Mind health revolution

Mind health revolutionMind health is about keeping a fit and sharp mind
05.10.2022

It is time to make training our minds as normal as going to the gym and benefit from keeping inner calmness and mental strength.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on the 10th of October. In 2022 the theme is ‘Make Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority’. Let's look at how to do that.

First, let's state the obvious. in the case of our health, prevention is easier, cheaper, and more efficient than cure.

The cleverest proactive approach is a healthy lifestyle combined with practical and applicable skills that allow you to keep yourself well. In society and workplaces, we need such a holistic approach for our mind/brain as much as we need it for our physical body.

We have lacked, and mostly still lack, education that addresses our mental wellbeing in educational curricula. It means processes within our own minds are understood vaguely at best. As a result, we often practice unhealthy lifestyles that end up 'making us' stressed, burned out, and finally mentally depleted and physically ill.

Our own lack of practical intrapersonal skills doesn't allow us to notice the warning signs of losing our wellbeing. Skills are always individual.

Thus it is correct to state that when you lack activities to sustain and/or train your mind health, you easily end up on a downward spiral. How does it happen for you and others around you?

First, you meet pressure that causes worry, stress and anxiousness. Then next, you come in contact with burnout and later end up with more serious mental health issues. However, the process itself is slow and that is why we fail to notice it as we lack the skills to observe our inner processes. As a result, depression and anxiety are now the two most common illnesses according to the WHO (World Health Organization).

It is time to turn this around for you and the people around you and keep our minds fit and well. So, how can we do this?

Replacing blind hope with realistic action

Our hope to remain mentally well without training our minds is blind hope.

Most of us know by personal experience that keeping our physical body well fails without any proactive activities. Such proactive action could be going to the gym, running, taking nature walks, eating healthy, etc. Why do we then blindly hope to stay well when it comes to our brains and minds?

To turn things around and stay healthy, thrive and work well, you need train your mind/brain while you are well. We all need that!


It is time to make training our minds normal and desired.


We don't go to the gym, when ill, we go there when we are well and desire to stay well. Similarly, we need to train our brains and minds in the mental wellness gym to keep away stress, burnout and other mental health issues (see the left-hand side of the graph below).

 

Our mental health has two endsOur mental health has two ends, it is time to focus on the right-hand side of this scale!

You, as a person, win from training your mental strength and fitness of the mind.

Your initiative, insightfulness and excellent management of activities in time allow you to thrive both on and off work.

Moreover, mental sharpness also allows employers to win as people are more present and engaged. Here individual gains and business-related wins overlap.

Investing in systematic intrapersonal training will bring employers and employees more potential benefits than most people are aware of, like opening up creativity, boosting productivity and improving interpersonal relations (see again the right-hand side of the graph above).
 

A fit mind is a result of training it!

If we want to properly secure mind health and inner wellbeing, we need to do more than talk about mental health problems and illnesses.

Talking reduces stigma and is genuinely needed, but it doesn't prevent problems. It is your action that does!

Besides talking and reducing the stigma that unfairly is attached to the term mental health, you and your colleagues need to take personal initiative to keep your own mind and the minds of your whole team fit.

The ultimate essence of the mind health revolution is a simple one: It is time to make training our minds normal.

Now when the pandemic, ongoing war in Ukraine and inflation have led us to situations where 9 out of 10 are stressed, and burnout levels skyrocket as well, our reality is that almost 3 out of 10 experience serious mental health problems.

The paradox is that most of those problems could be prevented if we would notice the early warning signs and change our lifestyle and work habits.

Why we fail to notice those problems is that our mental health problems develop slowly. Often too slowly to be noticed.
 

Training our brains and minds is beneficial

Just as we can train our muscles as they are plastic and able to develop, we should also give additional training to our brains.

Science has proved that all human brains are neuroplastic. What does this mean?

Neuroplasticity is an umbrella term referring to the human brain's ability to modify, change and naturally adapt both its structures and functions throughout life and in response to our experiences.

So, the good news is our brain is not a fixed entity. Instead, our brain changes according to our lifestyle, habits, and skills that we have.

While we traditionally focus on training the skills related to our physical body and professionalism, we seldom take time for intrapersonal education that allows us to lead our own inner processes at will (take a few minutes and watch the video below).
 


Watch this insightful mental wellness video now, it proposes a sustainable mental wellness solution.

What we have failed to understand is that we all can lead our inner processes at will.

Why? As we lack practical intrapersonal skills, we are left to believe that we have no power over those processes. Such belief is false, it originates from a lack of intrapersonal education.


We all have the potential inner power, but we haven't trained such mind power to be strong, so it remains weak at best.


Why do we need the change?

Lack of understanding about our inner domain has led to many false beliefs, like the efficiency of multitasking, dependency on emotional motivation and blind beliefs that our external situations define our stress level or burnout risk, etc.

The outcome of this is, on average 80% of people in our modern workplaces aren't fully engaged. It is not an opinion, it is according to the Gallup study from 2021 (see the regional employee engagement graph below).

 

Employee engagement by regions of the worldRegional employee engagement data from Gallup report 'State of Global Workplace', published in 2021.

When we observe annual stress data from the pre-pandemic era we can notice that approximately 70-80% of employees Including managers and HRs) are stressed. This means that the remaining 20-30% have the potential to be engaged, as they are the ones who lack disturbing stress levels.

Our stress is highest when we enter the market as young employees. However, stress levels are provenly high across all age groups (see stress age groups graph below).
 

Presentage of workers who haveexperienced stress
Pre lockdown stress levels according to the 2018 Investors in People study 'Managing Mental Health in The Workplace'.

The pandemic era has made those numbers somewhat worse, as averages stress levels have been reported even as high as 80-98%.


