Mental health has been the talk of the country for since long. With the pandemic, the situation has only worsened in this regard. People have shifted to the work-from-home model incorporate companies, which has increased the problem for some as the work pressure has increased. What helps people handle this pressure? What could they do not feel overwhelmed? Experts say that practising mindfulness could be an excellent way to handle the corporate world's work stress.
According to the World Health Organization, 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million Indians suffer anxiety disorders. These mental health issues in the workplace are very natural for most companies, but the stigma around them prevents individuals from seeking professional help. The stigma results from a negative perception and stereotypes that reflect a lack of understanding about the issue. What could then come to the rescue is seeking help through innovative ways and working towards mindfulness as a way of life.
What is Mindfulness?
While speaking to The Logical Indian, Shweta Advani, a mindfulness coach, describes it as the feeling of being aware of what is happening inside you and around you. This state of awareness helps in avoiding conflicts. If people are not mindful, they might end up shouting at a person. But if they are conscious of what they are feeling and thinking, they can be cautious.
Hence, making it a way of life could help maintain an overall peace of mind wherein you are aware of your present surroundings and not troubled by other thoughts. In the contemporary world, people have a lot on their minds, and at times, multitasking could deprive people of a calm and composed mind. Moreover, the world is becoming more competitive, thus, further triggering mental health issues.
What Do The Surveys Say?
Many surveys and studies have reported that the corporate world in India has a problem of rising mental health issues. A study by The7thFold revealed that 36 per cent of the corporate employees in India are suffering from mental health issues, and 50 per cent are worried about an uncertain future due to the pandemic, India Today reported. Experts believe that stress is a significant contributor to a person's worsening mental and physical well-being. On the other hand, studies have also revealed positive coping mechanisms like yoga, meditation and including exercise in the daily regime for a healthier mental well-being.
Another survey by Gi Group found out that about 42.5 per cent of corporate India suffered from depression and anxiety disorder. The study also revealed that work-life balance, work stress and anxiety over career growth were some reasons for poor mental health in the corporates.
Reasons For Poor Mental Health In Corporate India
Experts believe that high-stress levels because of job pressure make people vulnerable, and they struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Family and financial challenges are the primary reasons behind poor mental health in the Indian corporate world. They believe that sometimes managers and bosses are not very receptive to their subordinates' psychological problems and the employees are not able to share their problems because of the prevailing stigma around mental health. Moreover, companies also lack in providing mental health facilities to their employees.
"Anxiety, depression, constant urge to be productive all the time and panic due to uncertainties of current times are some of the major problems in the workplace right now," Advani told The Logical Indian. Moreover, technology has affected the way people function. "Work from home and mobile phones have blurred the lines between work and life. In the times of today's fast-paced and multitasking culture, it can seem difficult to pause and be," Advani added.
Dealing With Work Stress
In a conversation with The Logical Indian, Shweta Advani said that mindfulness could help achieve his highest potential. She suggested some ways to be practised in the corporate world to prevent reaching the burnout stage.
Focusing on one task at a time
Our brains are not wired for multitasking, and it is a scientifically proven fact that our brains can focus on one thing at a time. So when we are multitasking, our brain is just rapidly switching attention from one task to another and parallel processing them. Our brain has to put energy and time into loading and to reload different contents. Therefore it is better to focus on one task or group similar tasks together and finish one set before moving to another.
Taking Mindful Breaks
Pomodoro technique is a time management system that helps people work with their time rather than working against it. Through this, one can set a time, usually 30 to 45 minutes and focus on one task at a time. After this duration, one can take a short break of 5 to 10 minutes to unwind before moving to the next task. These short breaks will help in regaining focus and prevent burnout.
Being Mindful In Communication
Another way to reduce anxiety is to be mindful of communication, as it helps create great interpersonal relationships.
A significant proportion of stress at workplaces could be dealt with by being receptive, observant and non-judgemental in understanding other people's perspectives.
Her organization, the Mindful Love Tribe, provides services for corporate people wherein they can get in touch with counsellors to talk about individual issues and seek one-to-one assistance. "The idea is self-empowerment. It is about understanding how to handle yourself in situations of panic attacks at work or at home; maybe you try breathing techniques, among other things," Advani concluded.
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