Yesterday I tried searching on the web to find various forms of fitness for overall well-being. To my surprise, almost all the write-ups I came across were about forms of physical fitness. Hardly anyone talked about mental fitness. We are in the 21st century — discussing mental illness isn’t taboo anymore.
While the inclination has been for ages and it further got the boost during the pandemic, I firmly believe mental fitness is the foundation that ensures the overall well-being of an individual.
According to a report shared by NIMH, 23.6% of U.S. adults live with a mental illness.
Not just this, in one of its reports, WHO reveals that the global economy experiences a loss of $ 1 trillion every year in productivity. The reason? Anxiety and Depression!
Beyond what we see — Mental Fitness
Fitness in a broader way is indeed a necessity that most of us try to keep on our priority list. However, most of us put our significant focus on ensuring just physical fitness whilst sidelining mental health. As shared in the statistics above, the reports clearly suggest the increasing need for sound mental health and the way it’s impacting not just personal lives, but also professional well-being.
There are a good number of organizations that prioritized the mental well-being of their employees and incorporated it into the employee training programs, however, still many are absent from the list. In 2019, the AHA roundtable shared a roadmap to help organizations enhance the mental health of their employees. CEOs of companies like AT&T, Nestle, Bank of America, and IBM revealed their initiatives in boosting the same.
Besides these brands, in the last few years, it has been noticed that even Call Centers are taking initiatives to ensure sound mental health by adding ease to their workflow. They do it using robust and feature-rich call center software that enables their team to utilize the best of their potential without stressing much.
The team follows its leader
While the companies are undoubtedly taking a great initiative by ensuring the sound mental health of their employees, this isn’t all. The need is to have especially the leaders ensure staying mentally fit. Leadership isn’t just being physically fit and active all the time, it requires equal, perhaps more effort. This is because there are a good number of people getting inspired and relied on the way you react and perform.
To ensure that poor mental health doesn’t impact other team members and eventually hamper the team’s productivity, it’s crucial for a leader to stay mentally fit. Some of the prominent impacts of this can be in form of;
1- Stress: If your mind isn’t at peace, this is the first negative impact that can be noticed not just on you, but also on your team. You will start getting irritated over pity issues and sometimes without anything concrete. Eventually, this will begin to impact other teammates.
2- Anxiety: This is one of the most common symptoms. While anxiety has different stages, needless to mention that it is excruciating in all its forms. Anxiety may leave a bad impact on your team members and may soon tarnish your image as a good leader. Sufferers of anxiety can achieve mental breakthroughs if they have adequate support and care.
3- Lack of Concentration: This is one of the most prominent factors to negatively impact your and the team’s productivity. If you aren’t mentally fit, there’s no way you would be able to concentrate on your work. You may also notice an imbalance in your personal and professional life, which will eventually worsen things and your reputation.
4- Decreased Productivity: Call it a by-product of all the above-mentioned impacts and you won’t be wrong. Talking about instability in professional life and your role as a leader, you’ll find numerous factors damaging your productivity. Often people have been noticed spending hours overdoing things that require just a few minutes.
These were just a few out of numerous side effects of poor mental health. If we summarise them all, you may notice a lack of confidence, lack of interest, social isolation, irregular behavioral changes, and much more. These together will not just impact your performance, will also leave a negative impression on those who see you as a mentor and follow you.
This is where the question arises;
How to Improve Your Mental Fitness?
Just like your body, you need to keep your brain also in shape. However, this won’t require hours of sweating in the gym. You just need to do certain small activities that take your brain into cheerful vibes and keep it active.
Let’s have a look at a few activities that can help you keep your brain active.
1- Avoid Multitasking: Not doing anything can also be a productive activity. As an entrepreneur, you may sometimes engage yourself in multiple activities. I strongly recommend you avoid doing it. Don’t push yourself beyond a limit. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
2- Avoid Negative thoughts: Ups and downs are part of an entrepreneurial journey, don’t let any fall or crisis take over your brain. Stay positive no matter how the time is. Also, this is important as it’ll help your team to stay motivated.
3- Engage in something new: You might find it contradicting the first point, but trust me it’s completely different. Unleash yourself from the same old lifecycle and the mature leader inside you. Step out and try new food, newer ways to accomplish routine tasks, go to new places, or travel roads you haven’t before while going to the office. The idea is to explore.
4- Games are fun: You must try playing old-school games like crossword puzzles, board games, Spider Solitaire, FreeCell, etc. If they don’t fall under your category, you may also try logic games, reasoning, or trivia. The idea is to engage in something that doesn’t stress you and your brain nerves.
5- Reading is a healthy exercise: Add this to your regular routine and you’ll begin noticing the changes. Just make sure you choose your reading wisely. Reading is often recommended by doctors and psychiatrists and a major way to overcome mental health issues.
6- Spend some time with yourself: Though last in the list but not the least. Never forget to spend some time with yourself. You are the one who needs most of your attention. And by this, I intend to say that you must take some time out away from all your daily chaos. This can play an inevitable role in refreshing your brain.
Our perspective about mental health can be well understood with an example that portrays we focus more on presentation and not the core or actual output. A well-wrapped box of mud will still remain dirty inside. Before you leave the track, the actual meaning behind is no matter how well built your outer body is, to lead a healthy life, strong mental health plays a pivotal role.
I hope the points mentioned above help you learn the same. Just in case there’s anything else you wish to know, please feel free to connect with me in the comment section. Until then, Cheers to yourself!