Inspired by the recent Mental Health Awareness week in May we decided to write about this interesting subject. Work plays such an important role in many of our lives. For many, it can detrimentally affect their mental health. We are always available via smartphones out of work hours. The temptation to check your phone and deal with work in the evenings, weekends and on holiday has never been greater – but what is it doing to us?
What is mental health?
Mental health is ‘the state of an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being’. It affects the way we think, feel, and act. It also helps dictate how we handle stressful situations, relate to others, and make choices.
Mental health is important at every stage of life. There is a lot of stigma around the phrase ‘mental health.’ Many people immediately associate it with an issue or an illness. Every individual should consider their mental health – whether it is in a healthy state or not.
Statistics show that 1 in 4 people will are affected by mental or neurological disorders in their lifetime. Mental health issues are common in the workplace. In the UK, 70 million workdays are lost each year. Better mental health support in the workplace can save businesses up to £8 billion per year. These figures show that mental health issues are very common. It so important that you spend some time on yourself, relaxing and clearing your mind. You should spend time focusing on you – and not always on your work. Did you know we have just had Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK? Now is the perfect time to break that cycle.
Mental health issues are extremely diverse and each has their own unique symptoms. Yet, there are a few factors which could help contribute towards a healthier mind:
Meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness exercises allow individuals to pay attention to the present moment. Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. It helps us not to be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Techniques such as meditation, breathing, and yoga are all great ways of feeling in touch with your body and mind.
Practising mindfulness can give more insights into your emotions. It can boost your attention and concentration and improve relationships. Evidence shows practising mindfulness can help people to cope with stress.
Research has indicated that having social relationships is important for promoting wellbeing. This can be spending time with a family member or a friend. Even talking to a colleague at the workplace may make you feel calmer and more positive.
Regular physical activity helps with lower rates of depression, anxiety ADHD and many more. It has a positive effect on all age groups. Physical activity can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels. Exercise is also a great way to boost your self-esteem. It can lower your risk of physical health issues such as heart disease.
Eating healthy food is good for your physical and mental health. The Mental Health Foundation states that a good diet is important for mental health. Diet can play a role in the development, management and prevention of a variety of specific conditions. The list includes; schizophrenia, depression, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease.
Below are details on services and organisations that offer help and support directly to people with mental health problems: