Emotional Health encompasses feelings like happiness, relaxation, and ease, as opposed to negative emotions of anxiety, anger, or worry. Individuals who thrive have a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative emotions, or feel roughly 3 positive emotions for every one negative emotion experienced. Emotional health focuses on identifying and managing emotions, increasing positivity, and decreasing negative thoughts, as well as implementing gratitude practices, to enhance the positivity ratio and lead to improved perceptions of wellbeing.
In celebratory of Mental Health Awareness Month, what is one practice we can quickly implement to improve our emotional health in the workplace?
We asked CEOs and HR leaders this question for their best ideas. From practicing meditation to supporting the growth of your team, there are several ideas to put into practice that may help you improve your emotional health in the workplace.
Here are 11 tips for improving your emotional health at work:
- Practice daily meditation
- Create support systems
- Improve others
- Separate home from work
- Set clear boundaries
- Learn new things to stay motivated
- Reach out to management for support
- Support the growth of your team
- Socialize more
- Plan ahead
- Avoid people who emotionally drain you
1. Practice Daily Meditation
One thing the pandemic has taught us is how important taking care of ourselves is. Emotional well-being is a key component to good health. We have many areas of stress in our lives, and at times, we can feel discouraged, burnt out, and demotivated at work. An evidence-based way to help counter this is through frequent meditation. Taking 5 to 10 to 20 minutes each day to focus on your breath, practice guided meditation, or free-awareness meditation, will help improve your emotional well-being, both at work and in your personal life.
— Beryl Krinsky, B.Komplete
2. Create Support Systems
Having a strong support system is essential to ensuring you are healthy and happy. Thus, surrounding yourself with a group of close co-workers that you can trust is essential in making sure you have people to turn to when times get tough. A support system like this should be a space where you can freely express yourself and your emotions without feeling judged or like you’re being a burden. Your support system will be there for you no matter what and will help bring you back up to where you need to be.
— Joe Spector, Dutch
3. Improve Others
It's funny, the days I'm feeling out of sorts in the workplace typically resolve themselves when I speak to other coworkers who are feeling down. It's not so much the "misery loves company" idiom that kicks in, but rather the fact that extending an outreached hand to that coworker results in a moment of satisfaction. From there, the satisfaction leads to a renewed focus and bolstered sense of purpose.
— Jeremy Ames, Accenture
4. Separate Work From Home Life
The best thing you can do for your emotional health in the workplace is to compartmentalize. Specifically, keep your work life and home life separate. You don't want one area of your life distracting you from the other, as both will become muddled as a result. Taking care to treat your professional and personal lives as two separate entities, neither of which fully define you as a person, will help you remain to feel an overall balance and a stronger sense of emotional health.
— Trey Ferro, Spot Pet Insurance
5. Set Clear Boundaries
Poor emotional health in the workplace is sometimes caused by an unmanageable workload. That’s why it’s important to set your own personal boundaries and recognize the extent of your own capability. If your superior is managing multiple teams and projects, they might not be able to keep tabs on each individual’s workload. Therefore, it becomes your responsibility to speak up if you are being overburdened, or if the deadlines are too tight. Don’t sacrifice your physical or mental health to get on top of your tasks because that will only lead to burnout. You aren't likely to get a bad reputation for refusing a task every now and then. Don't be a yes-man, as it won't earn you the respect you deserve.
— Eric Ang, One Search Pro
6. Learn New Things To Stay Motivated
Engage with and learn from your colleagues to become better at your job. An employee who excels in their work does so confidently and is more likely to be in a good space emotionally in the workplace - the reassurance from management, the company, etc. of their great work will motivate them and keep them in high spirits. Always be eager to learn new things. The more you know, the better. Make a conscious effort to learn things that will make you a more productive worker. Ask questions and inquire about areas that you may not be familiar with. Gather insight and tips from fellow employees, and/or management that could help you get your work done quicker in the future.
Eager employees are ambitious and make for great candidates for future promotions. Improve emotional health in the workplace by learning new skills, knowledge, and insight that will make you an exceptional employee.
— Datha Santomieri, Steadily
7. Reach Out To Management
Reach out to management to have a serious discussion regarding mental health accommodations. If you’re struggling, there’s a good chance others are, too–and it’s important that management has proper accommodations for employees’ mental health. Whether it’s mental health disabilities which are not being properly acknowledged, or general struggles of staff at large, awareness is the first step towards proper action–and management needs to know.
— John Jacob, Hoist
8. Support Growth of Your Team
Simply adopt the mindset and culture of growth for individual team members and the organization. Move away from creating an environment that is monolithic in its approach to problem solving. Throw the box out the window and create a culture that is open, transparent and one that encourages and supports the development of staff. Incentivize productivity, and include your team in brainstorming sessions. Allow your staff the freedom to explore new ideas and get them involved in studying industry trends. In this way, you are making it a norm to encourage growth and innovation in the workplace.
When you do this, your team will feel inspired and worthy of their contributions. When one feels strongly purposeful and purposeful it builds self-esteem and improves emotional stability.
Baljeet Dogra, KidSmart
9. Socialize More
The best way to improve one’s emotional health at work is to incorporate more active social practices into one’s work routine. For example, eating lunch with a friend versus eating alone (even virtually) can boost one’s mood with a lively conversation. Back in the office, get others to engage in social exercise with you, like meditation or a brief yoga break when you need to step away from your desk for a moment. Above all, just talk to someone if the stress is piling up, chances are good someone will enjoy the chance for a mutual vent session too.
— Loic Claveau, Prometeus Labs
10. Plan Ahead
Plan ahead and manage time accordingly. Falling behind on assignments is a quick way to feel overwhelmed and ultimately stressed out. Try mapping out your work schedule to ensure that every task needed to be completed receives an adequate amount of time. This will help you visualize what success looks like in a productive day. Burnout is a mental state of exhaustion that can have a significant impact on one’s emotional health in the workplace. The pressures and responsibilities of work are a common factor in the occurrence of burnout. Stress and anxiousness are common symptoms and strong signs that one may be experiencing this situation. Effective planning and time management is one idea on how to ease your mind in the workplace.
— Jordan Duran, 6 ICE
11. Avoid People Who Drain You Emotionally
I know. I know. Accommodating clients from all walks of life enables you to expand your clientele and grow your business. But there is some level of difficulty and disrespect that I just can't take. The moment you decide to take on everyone, despite their attitude towards you, you end up emotionally drained before you even start your day. And yes, we all have clients who can be difficult and we tolerate them. Which I do, but I also have boundaries. There are some things like sexism and racism that I just can't tolerate, even for money.
— Evelyn Ott, Soul Canvas Ink