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Mental Health < Physical Health in Corporate Culture?

Did you wake up this morning and rushed to open your laptop?

Or when was the last time you did any activity to relax your mind? Having been in a pandemic for over a year now, we all have experienced a mixed bag of emotions. Our emotions have predominantly been expressed in the culture of work from home. Due to a lack of social meetings and gatherings, many of us tend to experience stress, loneliness, and anxiety. Most of us often understand mental health as conditions related to excessive stress, depression, or anxiety. Still, mental health is not only about illnesses. Mental health is even about our wellness. Greg Anderson, a famous Canadian actor, said that “Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit- the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe affects our state of well-being.”

Mental health is defined as an individual’s state of psychological as well as emotional well-being. An individual’s mental health is as important as their physical health. When our minds, feelings, and thoughts are positive, an individual is living a healthy, happy life and their chance of coping with any tragedy in their life increases. Our mental health influences our decisions, how we maintain relationships in our lives, and how we view others and ourselves. Our mental health affects our eating habits, consumption of alcohol, sleep, and exercise pattern. Dr Lauren Fogel Mercy said that “Being able to be your true self is one of the strongest components of good mental health.”

All of us tend to experience low mood or stress at certain times that is a natural part of our human lives. However, low mood, anxiety, and stress can affect our mental well-being, directly impacting our workplace. Most of us spend at least six to seven hours working daily. The environment of our work affects our mental health. Suppose an employee is working in an environment that has poor mental health or a toxic environment. In that case, employees tend to become less productive and less creative. It even leads to increased absenteeism.

Every company needs to prioritize and provide a healthy mental health environment to all employees, whether it is in the office or work from home. Due to the COVID -19 pandemic, we all have experienced increased work demand, isolated workspace, change in the work environment, and tremendous emotional distress. Such factors even affect their business relationships, leading to loss of employment, misunderstanding between employees, and poor organizational management.

In a developing country like India, there still exists a considerable stigma in mental health. Due to the stigma around us, many employees suffering from poor mental health would be afraid to talk about it. At times, they think other employees would judge them, and it might affect how other employees may see them. Corporate culture involves a fast-moving and competitive environment. Employees think that talking about mental health might affect their reputation. The competition and constant demand for growth in corporate culture often affect our mental health. Hence, it is essential to normalize mental health in our corporate culture.

Here are a few ways companies can increase mental health awareness as well as make interventions to reduce stigma in corporate culture –

  • Create awareness through workshops

  • Provide training session to employees on different skills like Emotional Intelligence

  • Ensuring employees value healthy habits and behaviours like open communication, working during office hours

  • Keep open houses, have a one-to-one conversation with the employees about their role, any challenges they face or ask for feedback. This not only helps the employees but also helps in improving the company.

  • Hire a psychologist

  • Ensuring all the employees are in the loophole of any environmental changes that the company is doing.

Here are few activities that can help you improve your mental health-

  1. Practising gratitude- One of the best ways to find “positivity” is by practising gratitude. When individuals spend time focusing on the good things in their lives, they become more positive. Positivity in life reduces your stress as well as increases your self-esteem. There might be times when you are feeling low, anxious, or might be having too many negative thoughts at that time. One should read your gratitude list and remember the positive events that happen in our everyday lives.

  2. Meditation - A little self-care can go a long way toward helping us get a better, happier, and healthier life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has overpowered our lives. The overload and overwhelm can lead us to the road of excess stress, anxiety, and many more issues like depression. By practising mediation, you can achieve a mentally and emotionally calm and stable state. It helps you in concentrating and alleviates the path of anxiety and stress.

  3. Maintain journal- In a day, at various points, you might experience negative thoughts and beliefs. It is essential to note them down in your journal. The next time you experience similar thoughts, you should replace them with positive actions.

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