As people’s modern work lives become more and more sedentary and computer-based, there has been a lot of attention paid to how a lack of activity and prevalence of overwork can negatively impact on physical health and contribute to all kinds of negative health conditions.
However, as is too often the case, mental health concerns have fallen to the wayside. The impact on your mindset from working long hours and not exercising regularly is considerable, even though it may not affect you as directly as its detriments on your physical health – or show itself as clearly to others.
It’s important to shore yourself up against possible negative mental health effects of overwork or unsatisfying routine. There are plenty of things you can do to improve how you feel about your work and how it affects you mentally, and many of them involve simple thought discipline – no money at all! Changing your attitudes regarding the world around you and how you choose to interpret what happens and your own actions doesn’t cost a cent and doesn’t have to be difficult.
One thing you should always be doing is considering your mental health to be as important as your physical health, and treating problems with your mood and thoughts the same way you would a bodily complaint.
Just as you would avoid unhealthy behaviours resulting in bodily harm, so too should you avoid patterns of thought and behaviour that will negatively affect you mentally. It’s important to identify these negative patterns, and it isn’t always easy – they can often appear to be the most natural thing in the world to think.
Work-related stress is a major factor in worker dissatisfaction, anxiety and depression – and it can come in all shapes and sizes. Identifying causes of workplace stress can be invaluable for workers. Do you have a workmate who acts inappropriately towards you verbally or physically?
Do you feel like your workload isn’t fair for your position or pay rate? These are tremendously stress-causing issues that many workers contend with every day, and it’s definitely worth raising them with your team leader or boss.
There are physical measures you can take to keep your mind healthy and improve your general mental state, as well. Regular physical exercise has been proven to fight off depression and anxiety and make you generally feel calm. It’s recommended to take regular breaks from sitting at your work computer to stretch, walk around and stay active – and engaging in physical activity two or three times a week will do wonders for your mental state.
Of course, if you’re feeling particularly down or like you can’t handle an issue or feeling that you’re experiencing, it’s crucial to see a trained mental health expert. It may be the case that your workplace offers free counselling services, which you should definitely take advantage of if you need them. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about problems you’re experiencing – everyone goes through dark times.