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The Real Reason Why You Hate Working (And How to Turn It Around)

The Real Reason Why You Hate Working (And How to Turn It Around)

Have you ever asked yourself, why do I hate working? Is it the people, what I do, or is it something else entirely? Studies show that people are becoming less happy with their jobs and personal life. According to the General Social Survey,[1]

On a scale of 1 to 3, where 1 represents “not too happy” and 3 means “very happy,” Americans on average give themselves a 2.18 — just a hair above “pretty happy.”

While that may not sound bad to some, it is considered a significant decline from the happiness levels of the early 1990’s. When you dive into the numbers further, spending time on the internet, listening to music alone, and using social media are all activities correlated with unhappiness.

Interesting enough, these are all activities found on your computer or cell phone. Another interesting point is the fact that these activities are all things that most people perform while working.

Here’re 3 questions to help you reflect why you hate your job and what you can do to turn things around:

1. Are You Focusing on the Negative Only?

I can say for me personally, the podcasts I listened to would cause me to hate working. As I listened to other entrepreneurs talking about their journey and the success they found, I started to question my own commitment. Was I interested in living my dream life or did I just want to talk about it?

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The same can hold true for someone surfing social media or listening to music to pass the time. As you experience the successes and emotions of others, you immediately start comparing that to the life you are living. When you see someone taking a vacation, purchasing a new vehicle or growing their family, you start to feel inadequate.

What you may have noticed is these activities usually cause you to focus on what you do not like about your job. In my case, I did not like the fact that it was keeping me from starting my own business. For you, it may be the same, or it could be something completely different.

However, if you want to start loving your work again, you are going to need to focus on the things you love.

By focusing on the positive, you allow yourself to remember why you took the job in the first place. If the pay was 10% higher than the pay at your previous job, then that is something you should remind yourself when you face difficult situations. If you took the job because of the proximity to your home or the work-life balance, then focus on that aspect of your career.

By continually reminding yourself about what you dislike about your job, you are only going to further hate working.

When you focus on the negative, you may ask yourself:

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  • why do I stay in this job
  • why is my career stagnant
  • why do the worst people keep getting promoted
  • do I really need to deal with this nonsense

The answer is usually because you feel stuck in some way. As much as you hate working, you hate the idea of not working even more.

Fear of failure is something each of us encounter. However, avoiding failure is almost always going to lead to regret.

2. Are You Staying with an Indifferent Employer?

Who you work for and the culture they help create plays a decisive role into whether you enjoy or hate working. Studies show that 92% of employees are more likely to stay with an empathetic employer.[2] Now think about this for a moment, 92% of people do not enjoy their jobs. 92% of people are not satisfied with their career advancement or salary, but they are more willing to stay at their job anyways.

Empathy is nothing more than someone’s ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Nevertheless, the reason that empathy is so vital to whether you hate working is because everyone wants to feel accepted and appreciated.

When you tell your supervisor your dreams and ambitions, it is nice to have someone who wants to help you achieve them. Even if they are not always successful in their endeavors, it is nice to know they care. A recent Gallup survey said that 37% of employees would consider quitting their current job if their new job allowed them to work remotely part-time.[3]

There are plenty of reasons working from home is enticing to so many professionals. If you have a family, then working from home could allow the flexibility to attend to families matters in a more effective way.

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If you live in a city with a lot of traffic, then working from home could help you to avoid sitting in rush-hour every morning and evening. Wouldn’t you hate work less if you weren’t stuck in rush-hour traffic everyday?

Empathy helps employees feel valued. When you express concerns or difficulties and someone is interested in helping you to alleviate that pain, it feels good. Once more, the end result is not always as important as just knowing that someone cared enough to ask you how you are doing. Feeling valued in your work is a sure way you can ensure someone enjoys their work, even though they may be dealing with the same office politics in other aspects.

If you find yourself in a work situation where empathy is lacking, then I encourage you to start volunteering and helping others. Helping others is a great way to prevent you from hating work because it forces you to focus on the needs of others. And if you volunteer through initiatives that take place in your office, then you will be able to connect with coworkers. These relationships could add a dimension to your work life that helps you to enjoy your working.

If your company does not have any volunteer opportunities, then this could be a great occasion for you to start one. In addition to you getting to spearhead a project that you are passionate about, this is a great chance for you to showcase your leadership abilities to the company. As you build relationship through these opportunities, you will be able to position yourself for new openings within the organization.

3. Are You Not Doing What You Truly Love?

The equation to go from, “I hate working” to “I love working” is based on doing more things you love and less things you hate.

Finding what you love is not an easy task. You have likely left your first love back in your adolescent days. Once you became an adult, you figured all your decisions should be based on being a responsible adult. While this sounds good for a lot of people, this is ultimately what causes so many people to hate working. They are doing what they think everyone else is doing, and in a way they are. The problem is they are getting the results that everyone else is getting.

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If you want to change your results, then take a moment and think about your dream job. Write down as many things as you can about what makes this your dream job. This can be anything from the location, salary, responsibilities or industry.

Next, take a few moments and list anything your current role has in common with your dream job. While it may not seem possible, you are going to find that your current job does have some things in common with your dream job. Once you list the commonalities, see if there are any opportunities to do more things you love in your current position.

This can include anything from shadowing other groups, changing departments, or just shifting your focus in your current role. If your job is 60% client interactions and 40% administrative work, but you do not enjoy interacting with clients – see if you can adjust your schedule so that is 60% administrative work and 40% client facing.

It is important to speak with your supervisor about your dream job and see if they can assist you in making your dream a reality. If you discover you are not qualified for some of the responsibilities you want to take on, then work with your supervisor to create a plan that closes the gap.

If you feel your supervisor is not necessarily the best person to help you grow your skill-sets, then reach out to someone in your network. This could be a coworker or a friend from a previous employer.

Final Thoughts

The goal is to grow your current job into your dream job so you can enjoy working again. While this may not be accomplished overnight, by committing to making these small changes in your mindset and action, you will find yourself turning hate back into love and contentment.

More About Fulfillments in Career

Featured photo credit: Muhammad Raufan Yusup via unsplash.com

Reference

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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