Joblessness is said to be one of the three most stressful events in an individual’s life— but staying active by working out can help.
While the unemployment rates have lowered, the numbers fail to take into account the hundreds of thousands of people who have stopped looking for jobs or who have dropped out of the workforce all together. Not only does this joblessness harm the economy, it’s pretty grim for our stress levels.
The good news is that something that can be done to better cope with the hardship of unemployment. A healthier lifestyle that includes yoga and fitness is one of the best ways to cure the unemployment blues. Wellness also cultivates skills and attitudes that are not only helpful on the job hunt, but also to long-term career success. Here's how exercising will help improve your attitude— and your job prospects.
1. Improves self-confidence
Regular workouts and the physical practice of yoga develop strength of body, mind and spirit. Additionally, meditation and yogic breathing techniques help establish certainty about your inherent value. Improved carriage and self-assurance speaks loudly to prospective employers who are looking for people who can convince them they'll get the job done.
2. Keeps energy levels high
A sweaty, strong workout or yoga class releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Endorphins naturally boost vitality and mood and induce relaxation so you can remain engaged and calm during the application process and at interviews. These chemicals can also help keep spirits high, even when faced with the possible buzzkill of rejection.
3. Enhances focus
Working out, practicing yoga, learning to breathe properly and meditating can all help strengthen concentration. When looking for a job, it's important to keep your specific goals in mind, to the exclusion of all other distractions. Scheduling regular meditation and sweat sessions builds tenacity so that you can stay focused for the long haul.
4. Develops self-awareness
Knowing yourself enables you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Yoga, in particular, is geared toward self-study. Once you identify areas of yourself that need improvement, you will be well on your way to putting your best foot forward and making the strongest impression on the job market.
5. Builds endurance
There's nothing like stamina— both literal and figurative— to win a race. Physical challenges, like exercise and yoga, help build emotional endurance and mental toughness. Ultimately, finding employment is very much a numbers game. You’ve got to stay in it to win it, and you must be able to endure the hardship of rejection. Conquering physical challenges will help you realize that you’re able to overcome any obstacle in your job-hunting path.
6. Provides structure
Lack of structure in day-to-day life can be a major source of stress. Waking up late, not knowing what to do with your time and ruminating are all productivity setbacks. Establish a routine by beginning each day with exercise or yoga. Set aside the next few hours for work-related calls and research. Then, make a healthy lunch, keep up on the news of your industry and read helpful books relating to your search. Before you know it, you’ve had a productive and happy day.
7. Establishes hormonal balance
Being healthy and fit helps to stave off stress-induced hormonal fluctuations, which can manifest as depression, anxiety or weight gain. The moment we get stressed, our brains and bodies produce cortisol and adrenaline. In the right amounts, these hormones are essential for well-being. However when overproduced, they can be counter-productive— causing slow digestion, unnecessary hunger and unhealthy behaviors around food. Exercise, meditation, slow breathing techniques, and restorative yoga can help keep “fight or flight” hormones in check so that you can roll with the job-hunting punches and walk into any interview with your head up and an air of calm. Let the days of wallowing in sorrow and comforting yourself with food be gone!
8. Connects you with others
When looking for a job, it's important to demonstrate not only that you have the skills necessary to do good work, but also that you possess the people skills necessary to be a congenial coworker. Yoga is based on the premise that we are all connected through the universal pool of energy. Whether through breathing, movement or philosophical teachings, yoga is an incredible way to develop empathy for others. With practice, you will learn how to walk into a room better able to read people and bond with them through eye contact and body language.
9. Breeds compassion
Kindness is a key that opens many doors. In yoga, there is an ethic called “ahimsa,” which calls for being compassionate towards all living things. The idea is that the quality of the energy you put out to the universe will come right back at you. So make your vibes positive and nice. Express interest in your prospective employers and make them feel good—every boss wants to know that you will support them, collaborate, listen to their ideas, and assist their needs. You might be surprised by how curious they become about you!
10. Fosters commitment
Being healthy and fit requires consistency, discipline and loyalty to yourself— all of which are qualities that suggest you will be a committed member of a team. And any employer is much more likely to hire someone they feel will stick around.
11. Improves decision making
The inability to make your mind up can be extremely stressful, especially when it comes to such big decisions as which job to pursue. Yoga helps establish clarity of mind when confronted with decision-making paralysis. When you don’t know what to do, try meditating. Chatter of the mind clouds thinking and must be quieted before you can draw thoughtful conclusions. When you operate from a place of clarity, you will make stronger decisions and have a better sense of the action steps necessary to go after the right opportunities.
12. Builds creativity
Even just a simple walk can stimulate our creativity centers. “Eureka moments” do wonders to alleviate stress and give us new insights into how to pursue the job application process. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole new unique shtick with which to set yourself apart in your cover letter.
Getting fit and embracing your health will help alleviate the stress of unemployment. The principles of wellness teach critical life lessons that will be advantageous as you look for jobs, as well through the many ups and downs of your career. Your health is your armor for the inherent challenges of the workforce!