A job is how most adults can afford to live. Some people see it as a tool for buying groceries, paying rent and caring for their families. However, the work you do has a major impact on your life. Why is it important to love your job? There are a few reasons.
Your Job and Passion
Full-time workers spend an average of eight hours each day on duty. Many spend others either thinking about or doing work outside of their shift. The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep each night. With a commute, you can spend most of your time in the office or on a work site.
You don’t have to dislike your job to experience the negative effects of not loving it. Research shows people who feel like they work monotonous jobs experience increased stress and boredom. Those emotions increase your risk of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
Passion is a deep connection to a cause, occupation or goal that pushes you to persevere through pain, fear or unhappiness. Everyone has different passions, just as everyone has different talents. You can use both to find a job you can love.
Maintaining your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health. Passion for your job is essential for staying mentally well. Here’s why.
It Boosts Your Endorphins
When you feel strong emotions towards something, it increases hormones called endorphins. They’re hormones primarily released by your hypothalamus and pituitary glands. There are many benefits to positively increasing your endorphin levels, including reducing your stress levels, relieving pain and discomfort, boosting your self-esteem and improving your overall mood. The positive effects can decrease your risk of several mental health conditions, including:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Bipolar Disorder (BPD)
Passion invokes many emotions that can positively boost your endorphin levels. The happiness you feel when you achieve a goal, the motivation to problem solve and the awe of the latest innovation all contribute to better mental health by releasing these hormones.
It Increases Confidence
Feeling passion for your work can boost your confidence and self-esteem in many ways. If you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to get as much education and skill-building experience as possible, making you well-versed in it. Not only can these things help you advance in your field, but they can also assure you that you know what you’re doing.
When you have confidence in your work, it boosts your self-esteem. It also instills confidence in your clients, bringing you more success and increasing your confidence further. Feeling empowered in your life’s work can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can improve your mental health.
Research shows that feeling a sense of purpose leads to better mental health and well-being and boosts your cognitive function, which can help you meet your goals.
There is a difference between confidence and cockiness. Being overconfident about something can cause stress or shame when it doesn’t work out. However, your passion-led expertise can help you know when to work collaboratively and when you can take on something alone.
It Prevents Burnout
Work is one of the top causes of burnout, characterized by physical and emotional exhaustion. It can add stress to your daily life or cause you to be mentally distant from your work, harming your productivity and making you feel unfulfilled.
Burnout can also creep into your life outside your job. The stress and exhaustion can make you irritable with friends and family, cause you to isolate yourself or make enjoying get-togethers harder. The condition can also be a precursor to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
While burnout itself isn’t a medical diagnosis, the World Health Organization (WHO), American Medical Association (AMA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) all agree that it’s a real and problematic syndrome.
Every job has stressors—even the ones we love most. However, preventing burnout should be a goal for all workplaces and employees. Having a passion can help. When you’re passionate about your work, you’ll find more meaning than others. The drive to do the best work can help you stay productive and motivated.
Passionate people aren’t immune to burnout. Workplace culture and life events can also influence it. Passionate people can often tell when they’re losing that special feeling and are willing to fight to regain it. That desire to regain your passion can help free you from symptoms of burnout.
Finding Passion in a Job You’re Not Passionate About
Passion doesn’t always come naturally. If you’re in a job that doesn’t meet your passion, there are ways to ignite it.
Every job serves a purpose, whether it is feeding the public, helping the government or entertaining the world. If you don’t find the work fulfilling, consider the people you’re helping by doing it. Also, consider which skills you’re gaining that you can use in the future, whether it’s barista recipes, advanced math or building resilience in a stressful work environment.
If you find a part of your job that ignites passion, it can improve your mental state.
Embracing Your Passion to Improve Your Mental Health
Caring for your mental health is vital to living a happy and healthy life and loving your job is a large part. By finding and using your passions, you can improve your mental health and your life.
Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, healthy living, and anything food-related. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends and recipes.