More and more companies are finally acknowledging the importance of their employees’ mental health, and how factors like workplace environment, company culture and leadership styles can have a direct impact on their teams’ mental wellbeing. But while some are taking the necessary steps to address these issues, others are still hesitant to make the leap and invest in their employees’ mental health.
We caught up with Bianca Riemer, a leadership coach, communication trainer and success hypnotherapist, to discuss mental health in the workplace and some of the best practices that you can implement in your day-to-day life.
Riemer begins by noting that our mental health fluctuates from day to day — some days are always better than others. However, being in a constantly negative mental state could indicate the need to seek professional help and support.
Alternatively, you could also utilise resources such as self-development books and courses that will help you understand how you’re feeling and allow you to express those emotions coherently. Ultimately, these steps will help you manage and improve your mental wellbeing.
Riemer goes on to say that a change of scenery is another helpful way to recuperate. A short walk outside, for example, is a great way to clear your head and recalibrate your thoughts.
And if you don’t have the time to go outside, Riemer presents a three-step method to improve your mental state and mood without leaving the room.
Firstly, by being more mindful of your posture, you can signal to your brain that you’re feeling strong and empowered. To do this, Riemer advises sitting with a straight back, shoulders pulled back, and your chest slightly puffed up. It’s also important to breathe deeply while doing this.
The second part of this exercise is to look up with your eyes as opposed to looking down, which research has found to be a common symptom of people dealing with negative emotions. To complete this exercise, try to tell yourself a few positive affirmations, like ‘I am happy’.
When it comes to improving your wellbeing through daily practices, Riemer talks about the twin hearts meditation, which is part of her own daily ritual. With scientific evidence highlighting its effectiveness, she devotes 20 minutes a day to ground herself through this exercise, which helps her remain calm. This has a positive impact on her family and loved ones, too.
When it comes to company practices, Riemer notes that company leaders must lead by example. By being transparent about difficulties and open to discuss learnings with their staff, they can create a safe environment for the entire team and create a stronger support network within their organisations.
Riemer also suggests establishing meetups or sessions to discuss struggles and concerns in an informal setting, as this can help the entire workforce thrive and may also be a catalyst that brings a positive change to the company, as well as its policies and culture.
If you are, or someone you know is, struggling with mental health issues, check out these helpful links and resources:
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Join the conversation! Do you follow any mental health practices? How do you think employers could improve mental wellbeing in the workplace? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!