Mental health comprises emotional, cognitive, psychological, and social well-being. It determines how one handles stress, makes choices, and acts as one copes with life.
Anyone can suffer from mental health problems. Sometimes an unexpected obstacle might come on one’s way, and one might find themselves stressing out and not knowing what to do. And, some days, it might be nothing; no motivation, no creativity. And all of a sudden, one is plagued with self-doubt. Solid mental health does not mean that one does not ever go through rough times, disappointments, or loss. People with strong mental health are better able to bounce back from trauma and stress.
We have been conditioned that it is ‘okay’ to ignore the emotional messages that tell us something is wrong and try enduring it by distracting ourselves. According to an HBR study, 61% of employees feel burnt out and increasingly demand mental health support. The pandemic has played a major role in this. It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic has spiralled into a mental health crisis, causing stress and anxiety for millions of people across the globe. A report by WHO states that anxiety and depression grew by more than 25% during the first year of the pandemic. While this statistic grew rapidly, the treatment for mental health issues did not see a similar rise. In fact, it fell short-staffed.
While employees suffering from mental health issues may often feel trapped, organisations can create a significant impact for good. Many organisations now have made mental health initiatives a priority and are acknowledging this issue by finding strategies to remove the stigma of the state of not being okay. From monthly mental health, day offs to weekly yoga and meditation sessions, organisations are leaving no stone unturned to aid their employees on their mental health journey. They urge employees to take a break from their daily routine and calm their minds & bodies.
Even still, many people suffer from mental health issues because they either face inertia while starting any mental exercise or simply don’t have time to spare for meditation or any other activity. It is crucial that these people spend at least a few minutes a day to see a considerable impact on their quality of life, peace of mind, productivity, and relationship with family, friends, and colleagues.
Below are some effective tips to practice mindfulness and make it a part of one’s life to improve their mental health.
1. Practice mindfulness with meditation
Meditation helps one feel at peace which comes with enhanced awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, mental blocks, prejudices and thinking patterns. Meditation does not need to be a big chore, it can be something as simple as focused breathing for 10 minutes a day.
2. Focus on the system, not the goals
Often one aims to attain a state of mindfulness in a month to improve their mental health. However, goals like these defeat the purpose of mindfulness. To be at peace, one needs to focus on a system and follow it. Instead of “I will cure my mental illness in 1 month”, one should pledge that, “I will meditate for 15 minutes every day”. Once the system is in place, results start to show automatically.
3. Be kind to yourself
On one’s initial journey towards mindfulness, it is very natural for the mind to wander. Instead of getting frustrated, judging oneself, or obsessing over a single thought, one must be kind to themselves and realise that it is hard to detach from one’s thoughts & environment.
Everyone should talk to someone they know and trust or a certified professional if needed. Sharing one’s mental health story with the world just might inspire someone else to share theirs. While organisations today are being hyper-vigilant to tackle the mental health challenges at work, the employees should also acknowledge that it is okay to take a mental health break or leave a situation they don’t feel comfortable in. There are plenty of ways to keep stress levels low – whether looking to cope with a specific mental health problem, handling emotions better, or simply wanting to feel more positive. Feeling one’s emotions doesn’t make anyone weak or negative; instead, it makes them more true to themselves. A Mental Health day can be advantageous on occasion, but one should also strive to prioritise their mental health every day.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.