January Wellness Series: Mind Wellness in the Workplace.
This month we are looking at the various aspects of workplace wellness from a holistic approach. This means looking at how the body, mind and spirit all factor in to your wellness. This week we are focusing on Mind Wellness in the workplace.
What does Mind Wellness mean? When we speak about the mind, we are referring to your brain function and your thoughts, feelings and expectations. The mind can be seen as mental health and intellectual health so Mental (or Emotional) Wellness and Intellectual Wellness can be defined as:
“Emotional/Mental Wellness – your awareness and acceptance of your feelings; your thoughts, attitudes, and self-talk; your resilience and self-esteem.
Intellectual Wellness – having creative and stimulating activities that allow you to continue learning and pursuing your interests.”
There is a strong connection between what we think and feel and how our body functions too.
“Your brain produces substances that can improve your health. These substances include endorphins, which are natural painkillers, and gamma globulin, which strengthens your immune system.
Research shows that what your brain produces depends in part on your thoughts, feelings, and expectations. If you’re sick but you have hope and a positive attitude and you believe that you’ll get better, your brain is likely to produce chemicals that will boost your body’s healing power.
Negative thoughts and emotions can keep your brain from producing some of the chemicals that help your body heal. But this doesn’t mean you should blame yourself for getting sick or feeling down about a health problem. Some illnesses are beyond your control. But your thoughts and state of mind are resources you can use to get better.” (http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/mental-health-problems-and-mind-body-wellness-overview)
What this means for the workplace is that we cannot always control what is happening in the workplace but what we can control is how we react to that and how we process the information. For example, we get news that is going to mean a big change at work, often people will see that as bad news, but you have the choice to change your perspective and view it as exciting and positive; a new opportunity. Stress can play a big role at the workplace and is often a barrier to mind and body wellness. Learning new perspectives and stress management techniques can help you to maintain mind wellness. Please see some of the previous blogs for further information on Stress Management.
In our lives full of constant change, we need to view wellness as a process or a journey not a destination. This Journey towards wellness requires that we make deliberate choices daily about our behaviours and our actions to lead us down the path we desire. That path is to be as well as we can be.