The best and most effective ways to improve health in the workplace, particular mental health or mental well-being in the workplace, it’s just to improve your overall health and mental health. The same things that cause angst in the workplace are the same things that cause angst at home. Those are things like stress, mindset, lack of purpose, poor relationships. And poor time management as well.
The philosophy and practices I talk about on this platform work both in and out of the workplace and are linked together. Improving one will improve the other. Specifically, with respect to the workplace, improving things like relationships, time management, focus and concentration will improve results, improve performance, and improve mental well-being.
So where to begin? With everything, begin in the brain because everything in life begins and ends in the brain in with our thoughts. And use the most effective, scientifically proven practices, to kill multiple birds with one stone. I’m talking about mindfulness and meditation.
The simple act of practicing staying present in the moment, lowering your brain waves state with conscious effort, and sprinkling in a little gratitude or loving kindness within your practice is the most effective way (again shown by clinical research) to improve focus, concentration, and well-being. And put you in a better state of mind so that you can take action to develop greater relationships. To put others first and deploy more empathy. To talk openly and honestly and genuinely to others which will garner better interactions and ultimately lead to better results.
In conjunction with mindfulness and meditation, tackle your mindset. Use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to challenge your thinking and develop a growth mindset (again, clinically shown to improve performance and results). No matter what deadlines you are facing, the workload that’s been handed to you, or the seemingly unattainable sales quotas you have, it all begins with the correct mindset, which is a growth mindset.
To develop a growth mindset through using CBT, incorporate these three steps: become more mindful or self-aware of your thoughts pertaining to your workload or your goals. This goes back to mindfulness, which is why it’s great to start there and develop a consistent practice. Once you are mindful of your thoughts, begin to analyze them, dissect them and challenge them (the act of cognitive restructuring).
Is this quota really unattainable? Is this really too much work? Do I have the help I need? Can I get it? Have I hit these goals before? Is this line of thinking rational or emotional? What will happen when I do hit the mark? How can I break this down into smaller, more manageable pieces? Can I delegate any of it?
This line of thinking not only helps develop a growth mindset, but also challenges the brain with problem-solving tasks. And the brain loves to solve problems. When you ask yourself particular questions and give yourself greater purpose and challenge, your brain activity heightens and looks for ways to meet the demands. And then you can begin to replace your old thinking with new thinking as you make strides along the way.
And it’s all about small incremental steps. Again, the brain likes to learn and discover new things and act on purpose. When you are working towards a goal, and especially when the goal is challenging, reward yourself along the way. It goes hand-in-hand with challenging and replacing your thinking.
Even if you don’t attain the goal, as long as you are working towards a goal and leaning into the challenge in difficulty, your brain releases dopamine which makes you feel good and keeps pushing you forward in that direction. So positive or realistic self-talk (also referred to as affirmation), is another powerful practice that’s been shown to improve mental well-being at piggybacks off of mindfulness, CBT, and is incorporated in developing a growth mindset.
So I take time each day to work on your mind in your brain. Simple techniques like mindfulness, meditation, CBT and positive, realistic self-talk will not only improve performance in the workplace, but it will lead to greater success and relationships at home as well. Also, apply these techniques and practices your home life, which is just as, if not more important, as your work life. They work very well there too!
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