Your Job Affects Your Mental Health Way More Than You Realize, According To A New Poll

Most of us spend a lot of time at work. Whether you find yourself working in an office every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or running from your daytime nannying job to get to your nighttime catering gig, it can sometimes feel like working is all you do. So, from time to time, especially if you're feeling particularly burned out, it's not a bad idea to consider how your job affects your mental health, and perhaps make a few adjustments in how you spend your money-making hours if it's not feeding your soul.

According to a new poll done by St Andrew’s Healthcare in the UK, the correlation between your job and your well-being is very, very real. But listen, your job can have a really positive effect on your well-being and sense of self, too. It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom when it comes to that daily grind, and in fact, the results of this poll show that plenty of people enjoy working specifically because of the sense of purpose it provides them with.

The UK survey of 2,000 workers showed that 65 percent of them feel proud of the work they do; they don't just see their jobs as unfortunate, but necessary daily obligations.

The survey also showed that many workers feel that satisfaction, making a difference in the world, and being challenged are all benefits they reap from their career paths. Martin Kersey, the HR Director at St Andrew’s, said in a press release for the survey,

The right career choice can be more than financially rewarding; it can also contribute positively to your mental health. For many people, the job or career they have is a huge part of their identity and allows them to do something which can really make a difference to others.

That being said, according to the poll, it's not just satisfaction and a sense of purpose that motivates people to do the work they do. As you might have guessed, 68 percent of people in the survey said money is also one of the main reasons why they show up at work every day. No shocker there, huh?

But if work is really getting you down lately, that's OK. Everyone's been there, and it doesn't necessarily mean you have to have an existential crisis about it or look for another job.

In an interview with Forbes, Dr. Katharine Brooks, director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin, said that finding ways to get more out of your job begins with asking yourself a few key questions, like why you don't like your present job, whether your dissatisfaction is a new feeling or a consistent one, and what might be contributing to these feelings in the first place. Brooks also recommended making a list of pros and cons in relation to your job, and being clear on how you're feeling and what matters most to you:

Determine if there are ways to modify your situation while staying at the organization or whether it’s time to move on.

Listen, a lot of people don't like to go to work sometimes, even when they're passionate about their job. But as the American Psychological Association (APA) states, work stress and dissatisfaction can affect your well-being on all levels, including your mental focus and your long-term heart health.

Of course, quitting your job is a huge move to make, and even if it's something that you feel would make you happier in the long run, it's one of those decisions that, usually, just can't happen overnight.

So if leaving your current job isn't realistic at the moment, there are little things you can do throughout the day to help you feel more content with your work.

For one thing, the APA recommends making the most of the breaks you get at your job. Allow yourself to take those 10 minutes for a breather and a walk around the block, and for goodness' sakes, don't take lunch at your desk every single day! Moreover, if you feel angry with a situation or a co-worker, the APA suggests taking a step back and walking away until you feel a bit more level-headed about the whole thing.

Another great suggestion from the APA is to remind yourself not to expect perfection all day every day at your job. Instead, take a look at your standards for yourself and for others, and assess whether they are all reasonable. For example, do you expect that you're going to be on top of anything and everything, all day every day, and pick on yourself when you aren't? Allow yourself a little space to be human, girl. We're all imperfect creatures, after all.