Workplace Mental Health Affects Physical Wellbeing

It's important to take time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge - Naples Beach, Florida is a GREAT place to do just that! Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

On average, most of us spend a third of our lives at work. Making sure that workplaces nourish mental wellbeing seems like a no-brainer.

Although the conversation has started, let’s avoid any confusion by defining mental health and wellbeing.

Per the World Health Organization, mental health is a ‘state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to her or his community.”

I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds superbly fabulous.

As the shroud of stigma around mental illness gradually starts to lift, we begin to recognize mental wellbeing or positive mental health as more than the absence of mental illness, but rather a state of flourishing mental health.

Let’s face a few facts on mental health and the workplace:

  • In the US, almost ½ of adults, (46.4%) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
  • We spend 1/3 of our lives at work.
  • Employees who believe their employers care about their wellbeing are more engaged at work than others.
  • Workplaces that prioritize mental health have better engagement, less absenteeism and higher productivity, while workers have improved wellbeing and greater morale.

Stress, a mental or emotional strain from demanding circumstances, is normal.

Physical stress is a requirement to heal and grow tissue, aiding titration for an optimal physiological response.

Both good stress and bad stress exist, but excessive exposure to bad stress can set us on a path toward a heightened state of alert and protection seeking.

You may have heard of the “fight or flight” response and perhaps you can recall a moment in your own life when you felt a rush (natural chemical response) that sharpened your senses and gave you superhuman strength?

This is an automatic stress response that can help get us out of a difficult situation.

However, when this response is triggered regularly, (constant alerts on social media, beeping cars and aggressive drivers, continuous email notifications popping up in the corner of your computer screen, an onslaught of negative news) we are putting unnecessary strain on our system.

Sometimes small stressors build up over time and if we miss the warning signs, can lead to physical, mental and emotional fatigue. In more extreme circumstances, ‘burnout’ or exhaustion can occur.

Recognizing these warning signs is the first step to making changes to prevent occupational burnout:

  • Excessive worry, overthinking or being obsessed with issues.
  • Decreased interest in family, friends and work.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns.
  • Nervous twitches or muscle spasms.
  • Pains in lower back, chest, shoulders and/or joints.
  • Skin irritation or rashes for no reason.
  • Frequent colds or illness.
  • Memory or concentration problems.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Feeling inpatient, irritable or losing confidence in your abilities.

Refuel, Resolve and Relax to Promote Positive Mental Health:

Refuel: We need to properly fuel our bodies and minds to handle daily challenges. Identify what recharges you; regular exercise, eating healthy food, doing things that make you happy; and practice them regularly.

Resolve: Some stressors and risk factors to stress are out of our control and may require you to reach out to others for support. This is when having workplace services available is especially important.

Relax: Taking time to practice relaxation promotes a state of rest, which reduces the effects of prolonged stress and helps us to recuperate.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you'll really enjoy our 14 DAY MINDSET CHALLENGE  which is part of our Monthly Membership program helping & supporting you toward living your best life!

Our Geared Up theme for you is "Health, Wellness & Fitness in a Multi-Sport Lifestyle".  Find out all of the ways we can support you through our Membership programs here.

Let's go on this journey together and change your life as always, “Practice with Purpose and Live with Passion!”



50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.