Workplace psychologist says self-acceptance, positive relations with peers contributes to fostering well-being – CBC NEWS

Many workplaces have a variety of health and wellness programs — from running groups to heart-healthy-clinics — but the psychological well-being of staff is also very important, says workplace psychologist Jennifer Newman.

Newman sat down with The Early Edition host Rick Cluff to explain how to foster psychological well-being at work.

Rick Cluff: What is psychological well-being and how does it relate to work?

Jennifer Newman: Generally speaking, it’s striving towards your potential — realizing what you are capable of, and being able to meet and deal with life’s challenges. At work, it means finding as many ways as possible to keep moving towards your goals for yourself and your work-life. It means recognizing what you are capable of and finding ways to draw that out of yourself.

It also means learning how to handle the ups and downs at work. Psychological well-being has six dimensions:

  • Self-acceptance,
  • Positive relations with others,
  • Autonomy,
  • Environmental mastery,
  • Purpose in life,
  • Personal growth.

If staff focus on these, they can build up their psychological well-being at work.

What would one way be to improve our psychological well-being at work?

Cultivate self-acceptance. The happiest workers are those who accept their good and bad qualities, and they combine this with trying to improve and grow over time.

For example, I worked with a groundskeeper who was extraordinarily critical of himself. If his boss seemed out of sorts at all, he’d blame himself. So he had to start by accepting he had a habit of criticizing himself and taking things personally. Then he could improve.

He began noticing that his boss was sometimes a bit moody. But that didn’t have anything to do with him. He started feeling happier, and he stopped treating himself badly about the things he couldn’t control.