Workplace stress is becoming commonplace in Australia with a recent Jerome Doraisamy ABC report suggesting 21 per cent of people who take time off work each year do so because they feel stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy.
When you’re feeling stressed at work it can affect everything else in your life including your health, relationships and sense of identity.
However, work stress costs the economy too, with research from PriceWaterhouseCoopers suggesting that untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion per year through absenteeism ‘presenteeism’ (where an employee is present at work but underperforming due to injury or illness ) and compensation claims.
Dr Farvardin Daliri, who specialises in self-awareness, meditation and emotional intelligence, suggests that workers can help protect their mental wellbeing through practising a daily mental workout.
“Learning some simple techniques for taking back control of your own thoughts and shifting your mindset will empower people to manage stress levels better,” he said.
“Our world and our lives have gotten busier and busier and people try to project happiness to external events and conditions out of their control – including their success and ability at work. We keep doing the same things that we believe will give us happiness, hoping for a better day without realising that we need to change ourselves and our mindset.”
“Something within us, within our own minds, needs to change to take back the control over our thoughts and help us cope with stress in the workplace.”
“Workplaces might offer assistance, but workers don’t feel comfortable or confident in taking up those programs for fear they might be looked upon poorly,” he said.
“Mental health problems are often seen as weakness and people won’t always take steps to arm themselves with strategies to cope with their issues. I encourage anybody who is already feeling stress from work to take steps to improve their working life.”
“So much of our mental health is about taking back control of our thoughts and we have the ability to consciously refocus our minds on pleasant thoughts after the intense pressure of dealing with emotionally charged situations so that we can better cope with pressure and stress at work,” he concluded.
Back to me, Paul Lyons, and I believe using the mental toughness framework encompassing the MTQ 4C’s is a great way to practise your daily mental workout because it helps you achieve greater performance, positivity and wellbeing.
As a scientifically valid framework it contains many practical ways to stay mentally healthy which include:
- Creating your unique sense of identity.
- Developing plans to control what you can control.
- Managing your emotions so they don’t interfere with you achieving your goals and targets.
- Staying focused without being easily distracted or diverted to make things happen.
- Becoming inquisitive, adaptable and ready for anything.
- Striving to be the best you can be.
- Practising your key skills to become more confident in your ability to complete your tasks to a high standard.
An effective way to start your daily mental workout is to create a baseline by taking the MTQ-Plus psychometric measure to understand your mindset strengths and blockages.