Yes and no

If you’re an air traffic controller and you cannot deal with pressure or split-second decision-making, your career is probably not the best for your mental health.

You will feel overwhelmed and insecure in your performance.

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But if you are truly aligned with your life’s purpose and passionate about the work you do, you may have bad days but that’s just part of your humanness and not necessarily detrimental to your mental wellbeing.

Here are ways your mental health can be compromised

At the end of the day, it’s more about whether or not you are allowing your career to affect mental health.

1. If you’re working more than 50 hours a week and don’t take vacation time

While you may think that working more hours is good for your career, workaholics tend to skip meals, don’t take proper care of themselves and do not have a healthy work-life balance.

You need time off to rest your brain and restore your body

Without breaks, you’re actually compromising your productivity.

It’s essential to unplug and step away from work entirely, including energy and time draining tasks like emails, texts and phone calls.

Take some time to disconnect

Replenish your energy levels, recharge your creativity and spend needed quality time with family and friends.

One of my clients takes cruises because they force him to unplug and get off the grid. By taking vacation time, you’ll actually become happier, healthier and be able to better further your career.

2. If you’re constantly worrying that you may not have what it takes to be successful in your career

Fear of losing your job or not being good enough is high on the list of typical self-imposed human pressures.

If the feeling of uncertainty becomes chronic and is causing insomnia, nervousness, overeating or undereating, memory issues, apprehension, you may be heading for a mental crash.

The best way to dissolve fear is through awareness.

Face it head on. It’s OK if you feel scared. Notice it; accept it. Truthfully, in our biological development, we’re wired for negativity. Our brains are equipped with a survival mechanism that alerts us to all perceived threats so we can react.

The problem is that our fears — which are usually of our own making — can seem like a Bengal tiger to us and stimulate an unwarranted “fight or flight” stress response. Hormones get released that activate increased blood flow and heart rate, making us feel agitated.

By bringing more self-awareness to your fear, you open the door to dismantling its hold on you.

career affect mental health_23. If your career has become your total self-image

You are not your job.

Your work is what you do but is not who you are. You are so much more than your job position or career. Take a moment to consider your personal traits and your value to those in your circle of influence — parents, friends, your spouse, even co-workers.

What are some of the compliments people give you regularly?

Are you a good listener? A caring person? Creative? Organized? Diligent? Trustworthy?

Ground yourself in all of your positive attributes and take a moment to appreciate who you are, as those things about you don’t change based on your employment status or career.

4. If you evaluate your level of success by how much money you are making

While money is often associated with accomplishment, the reality is that having more money does not automatically lead to feeling more significant in your career.

According to several studies, a 30-percent increase in income does not equal 30-percent more happiness.

It is human nature to seek perpetual improvement but it’s also important to stop to smell the roses and remember what is truly of value in life and who you are. You are not your bank account.

5. If you’re always focused on the future

Many people play out a constant barrage of “what ifs” in their minds.

While planning for the future is important, obsessing about it isn’t.

Instead, take time to connect to the present. Trust in your abilities to do the best work you can possibly do. Be engaged and joyful. Feel gratitude to have the opportunity to contribute your unique talents.

When to seek support

If you’re frazzled and concerned about your career, be bold and seek support. Don’t allow your career to affect mental health. Find a coach, religious leader or mentor to guide you.

All experiences contribute to your journey and lead you further down your personal path to your destiny.

If you’re ready to commit to a 21-day coaching plan that can help set you on a more productive path, consider using my “Stress-Anxiety Buster.” It can help you explore yourself to become the most successful version of you. 

You can find Peggy’s “Stress-Anxiety-Buster” on WatchFit now!

Connect with Expert Peggy Sealfon.

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