IN ADDITION to financial security, your most enduring form of wealth is still to be found in your emotional and spiritual health. The following seven tips will help you sustain greater health, wealth and wisdom at work.
1. Get connected
According to studies reported in the Scientific American Mind, it turns out that belonging to social groups and networks seems to be just as important a predictor of health, as diet and exercise.
Studies at Mellon University showed that a diverse social network made people less susceptible to the common cold, compared to less sociable people who, it appears, are twice as likely to get colds.
Three tips to building high-quality relationships include:
Treating those you work with as your equals and finding common ground
Looking for ways you can help colleagues achieve wins at work
Giving people an opportunity to make decisions and contribute directly to your relationship.
2. Try a little kindness
Of all the skills that contribute to your health, wealth and wisdom at work, your capacity for empathy is fundamental. Empathy involves recognising the emotions that influence people’s behaviour, understanding what drives them and being compassionate.
Listening is absolutely essential to empathy. Listen and be curious about people’s experiences, and ask considered questions about their plans, hopes and dreams. By learning to recognise the emotions that direct the behaviour of people, you will learn a lot about different levels of engagement, expression and getting the most out of your working and personal relationships.
3. Go with the flow
If you have ever been totally absorbed in what you are doing, then you will have experienced “the flow” of being completely engaged and temporarily forgetting about your worries. It is a skill that requires focus and discipline, as well as honesty about your abilities, desires and need for reinforcement.
To “go with the flow”:
Ensure that the challenge of your job matches your skills and provides you with the opportunity to stretch your abilities
Establish clear goals and regularly take time to reflect on your achievements
Minimise your need to be admired by others and instead cultivate a genuine self-awareness that is open to receiving feedback
Focus your attention on expressing your creativity, and taking charge of the development of your talent
Learn something valuable from every experience.
4. Cultivate optimism
Choosing to look on the brighter side of life and sensing opportunities even in the face of adversity is imperative to a sense of positivity and well-being. Treating yourself kindly, or simply trusting that you can eventually achieve your goals, are all optimism strategies.
Ways to become more optimistic include:
When faced with a challenging situation, look for the benefit. Step back from the perceived crisis and recast it not as a catastrophe and a threat but as a challenge and an opportunity
Seek the valuable lesson in every problem or difficulty
Let go of the negative emotion that events cause and, instead, focus on the task to be accomplished.
5. Smile and the world smiles back
Aristotle viewed laughter as “a bodily exercise precious to health” and recent research has documented that humour is not only psychologically beneficial, but that it can have significant effects of overall wellness, including lowering our risk of disease. Laughter also relaxes us and improves our mood.
The first step in becoming more cheerful is recognising how much time each day you spend focusing on your problems and frustrations. Rather than fight against life, look for the things you are grateful for.
6. All work and no play...
Psychologists have known for a long time that spontaneous, imaginative play is vital for normal social, emotional and cognitive development — it makes us more balanced, smarter and decreases stress. Finding time to do something you enjoy each day has the dual effects of providing you with “time-out” from your stressful day and boosting your creativity.
Get your hands dirty and create something
Personalise your surroundings
Leave your work space and get involved with other people regularly throughout the day — share a coffee, find a reason to laugh, celebrate someone’s success.
7. Fit body, fit mind
Physical activity and exercise lead to positive feelings from three points of view. First, it provides you with a feeling of success and being in control. The second benefit is that it has a positive effect on your brain. Lastly, not only does it make you smarter, but also works as an anti-depressant by stimulating hormones related to positive emotions.
Make time to be active, no matter what you feel is stopping you.
Build emotional capital
The quest for greater happiness is not about looking at life through rose-coloured glasses or ignoring disappointments. It is about investing in your greatest asset — your emotional capital. This means learning how to put things in perspective and recognising that external conditions determine well-being much less than we think.
The seven skills described here are a great place to start investing in the small daily changes that lead to big returns for you and your career.