Being stressed = not fully engaged.


Read this again! You can't be engaged and interested in what is going on around you when your mind is filled with stress. 

You can't be focused on work when you need to deal with your own inner struggles. This statement is 100% valid for every person on your team.
 

By taking care of the stress you can keep mind fit

Stress matters, as is the starting point of a downwards spiral. We often praise positive stress, but it is positive stress that causes most burnout cases.

Basically, training our minds is improving the strength of our brains and understanding more about our inner domain, so that instead of random inner reactions, we could always choose how we respond and thus keep our minds peaceful, serene and focused.

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation stated in April 2020 that 45% of Americans felt the Covid-19 crisis was harming their mental health and 19% experienced that this crisis had a strong influence on their mental health situation.

According to the MHA’s third annual Work Health Survey, “Most employees are experiencing early signs of burnout. Nearly 83% of respondents felt emotionally drained from their work, with over 40% stating they strongly agreed with this statement.” (see how many are drained in graph below).
 

82% feel emotionally drained from their workStress affects mental health, the image from MHA’s third annual Work Health Survey back in 2021.

This MHA survey also stated that “Employees who are experiencing exhaustion, an early sign of burnout, report that workplace stress was affecting their mental health.”

Nearly 85% of respondents in the MHA survey agreed (somewhat to strongly agreed) that their workplace stress affected their mental health. However, it is more than just their opinion, there is also plenty of science to back it up and this is why we all should focus on reducing our stress levels by training our own minds.

A year later, in 2022 MHA new study pointed out that 71% of employees found it difficult to concentrate at work and this is mostly due to high stress levels (see graph opening up concentration difficulties below).

71% of employees found it difficult to concentrate at work, compared to 65% in 2020 and 45% in 2018.

Image from MHA’s third annual Work Health Survey back in 2021.

The last two years have also amply demonstrated that working remotely still causes stress. This experience has revealed to us that stress originates from within our own worried and anxious minds.

By now most of us should be aware that high-stress levels and burnout can even occur in the serenity of our home or in relaxed outer surroundings.

It is about time to stop blaming someone else for our inner problems and take more personal responsibility. However, it doesn't mean that a good work environment doesn't matter, it does as it is supportive! Also excellent interpersonal relations matter.

We need both: inner wellness and good environments with good people to thrive in. However, our focus on our mind health is what needs urgent attention.

Where to start?

Our personal sustainability can be largely improved by reducing unhealthy stress levels!
 

Are you aware of your current stress level?
 

 

The foundation of the mind health revolution

The foundation of a healthy work environment and personal relations is good intrapersonal skills. Once we lead our inner processes, we can easily lead processes and other people around us by taking personal initiative.

We have amply demonstrated in many of the previous Wellness Orbit blog posts that the benefits of proactive mental wellness or mind health approach is suitable and beneficial for everyone out there. Those blogs should convince people that inner wellbeing is essential for us 24/7 and regardless of our age or the business we are in.

A fit and sharp mind will allow us to thrive and do well, no matter do we work from home or do we find ourselves in open offices and in the middle of busy city life.

Investing in mind health just makes sense to people as it keeps them well and it makes an excellent business case as mental wellness is a profitable investment with up to tenfold ROI (click on the link to have a more detailed overview).

Training your mind/brain to be fit, sharp and well also prevents a lot of work-related mental health costs (see the graph below). Those can be annually up to £3,710 ($4820 or 4,120€) per employee.
 

Private and public sector mental health costs according to Deloitte UKImage from Deloitte UK report ‘Mental health and employers. The case for investment – pandemic and beyond', from March 2022.

Having excellent inner wellness and a sharp mind efficiently supports completing difficult work tasks and facilitates success.

Mind health is a solid business case. Tenfold ROI for the employer should speak for itself!


The mind health revolution is about distributing the message that our mind/brain is trainable and such training is beneficial.


All of us should start with training our minds/brains while we are still quite okay. You don't need to wait for illness to strive for wellness!

Intrapersonal skills offer the limitless potential to adequately secure mental wellness for every person, regardless if they study or work from the office or at home.

Today’s changes in the world, be it health, peace or economic situation, have invariably brought along many individual challenges. Solving different challenges successfully demands that you keep your mind well. 

It becomes easy to collaborate with people who have good intrapersonal skills and know how to focus.

According to the 2019 'Cigna 360 Well-being survey', 91% of employees state that their colleagues' stress impacts their work results. So it isn't an insignificant issue, it matters even for those who have managed to stay stress-free.

We can sum it up simply, only a stress-free mind can focus well and truly thrive.

Thus, the new proactive mental wellness path is a comprehensive approach that is for everyone out there. It is the holistic approach that gives you a healthy mind.

Conclusion

Hopefully, someday a life with healthy and peaceful minds is the standard that we all have as we train our minds.

When our mind is well, it becomes natural to take care also what we eat, how we sleep and how to keep our precious physical body fit and well. And of course, it then also becomes easy to focus and be passionate about your work! Work that should be meaningful and potent to improve the world.

The hope to secure fit and sharp minds for every person out there drives me and the team of Wellness Orbit to contribute to the digital mind health revolution and for this, we have developed easy-to-use mind wellness online trainings.

We have now worked for many years to turn this systematic mind health training approach into a relaxing experience that you can love and apply in real-life and real-work situations.

As it is digital, investing in mind health is now easy and affordable for everyone. It enables you to keep yourself and your team mentally sharp, well and productive at the same time.

Don't wait and suffer, start with it NOW!

Click here to find out free mental wellness resources or here to take the online course that fits best for your (team's) needs.
 

 


This blog post is by Kaur Lass