Happiness and the Work Environment

happiness-workThe workplace is a place where I go, earn my bread, and come home, right? As we all come to learn, it’s not that simple. Not only is it not simple on a practical level, but also is it not simple on an emotional level. Work is a complex issue. We spend many of our waking hours at our workplace. Belief in the value of our work, that it is meaningful, as well as belief in our own competence at work, are often key components of what makes us happy. And the work environment, particularly the people with whom we interact, have a profound effect on us emotionally. An environment that is healthy and constructive and where we feel valued, can have a direct, positive impact on us, while the reverse is also true, an environment that is toxic can have a negative impact on us, leaving us feeling undervalued, unheard, insignificant, frustrated, unmotivated, and often depressed and hopeless.

When working with someone who comes to me with issues of depression and/or anxiety, work issues often become a primary focus for the above reasons. Is this person complaining of depression finding value and meaning in his work? Are they overvaluing the work and not finding true work/life balance? If he/she does find value and meaning in his field, is the work environment contributing to his/her depression and/or anxiety? Can he/she do anything to change the work environment to his/her benefit? If he/she can, why are they not? Would this person perhaps benefit from medication for depression, anxiety or ADD? When do we cross that line between fixing ourselves and dealing with an environment? When is it officially time to leave?

The thought of leaving one’s work environment is worrisome to someone who is not dealing with any type of depression or anxiety at all. For someone who has these issues and insecurities the thought can be completely overwhelming and frightening. Oftentimes there are solutions to help make the work environment less toxic. I will help you analyze the state of your workplace, as well as work with you to develop the skills necessary to make confident decisions in whatever direction you choose for yourself.