What is occupational wellness?
Wellness is a broad term
that can refer to various
aspects of daily
life. Disciplines like yoga and
meditation might be the fi rst
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
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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,
wellness inspires people to
fi nd work from which they
will gain personal satisfaction
and fi nd enrichment. Occupational
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 fi nding 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
satisfi ed 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
• Perform some self-refl ection.
Refl ect on yourself and
what you need out of a job.
Are there certain occupational
tasks you enjoy? Are
there some you fi nd burdensome?
Identifying those you
enjoy and those you feel are
onerous can help you narrow
down your options to careers
you will fi nd 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.
should not be overlooked.
• Practice open communication
and proper confl ict
management with colleagues.
Negative working environments
can be stressful, leading
to dissatisfaction on the
job. Openly communicating
with colleagues and resolving
confl icts in a proper, professional
way can foster a positive
potentially contributing to
greater job satisfaction.
wellness can help people live
happier, more fulfi lling lives.
Tame stress and
Stress can affect people of any age.
While small amounts of stress may
stimulate adrenaline responses
and help people power through diffi -
cult projects or solve problems, chronic
stress can impact the mind and body in
WebMD defi nes stress as any change
in the environment that requires the
body to react and adjust in response.
The body may react to stress physically,
emotionally and/or mentally. Positive
stress, called eustress, can take the form
of getting a new job with greater responsibilities.
However, it’s the bad stress —
distress — that can cause tension and
other negative consequences.
Money, health and relationships
are some of the common contributors
to stress in the US. 77% of Americans
regularly experience physical symptoms
caused by stress, and 73% experience
psychological symptoms from
stress. Statistics Canada indicated that,
in 2014, the most recent year for which
data is available, 23% of Canadians ages
15 and older (6.7 million people) reported
that most days were “quite a bit” or “extremely”
Stress can have many implications.
When the body is stressed, muscles
tense up and chronic stress can cause
the muscles in the body to stay taut and
tense for long periods of time, says the
American Psychological Association.
This may lead to tension headaches and
The following techniques may be
• Exercise: Regular physical activity
can help reduce stress.
• Meditation: Mindful meditation,
deep breathing, yoga, and tai chi are
ways to focus the brain away from
• Socialization: Talking and spending
time with friends or family can relieve
• Hobbies: Crafts, hobbies and other
engaging activities can direct attention
away from stress.
• Talk therapy: Seeing a therapist
may help some people work through
stress and discover additional techniques
to change how they respond to