MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE

By NBF News
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Mental and emotional health is the area of health that focuses on developing good character, interacting in ways that help create a positive atmosphere at work; which can be misinterpreted as trying to gain cheap popularity among workers. It includes positive social emotional environment in the work place; including developing healthful personality characteristics.

It includes choosing behaviours to promote a healthy mind, expressing emotions in healthful ways, using stress management skills, seeking help if feeling depressed, using suicide-prevention strategies when appropriate. Coping with loss and grief in healthful ways and being resilient during difficult times. When emotional health is poorly managed in work places, productivity drops and people work without being happy, and there will be constant replacement of staff, general unhappy atmosphere which we call negative working environment.

Employers and employees need to develop positive mental and emotional health in order to prevent diseases, stress, and even death. This is an aspect of health that is rarely thought about in work places.

Character is a person's use of self control to act on responsible values. A value is a standard or belief. An example of a value is that it is important to always tell the truth. A family value is a standard that is held by members of a family. Individuals learn family values and other values from parents or guardians.

For example, a family may give high value to education. Others give high value to trading, yet others consider respecting each other as important while some may not even pay attention to the importance of respecting ages. Self control is the degree to which a person regulates his or her own behaviour. For example, a person who values honesty is overpaid when salary is paid. Because this person values honesty, and has good character, she uses self control and returns the excess money or corrects the anomaly being made with regard to the salary. Self control keeps him or her, from keeping the extra money.

A person who has good character has self control to delay gratification when appropriate. Delayed gratification is the voluntary postponement of an immediate reward in order to complete a task before enjoying reward.

Good character can be developed on a job by properly introducing a new person to the tasks that are expected to be performed that is having proper job training. Expectations should be clearly spelt out, and proper supervision be given during training. It is unfair to expect a new employer to do a new job perfectly. For every work place has its own culture or value, which differ from place to place. So proper orientation to a new position is essential in order to perform well at a job, otherwise insecurity, emotional and mental stress may set in. People who have good characters set goals for themselves.

Self esteem is an important indicator of a person's mental and emotional health. Self esteem is one's belief about one's own worth. Positive self esteem is a person's belief that he or she is worthy and deserves respect. Negative self esteem is a person's belief that he or she is not worthy and does not deserve respect. It is very important that young people should develop positive self esteem based on responsible actions. People with positive self esteem are more likely to practice life-skills.

They take responsibility for their health by keeping body, mind and relationship in top condition. People with positive self esteem are more likely to be proactive in making important decisions. People who realize that they are special do not have to go along with the crowd to feel accepted. They rely on their own judgment and make responsible decisions. People with positive self esteem appreciate their own uniqueness. They are confident and do not give in to pressure to be like everyone else. They do not gossip and do not carry tales from people to people. They refuse to be used as watchdogs to bring others down.

They love their job and do their best at it. They know that everyone experiences difficult times. They know that difficult times will pass, they do not give up because they believe in themselves; and they do not worry about failing. They are not overwhelmed if they have unsatisfactory results when they try something new, because they believe in their abilities. They are willing to take calculated risks. They expect others to treat them with self-respect. Because they have self respect.

Self respect is a high regard for oneself because one behaves in responsible ways. Other people will tend to be respectful toward a person who behaves responsibly and has self respect. Self respect should not be confused with self-conceit. Conceit is excessive appreciation of one's own worth. To improve self esteem, one's belief statement must be responsible. Individuals have the power to control the belief statement that play in their minds.

Negative belief statement such as 'I am worthless' or I will fail no matter how hard I try' can be changed. One must develop belief statement that will motivate you to behave in a responsible way. This will help you feel good about yourself. This is the key to healthful positive self-esteem. A person who has self respect will treat herself in special ways. Other people will notice the behaviour and will show her respect. Here are some guidelines to follow to show self respect.

Pay attention to your appearance: pay attention to your personal health like your skin, hair, nails and general grooming. Being well groomed is one of the first indicators of self respect. When you carefully choose what to wear and have a neat appearance, you put your best foot forward. You feel more confident when you look your best.

Make a list of responsible actions and review them: knowing that your actions are responsible will help keep you form getting down on yourself. Identify your behaviours in various situations; analyse them and change any of your behaviours that are not responsible. For example, laughing loudly when excited. You can laugh without being loud, depending on where you are.

Be a friend to yourself by enjoying activities, such as hobbies by yourself:Developing a talent or doing helps you feel unique. It gives you an opportunity to have a quiet time to yourself, getting in touch with your inner thoughts and feelings. Gives you the opportunity to laugh and play. This is quite a good feeling.

Write your feelings in a journal: Writing your feeling about yourself and where you stand can help you. Examine yourself, judge yourself. It helps you reapprove what is happening in your life. Reviewing what you have written can help you gain self knowledge. Eventually you can collect your writings and a paper or a book can be made out of it (that is a secondary advantage). The primary reason is to express your feelings on paper.

Make spending time with family members and co-workers a priority: each individual in a family is special. Also each individual at work is also special. We can build each other up and encourage one another. When a person is down, family members help change his or her attitude. Care for people in the way you would like to be cared for: Just don't allow people to put you down. Extend care to others. Their conscience will stir them up to respond to care for you also. This helps others give you a sense of your own value.

Let other people know what helps you feel special: If you don't express your feelings to others, they may not know how you feel. Never take it for granted that others know how to make you feel special. It is important to be honest with your feelings and desires and to express them. Support the interests of family members and friends, and co-workers and ask them to support your interests: For example if your sister is getting married, you can invite you your co-workers to support you. They will in turn invite when next they have any celebration in their family. This breeds friendship. And the feeling is warm and real.

Ask family members and friends to tell you examples of your actions that have shown character: This exercise can serve as a feedback and can guide you in developing self control responsibly. Get exercise to generate feelings of well being: It is a very good practice to exercise vigorously. When you do so, some hormones called beta-endorphins are released into the blood stream. Beta-endorphins are substances produced in the brain that create a feeling of well-being.

Dr. Ademiluyi writes from Lagos.