Effective Communication: The Key to Positive Mental Change in the Workplace

Effective Communication: The Key to Positive Mental Change in the WorkplaceA healthy mind-set in the workplace is paramount to productive work. If you have a tired, negative or stressed brain, then this will impact your work directly; not even accounting for the multitude of implications this will have on your personal life. Therefore, it is essential to address how we can adjust your mind-set accordingly so that you are positively charged, energised and less stressed. A key way to achieve this is to simply communicate. It sounds so simple; yet it is so often neglected. Communicating with somebody that you trust will open the gateway to positive feelings, a healthier mind and a cathartic release – a weight lifted from your shoulders if you will. So, read on for ways that you can communicate effectively.

Why Communicate?

Communication is essential, especially in a world so rife with silence, instead communication has been startlingly replaced by constant keyboard interaction. Communication is at the core of human existence, with our need for social interaction a driving point in our day to day lives. It is so much easier to be isolated nowadays; you can switch off with your phone and not physically speak to anyone for days if you choose to. However, the impact of this online life has dire negative consequences. Mental health problems are on the rise, yet it is harder for people to speak directly about what’s bothering them, or asking for help. Communicating with someone you trust is one of the most significant ways to better your well-being, as it provides a cathartic release and takes the pressure off your shoulders. In finding someone you trust, you can engage in positive discussions about yourself, and begin to find gratitude for the things in your life, whilst solving the problems that you sometimes cannot face alone.

Who Falls Short?

Men tend to be the worst at communication, often due to stereotypes perpetuated by society that men should be masculine, tough and strong. However, all of us have feelings, and all of us possess weaknesses that can make us suffer. Suffering in silence is the worst way to cope with your feelings, breeding nothing but further suffering as you tend to ruminate on your problems – only exacerbating how you feel. Remember, that you are human and anything you feel is as natural as what anyone else feels. Nobody is alone in feeling a certain way, even if you feel that nobody has ever felt as bad as you have. So, please, do not be scared. Communicate. It is truly the most effective way to help yourself – and no, nobody cares if a man is sensitive, in fact it shows more strength than anything.

Self-Perception and Self-Help:

A negative view of the self is damaging, and can contribute to a lack of success, as we tend to feel we don’t deserve anything positive when we are in this state of mind. Mind-body integration is a common theme discussed in psychology and in the broader field of mental health. It is the fact that the mind and body are in constant communication, sending signals between one another to tell you when something is wrong. For example, ever get a bad gut feeling about something? You’re right to trust it, our brain often sends signals down the large vagus nerve that resides from brainstem to abdomen, and it can sense when something isn’t right. Therefore, if your mental health is out of whack, feeding your body all the right things is a key way to attain a large improvement. Therefore, aside from communicating, give your body what it needs: a healthy diet, regular exercise – even if it is just walking, take a good probiotic and try meditating. These measures will ensure that your body is facilitating the best environment for your mind-set, and will likely make you feel much better, especially in the long run.

Maintaining Anonymity:

Some people may not feel enough trust or confidence to share their deep, inner feelings with a fellow colleague or friend. Therefore, it is important to have anonymous outlets that people can use to in order to share their feelings. Releasing your negative emotions and stress will bring about a cathartic relief, leading you to feel lighter, even if you haven’t directly solved a problem. An outlet that isn’t exactly anonymous, but one that comes close enough is that of a therapist. A therapist, clinical psychologist or counsellor are bound by medical ethics to keep everything you say confidential; therefore, you have the luxury of spilling all of you worries to a stranger, without the concern that they will run off and tell someone. However, if therapy feels a little too close and personal, or you don’t have the budget, online resources are available for you to talk anonymously. Cathartic.co is a perfect example of one such service.

How to Facilitate Effective Communication:

The easiest way to get someone who you fear may be troubled to engage in communication is to start with a lighthearted general conversation, building trust and repertoire. Don’t try to force someone you barely known to unload their darkest secrets and worries on you, it will just make them feel uneasy. Instead, only have a deep chat with someone you know well, or take time to develop trust and build a relationship before turning the talk to something more serious. Keep it positive, focusing on the negatives will only perpetuate ruminating thoughts and negative ideations.

Why it’s Essential for a Healthy Workplace:

A workplace cannot function effectively without the maintenance of good mental health. If you come to work in an awful mood, you will not be as productive. It’s as simple as that. Therefore, it is essential that workplaces’ recognise the importance of good mental health as much as they do physical health.

A manager can take the following steps to ensure employees are in the right state of mind:

  1. Give mental health days if an employee requests one, or if you feel someone may be in need of one.
  2. Reward employees for good work, but give a meaningful reward; something that they will actually be thankful for. For example, take the time to get to know them and reward them with tickets for their favourite team, or to a show. Put some thought into it.
  3. Take the time to have a chat about something other than work, people will appreciate you getting to know them on a personal level. It makes them feel human – something that can often get lost in a work environment, particularly an office setting.
  4. Have small group meetings, getting people to engage in positive discussion about things they’re happy about in work, things they’re grateful for in life and ways they think the office could be a happier place.

Overall, positive communication will lead you to a better state of mind, more trusting relationships and the realisation that any problem can be solved, no matter how daunting it may seem. Take the time to find someone you trust, be it a therapist, a close friend or a work colleague. Then, take the time to build a therapeutic relationship, speaking positively in order not to ruminate, and to consequently change your mind-set.

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