Feeling that “work stress” right about now? Who are we kidding, you’ve probably been feeling it for years. You’re not alone. “Burn-out” has officially been added into the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO). This means health practitioners are recognizing burn-out in the workplace as a serious health risk.
The WHO has classified burn-out, aka what most of us experience at work on a regular basis, as a syndrome conceived from unmanaged chronic stress….not good. We have reached a crescendo in our always on-call, go go go culture, and the WHO has recognized stress as a large risk factor in terms of good health.
9-5 work hours don’t exist anymore…it’s more like 9 to forever. We are always connected to our emails, IMs, work deadlines, meetings, etc. and it’s no news that this non-stop work is taking a toll on our lives.
Burn-out has been divided into three recognizable dimensions by the WHO.
The experience of feeling exhausted and having your energy depleted.
Increasing your mental distance from your job, and being cynical towards your occupation.
Experiencing a reduction of pride in your work in terms of your abilities.
Why should you care? Well, we spend 1/3 of our lives at work (that’s just counting 9am-5pm). More so, the 1/3 of our life spent working is creating a burn-out that spreads into the other 2/3. Luckily, there is a simple solution. And it’s as easy as taking a breath.
Meditation is proven to be a saving grace at the office! The simple practice of focusing on your breath for an extended period of time feels like getting a good night’s sleep, venting to your best friend, and relaxing on the beach…all at the same time. Not only does it give you a short break from the busyness of your day, but it PHYSICALLY changes the way your brain reacts to the craziness you experience during the work week. By focusing internally for just a brief 10-minutes a few times a week, meditation allows you to realign your mental gears, and many say the 10-minutes feels as energizing as a cup of coffee or even a nap.
When we experience burn-out, we are unable to effectively focus on and enjoy our work. Think about it. When something stressful happens at the office and then you go into a meeting right after, all you can think about is that stressful situation. You can’t pay attention in the meeting, and this causes problems down the road. This is just one example, it happens all day long.
Taking an open-minded approach to meditation (even just once a week) can change everything. Bringing you calm focus, sustainable energy, and more meaning to what you do. Meditation helps you find success at work. Even better, it helps you find satisfaction in general.
Original Post on June 13th, 2019.