Being Happy and Healthy at Work

Have you ever said, “This job is killing me?” You might be right.

Recently, I attended the Alan Weiss conference and had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Martin Seligman speak. His topic was on the importance of happiness. The talk was not just about a person’s psychological well-being, but also about how happiness improves a person’s physical well-being. It has been proven that happy people are more productive and have less illness. Conversely, stress can wreak havoc on a body and a study has found that hopelessness and depression are each predictors of coronary heart disease.  

How does this tie in with work? If a person is unhappy or unsatisfied at work, they likely have higher levels of absenteeism and physical ailments. Look around your office. Perhaps you see someone who is often complaining of headaches or stomachaches. They may be perfectly happy with their job and simply have a physical ailment, but they may be unhappy in their job and stressed out, leading them to feel physically ill. Hopefully your employees and co-workers are happy and healthy and you won’t find anybody exhibiting these symptoms.

I have a friend who had been out of work for a little while and jumped into a job he was not suited for. He told me that, in hindsight, he knew the job wasn’t right for him immediately.  On his very first day, he got a severe and persistent eye spasm. He chalked it up to sitting in a new office, at a new computer, under new lights. Eventually though the symptoms progressed into frequent headaches and stomach pain. Finally, it became evident that he was very unhappy with this new position and was, at least mildly, depressed. He found a way to get out of that position quickly and immediately began to feel better.

I encourage you to visit Authentic Happiness. There is a wealth of information on the web site and there are numerous well-being assessments you can take. You’ll be helping their research and you may also learn about yourself in the process.

And, as the song says, “Don’t worry, Be happy.” It might just save your life.