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New Research Reveals The Person In Your Life Who Can Affect Your Mental Health More Than A Therapist Or Doctor

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tired stressed woman sitting at her labor job

In life, stress is something that unfortunately can't be avoided, but there are ways to minimize your exposure to things that can be detrimental to your overall mental well-being.

While many scenarios can invoke tension, a common factor for various individuals is often their work environment. In new research, it has been found that a certain person in the workforce can cause more stress than anyone else.

Research has found that managers can affect your mental health more than therapists or doctors.

According to The Workforce Institute at UKG, they surveyed 3,400 people across 10 countries to spotlight the role that our jobs and managers play in supporting mental health in and outside of work. In the survey, via BusinessWire, managers were found to impact their employees' mental health at high levels.

More than 69% of managers affect their employees' mental health compared to 51% of doctors or 41% of therapists.

new research shows person in your life who can affect your mental health more than a therapist or doctorPhoto: voronaman / Shutterstock

On top of that, 80% of employees would rather have good mental health than a high-paying job, two-thirds of employees would take a pay cut for a job that better supports their mental wellness, and work stress negatively impacts employees’ home life (71%), wellbeing (64%), and relationships (62%).

"We talk a lot about mental health in terms of a medical diagnosis or burnout. While those are serious issues, the day-to-day stressors we live with — especially those caused by work — are what we should talk more about as leaders," Pat Wadors, chief people officer at UKG, told BusinessWire.

"Life isn’t all milk and honey, and when leaders open up about their own struggles, they acknowledge employees are not alone, and that it’s OK not to be OK. Authentic, vulnerable leadership is the key to creating belonging at work, and, in turn, the key to solving the mental health crisis in the workplace."

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Employees admit to feeling tired and want their managers to do better.

Per the survey, 43% of employees are “often” or “always” exhausted, and 78% of employees say that stress negatively impacts their work performance. Much of that stress often follows working-class people even when they arrive at home.

Employees say work negatively impacts their home life (71%), wellbeing (64%), and relationships (62%). For people who report “poor” or “very poor” mental health, around one-quarter (28%) say they lack work-life balance, compared with just 4% of people in “good” or “excellent” mental health.

In research presented by BetterWorks, it was found that employees don't quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.

Over 57% of unhappy employees leave their jobs because of their bosses. 

"Being overwhelmed consumes human energy and impacts retention, performance, innovation, and culture," Dr. Jarik Conrad, executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG told BusinessWire. "Employers can be the anchor of stability for their people by giving them the support and resources they need — not just what we think they need."



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In an interview with NBC News, Mary Abbajay, president of Careerstone Group, an organizational consulting and coaching service explained that you shouldn't let a bad manager deter you from doing your job.

"Your whole career you’re going to have people who are difficult. The more adaptable we can be at managerial relationships with different people, the better off we’re going to be in our careers,” she told the news outlet. "See if you can’t adapt a little bit more."

Abbajay recommended finding a mentor outside of your immediate boss, especially if they aren't providing the stability that you need.  Look for professionals outside of your organization that you admire and reach out to them. "Don’t let a boss who isn’t good at mentoring stop you from being mentored."

However, things like that are easier said than done. Having a toxic manager who consistently depletes your mental health shouldn't be something you stand for or try and deal with.

At the end of the day, if a job isn't serving you anymore, quitting and finding something else is sometimes the better plan of action.



It's obviously a tough decision as the job market is something of a mess, but at the end of the day, prioritizing your own mental health is often more important.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.