Mental health benefits of hard work
Dr Chido Rwafa-Madzvamutse
As discussed in previous articles, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a meaningful contribution to their community.
Consistent, persistent, effective mental and physical effort to achieve a task, particularly a difficult task can have mental health benefits.
Hard work involves endurance, resilience, self-discipline and putting more effort than the average person puts into the task.
As Elon Musk would put it, you cannot change the world by working the average 40-hour week, hard work means extra effort.
Why is hard work important?
A healthy work ethic and ability to work hard can help us have:
A sense of achievement
A sense of self-efficacy
Better physical health
Decreased stress and anxiety
Enhanced character development
How can mental health conditions affect my ability to work hard?
Mental health problems such as stress and anxiety; depression; alcohol and substance use or psychological trauma can result in challenges that affect our ability to exert ourselves mentally and physically and work hard.
Decreased ability to focus and concentrate for sustained periods of time
Difficulty with memory and ability to retain new information easily
Decreased energy levels and reduced mental and physical stamina
Difficulties handling pressure, stress and criticism
Difficulties interacting, relating and working with others
Difficulties staying motivated and committed to tasks and work projects
How can I develop a personal culture of hard work?
1. Allow yourself to dream and be motivated by your dreams and vision for your life
2. Set realistic goals for each day, each month, each year, each season of your life
3. Stay disciplined. Have a consistent routine to work towards your goals. What we are is a result of the things we do consistently.
4. Eliminate time wasters in your life such as mindless social media scrolling, movie or series bingeing and smartphone or video gaming.
5. Practice. It has been suggested that it takes at least ten thousand hours of deliberate effort at a task to reach an expert level of competence.
6. If you happen to fail or make mistakes, learn quickly, apply what you have learnt and keep trying. Failure and mistakes are often the “tuition fees” we pay for experience in life.
7. Surround yourself with supportive people who can help you stay committed to your goals.
8. Reach out for help for any mental health symptoms that you are experiencing that are affecting your ability to work hard.
If you think that you or someone that you know may be struggling with a mental health problem, please contact your nearest health care provider and get help.
l For Feedback : (Dr. Chido Rwafa Madzvamutse Whatsapp+263714987729) (www.ahfoz.org ; [email protected])