Why having a 'work wife' is really good for your mental health

It doesn't matter if you love your job or hate every minute, we all need a stress release. 

And, it turns out that having a confidante in your office or place of work (nick-named a 'work wife') can be the perfect way to vent, leading to a happier workplace. 

A study conducted by Dr. Vanessa Pouthier from the University of Melbourne examined a group of colleagues at a hospital in the US over a period of 12 months.

In doing so, Dr. Pouthier found that laughing with teammates, in conjunction with a healthy dose of complaining, can have a positive effect on staff morale, relationships and mental health.

"Generally, people don’t think there’s any value to it or they think it has no place in the workplace," Dr Pouthier told ABC Radio Perth.

"It helps people to process stress and frustration and you notice palpable changes when team members engaged in both activities."

Dr Pouthier believes workmates bond over certain situations at work, which can help them overcome many feelings of negativity.  

"It allows people to recognise how similar they are in the challenges they’re facing every day and how they feel about them,"she added.

"One of the best things in the team I observed, was that these griping rituals helped doctors and nurses realise they were feeling the same way about situations and they weren’t that different."

Even better, Dr Pouthier also said joking around can help 'turn a problematic situation into a source of humour'.

So next time you're in the kitchen having a moan with your colleague, relax, you're looking after your mental health. 


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