Work doesn’t always have to be stressful. Here’s a way to find value in what you do.
A recent study found out that nearly 92% of Singaporean office workers are stressed. Surprising? It is likely that you are one of the 92%. Workers who are stressed report lower morale at work and are more likely to suffer a decrease in both physical and mental health. Stress is one of the leading reasons of poor mental health in Singapore.
On the other hand, we’ve known for years that happiness has a positive correlation on productivity. Think back to a time when you felt happy, energized, and free from stress. Did you perform better at work? If we could all have a stress-free experience in our workplaces, wouldn’t everything just be better?
Now, it’s clear to assume that being successful in our careers would lead us to happiness, and that leads us to tolerate bad days at work, bad bosses, and even terrible jobs with the hope of career success. But isn’t this looking at it from the wrong perspective? Being unhappy at work just makes us less productive and less successful overall.
Instead, the key for us to reduce stress, as well as improve our mood at the same time, is to ensure that we get fulfillment at work.
Based on my experience with working professionals, I always ask them this question:
“When you are working, what do you value yourself as? “
The purpose of this question is to find out what’s important to you in the context of the workplace. Some might answer, “I’m a doctor. I value myself as someone that helps improve the lives of others by treating their illnesses.”
Another person might say, “At work, I think of myself as the one who is earning money for my family, and that is what’s important to work for.”
Regardless of your answer, you have to realize that these points are the key values that are important to you. No matter what your stage of career is, no matter how much you work, these values will never change.
Your values are the direction that guides you towards success and internal fulfillment. If you’re able to focus on achieving these targets for yourself, not only will you be more happy at work, but less stressed out too.
Take some time at the next opportunity to reflect on your day at work, and see whether the choices you’ve made today are reflective of your values. Do you feel good about the decisions you’ve made? Are they aligned with what you value? Did you spend time doing what you love, and what’s important to you?
Then, go ahead and think about tomorrow. What are some changes you can make to your next day to keep you back on track? Try to make tomorrow better than today, and see how it goes.
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