The workplace is a melting pot of high stress situations, poorly managed tensions, disappearing resources and hidden agendas and of course an abundance of politics. Our emotional and mental wellbeing is put to the test repeatedly and we can become worn down. When this occurs disaster strikes and we become unwell, sending us into a negative spiral. But is it all doom and gloom?
With a little help from some brilliant minds on mental health we have pulled together our Top 5 on How to Protect your Mental and Emotional Health at Work.
1. Nourish good Relationships
Professor Jane Fisher, the Jean Hailes Professor of Women’s Health at Monash states “Close relationships are one of the most important protective factors for mental health…” says Prof Fisher. “Nourish good relationships, be committed to them, and get professional help to address destructive or negative relationships if necessary.” Your work day is full of interactions, and relies on your ability to develop good and lasting relationships with a wide variety of people. Focus on developing strong bonds with colleagues, they really understand what you are going through on a day-to-day basis and can act as a great listening post and support system.
2. Be Kind to Yourself
Sally Connolly, a clinical social worker, therapist and co-founder of Counselling Relationships Online.com suggests making a decision to do something nice for yourself every day and stick to it. “For many people it has to be a conscious process,” says Connolly. “They must take time to do it. I often recommend some simple ritual as a way of honouring themselves.” She recommends something as simple as daily meditation to inspire peace and relaxation. Other rituals might involve:
Planning to make your favourite dinner once a week, or getting to work 20 minutes early to enjoy a chat and a coffee with colleagues, maybe it’s about getting off the bus a couple of stops early and enjoying a stroll home on a Friday evening.
3. Laughter is the Best Medicine
Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D. is a pioneer in humour research and says “Your sense of humour is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” Physically laughter relaxes the whole body, laughter boosts the immune system, laughter triggers the release of endorphins and laughter protects the heart. Emotionally laughter dissolves distressing emotions, laughter helps you relax and recharge and humour shifts perspective. At work the benefits of laughter include allowing you to be more spontaneous, let go of defensiveness, release inhibitions allowing you to do your best work and it allows you to express your true feelings.
4. Never Stop Dreaming
Richard Branson Gazillionaire and entrepreneur “…. you need to take the opportunity to focus on the future. Finding time for aspirational thought is vital. … I spend time every day with my notebooks and iPad, thinking over new dreams and ideas.” Your work day can be filled with procedures, guidelines and protocols. It can be hard to think outside the square with restrictions placed on our thoughts. Daring to dream broadens the mind and ignites creativity which in turn boosts our confidence, reduces our stress levels and gives us hope.
5. Keep your Job
Building financial security will help protect your mental and emotional state at work. When you know your financial future is secure it frees your mind of stress and tension that could otherwise jeopardise your health. David Koch, presenter, finance Journalist and commentator has been voted by his peers as one of the ten most influential people of all time in the Australian financial services industry he states “…. the increase in joblessness should prompt action to ensure your position at work is secure. Now is the time to make yourself indispensable by learning, increasing awareness of those around you and taking on a bigger role in everything you do.”
Happening People know that good Emotional and Mental Health as well as Physical Health are vital to your overall well-being and that of your team and organisation which is why we offer Happening Health a program aimed at helping organisations become employers of choice by offering a holistic approach to their employees’ wellbeing. If you would like to know more or to book a session please call us on 1800 68 67 69 or check out our website www.happeningpeople.com