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- Every job has its ups and downs. But there can be a serious issue if your job is constantly downs, according to Amy Morin, the author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”
- If your job is dominating your every thought – particularly all of the things that have gone wrong, or all of the reasons you don’t want to go – it can negatively impact your time away from work.
- If something good happens at work, but you can still only see the negatives, your job may be taking an outsized toll on you.
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Everybody has bad days at work. But if you dread waking up every Monday through Friday, or you regularly find yourself sitting at your desk on the verge of tears, you probably have a more serious problem on your hands.
Amy Morin, author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” says a hostile work environment can cause people to be miserable and may, in some rare cases, even be linked with depression. The problem is, once you fall into that trap, it can be difficult to get out.
“Feeling down about your job can set you up for a self-perpetuating cycle by taking a negative toll on the way you think and the way you behave,” she explains. “The more you experience negative thoughts and unproductive behavior, the worse you’ll feel.”
Here are 11 signs your job is ruining your life.
1. You can’t stop thinking about your job
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Your weekday evenings and weekends should be about clearing your mind and relaxing.
So if you come home and can’t stop replaying a meeting that went wrong in your head or thinking about all the reasons why you don’t want to wake up for work tomorrow, that can seriously impede on the quality of your home life, Morin says.
2. You complain about work — a lot
If you’re truly unhappy and unfulfilled with your job, you may start to spend a lot of time and energy explaining to friends, family, and anyone who will listen just how bad your job is at the moment.
This release might feel good in the moment, but Morin said it’s not healthy because it “robs you of mental strength.” This, in turn, can increase your risk of distress.
3. Social events with coworkers start to seem draining rather than fun
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Everyone needs “me” time, but you should still enjoy being social.
If your job is sucking the life out of you, Morin said you might start to turn down any opportunity to socialize because talking with other people sounds too exhausting.
It can be as simple as eating lunch at your desk instead of the break room or rushing home after work to avoid happy hour.
4. Your thoughts about work are exaggeratedly negative
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When you have a bleak outlook on your office, Morin said you may start to think overly negative thoughts about work, such as “I’ll never get a promotion,” or “I always get scolded.”
“Your inner monologue may drag you down even further,” she said.
5. You filter out anything good about work
When you’re feeling low, you tend to see the glass as half empty.
Even if nine good things happen at work one day, you will probably focus on the one bad thing, Morin said. When you’re feeling down, “it’s easy to overlook anything positive,” she said.
6. You’re experiencing some physical health issues
Depression doesn’t just affect your mental health.
For some people, physical signs of depression include stomach pain, headaches, and other complaints. In addition, your immune system may not be as strong, making you more susceptible to colds and other illnesses.
7. You don’t want to get out of bed in the morning — ever
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If your job is making you miserable, you’re not going to want to get out of bed because that means you’re one step closer to being at work.
“It’s hard to greet the day when you dread how you’re going to spend it,” Morin said.
8. You’re irritable
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Morin says you may find your patience wearing very thin if your job is making you miserable or sad.
You might find yourself snapping at your coworkers simply for having their phone go off or for asking a simple question like, “Do you know when the report will be ready?”
9. You call in sick — just to stay home
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If your job is the root cause of other mental and physical problems, it makes sense that you’d want to avoid it at all costs.
10. You don’t care about your work performance anymore
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“Increased procrastination, lack of participation, and sloppy work are all signs you’ve lost interest in your work,” Morin said.
This, in turn, could very well lead to your negative predictions about work actually coming true, she warns. If your work isn’t good, you may actually be demoted or even fired.
11. You get the Sunday-night blues
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Sunday is usually not a relaxing day if your job is making you miserable.
Instead, Morin says a feeling of dread may start to come over you Sunday afternoon (or sooner!) as Monday morning looms closer. “You may feel anxious, overwhelmed, or just plain sad about the upcoming work week,” she said.
These anxious feelings mean you will have a mentally exhausting end to your weekend, which can make you ill-prepared to face the work week ahead, she said.
This article was originally published in March 2016.