What is occupational wellness?

Focusing on wellness at work can have positive, lasting effects on overall well-being as well.

Wellness is a broad term that can refer to various aspects of daily life. Disciplines like yoga and meditation might be the first things to come to mind when people think of wellness, but focusing on wellness at work can have positive, lasting effects on overall well-being as well.

Occupational wellness is not necessarily a familiar term, but it's something that most professionals strive for. According to the Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of California, Davis, occupational wellness inspires people to find work from which they will gain personal satisfaction and find enrichment. Occupational wellness promotes the exploration of various career options and the pursuit of those opportunities that most appeal to each individual.

While it may seem like common sense to aspire for an engaging, enjoyable career, the effect that finding such a career can have on overall well-being might not be so apparent. In an analysis of a recent Gallup World Poll, a survey that asks hundreds of thousands of workers across the globe about their jobs and their job satisfaction, Harvard Business Review found there is a correlation between job satisfaction and life evaluations. People who report being satisfied with their jobs seem to be happier overall.

So how can one embrace the concept of occupational wellness? UC Davis offers individuals the following suggestions as they begin their journeys to occupational wellness.

Perform some self-reflection. Reflect on yourself and what you need out of a job. Are there certain occupational tasks you enjoy? Are there some you find burdensome? Identifying those you enjoy and those you feel are onerous can help you narrow down your options to careers you will find engaging and rewarding.

Consider unpaid work and volunteer opportunities. Even though they don't pay, unpaid work and volunteer opportunities can still enrich your life and provide personal satisfaction. Such opportunities should not be overlooked.

Practice open communication and proper conflict management with colleagues. Negative working environments can be stressful, leading to dissatisfaction on the job. Openly communicating with colleagues and resolving conflicts in a proper, professional way can foster a positive working environment, potentially contributing to greater job satisfaction.

Prioritizing occupational wellness can help people live happier, more fulfilling lives.

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