Improve Your Mental Health by Having Passion for Your Work?
As a new business owner starting my own private practice, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how to find passion in my work. When you own your own business, you need to renew your passion for your work every day to stay focused. You don’t have a boss to hold you accountable, and you quickly discover that you are only as successful as the time and energy you put into your work. It all means that I MUST be passionate about my work. And that passion drives me when the tasks are boring, the days are slow, the technology is tiring, or the work just isn’t “fun.”
So what does passion for work have to do with mental health?
One element that I have consistently found true is that a strong passion for work is a protective factor in maintaining balanced mental health. In this blog I’ve talked about eating healthy to feel good, including exercise and choosing a good therapist when you need a little extra help with the work you’re doing.
How do you spend your time each day? Are you constantly complaining about your job? Do you dread Monday morning? Or are you looking forward to work? You love your colleagues and look forward to the challenges of the day?
Whatever you do for a living, however you choose to spend your time, you MUST be passionate about it. Find a job that you enjoy. Maybe you’re like me and were raised to believe that work is work – it’s not meant to be fun. Well, my parents were wrong! (Sorry mom… you can be sure you were right about pretty much everything else). The truth is, work doesn’t have to be painful, boring, or awful. You just have to find what makes you passionate.
Being passionate about your work helps you maintain good, balanced mental health because it is fulfilling. One component of mental health is an innate desire to find meaning in our lives — if you think your work is meaningless and boring, you will feel meaningless and boring. Our mental health is also greatly influenced by our physical environment and relationships. If you have a seriously negative work environment, it will eventually affect your mental health and lead to anxiety or depression.
One thing is for sure – every person I know who is genuinely happy most of the time (let’s say a solid 90% of the days) loves what they do for a living. They have passion and excitement every day that fulfills, stimulates and challenges them, yet keeps them balanced.
If you’re not one of those “usually happy” people, or are interested in working to maintain or achieve more balanced mental health, maybe it’s time to take a look at your work. And find your passion.
Thanks to Kim K Carter