Bottled-Up Emotions at Work Lead to Burnout

You can’t tease out solutions to problems like employee burnout and dissatisfaction without first acknowledging something is off kilter. The core mindful practice — noticing and labelling thoughts — could be key to navigating high stress workplaces.

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In many ways, figures like Mad Men’s Donald Draper still reign in the professional world: unsmiling suits, grabbing the next crisp white shirt from a desk drawer after pulling an all-nighter. Many leaders embody the always-on professional robot — that is, until fatigue, stress, and burnout strike.

Research suggests that if we attempt to repress how our work affects us — how our work affects our emotional health — it can lead to increased stress, less productivity, heightened depression and anxiety, and may even lead to a greater risk of heart disease. There’s even some recent research to suggest that emotion suppression is connected to an increased risk of breast cancer.

To say the least, not metabolizing our emotions is making us sick. That’s not how we should be spending the 90,000 hours that we work in a lifetime. For example, it’s okay to feel offended when a coworker crosses a line — it’s the first step to developing healthy boundaries. It’s also okay to feel over-utilized and underappreciated — it can result in finding more empowering solutions. The important detail to recognize is that when issues crop…