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New study shows how emotional exhaustion can lead to happiness

Sometimes, all it takes to be happy is a solid case of emotional exhaustion, a new study says.

Research by the University of East Anglia (UEA) suggests that the process of dealing with emotional exhaustion can sometimes increase happiness.

It’s the activity of searching for advice, support or information from others – that boosts happiness, according to the research.

The study examined the role of work supervisors in providing supportiveness, caring and appreciation for the efforts of an exhausted employee.

“It is important to note that it is not emotional exhaustion per se, but rather how people cope with it, that is beneficial for individuals,” said Carlos Ferreira Peralta of UEA’s Norwich Business School. “Our findings suggest that the activities people engage in have a key role in building happiness from an internally stressful experience and that emotional exhaustion can have a silver lining.”

Employees who perceived that their supervisor is not supportive stimulated them to develop an action plan to searching for advice, support or information from others. It was these efforts that boosted happiness, the study said.

This is believed to be the first study to investigate how the connection between emotional exhaustion and happiness. Previous studies have highlighted the harmful consequences of emotional exhaustion, such as poorer performance and depression, and that supervisor support can prevent emotional exhaustion.

“This research contributes to a greater understanding of whether benefits can be gained by individuals as they cope with emotional exhaustion,” Peralta said.

The findings are published in the journal Work & Stress

By: David Beasley Staff Writer

Source: University of East Anglia

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