitive whoosh of the waves and the saltiness of the sea air.
  8. Embrace mindfulness. Slow down and be aware of all your thoughts and emotions and the sensations and experiences that are happening right now.
  9. Use rational thinking to rein in unhealthy self-talk. Speak to yourself in balanced, healthy ways. Avoid jumping to conclusions and all-or-nothing thought patterns.
  10. Implement a plan to best manage your time. Each day, tackle the most important tasks first. Examine all the aspects of your job and cut out time-wasting activities.
  11. Make your workspace an oasis. A functional and comfortable work area is a must, but make it yours by adding plants, pictures and other pleasing mementos.
  12. Spend your time with upbeat coworkers who share your values. Don’t let yourself be infected by those with negative attitudes.
  Become a positive influence for your coworkers! Share these tips with them.
For more information on various work life and health and wellness topics, browse the QuickSeries® library of guides, including Improve Your Emotional Wellness at Work and Managing Your Stress.