On Friday, we hosted our launch event at Campus London.
The theme for the morning was ‘Building Resilience in the Workplace’ – one that was timely since today sees World Mental Health Day with the theme ‘Mental health in the workplace’.
In case you missed the event or would like to recap on our key messages, we’ve picked our top three takeaways from three of our workshops. If you’d like to experience any of these workshops in full in your workplace then please do contact us [email protected]
Overcoming Destructive Thoughts with Mindfulness
1. Thinking is an ability, not a reality. Keep reminding yourself our thoughts are not facts. No matter how believable and powerful they can seem at times, they are not the truth or reality.
2. Negative thought patterns stop us seeing clearly. Spiralling mental habits deepen neural pathways and encourage us to get trapped in negativity.
3. Mindfulness creates space. By becoming aware, over and over again, of the thoughts passing through our minds and then letting go of them as we turn our attention to the present moment, we can start to spot more easily destructive mental habits and begin to dissolve their power over us.
Fuelling your body to fight stress
1. Eat mindfully. When you eat with distractions, be it in front of your laptop, on your phone or when you’re on the go, your digestive system is also distracted so it won’t absorb nutrients efficiently and may not even recognise that you’re eating! Take ten minutes away from any distractions for your three meals each day for the next week and notice what a difference it makes to your mood and energy levels.
2. Include probiotics daily. Research has shown there to be an undeniable link between gut health and mental health. So to support your mental well-being you also need to love your gut. The balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut can be affected by stress – and it needs boosting when you’re under any kind of pressure (physical or emotional). Big up your friendly bacteria by including a source of probiotics (natural yogurt, kefir or pickled veg like sauerkraut or kimchi) or prebiotics (found in onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, jerusalem artichokes or asparagus) every day.
3. Cut the stimulants. Caffeine, alcohol and sugar are bad news for stressed out peeps. Not only do they all lead to energy and mood fluctuations but they also affect levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn increases sugar release into the blood and causes inflammation in the body. Simply swapping your sugary snacks or sweet breakfast for a protein rich-savoury option is a great place to start.
Lifestyle hacks to boost resilience
1. Lean in. We know that people who have a good support network are not only more likely to be resilient, but are also more successful in business and are less likely to suffer from ill health. Do you really utilise yours to it’s optimum? Take a recap of who is in your support network regularly and nurture a wide range of relationships.
2. Get Emotional. This is the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feeling and emotions. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson has discovered that experiencing positive emotions broadens people’s minds and builds their resourcefulness in ways that help them become more resilient. You can boost your emotional intelligence by reliving a time that you experienced a positive emotion such as love, joy, awe or gratitude. Take yourself back to moment and relive how you felt in your body and your mind. The more you feel positive emotions, the more readily these emotions will become available to you.
3. Self-care isn’t selfish. And self-care doesn’t need to mean taking yourself for a massage each day! It could be as simple as dedicating at least 10 minutes a day to an activity that you get some nourishment from – for example having a relaxing bath, cuddling your favourite person or listening to your favourite music on the way to work. Ask yourself how many of your daily activities are nourishing or depleting of your positivity and energy – and see if you can somehow shift the balance if needed.
We finished our day with an energising Pilates class with Ruth – did you know that exercising during the workday boosts productivity, mental focus and relationships with colleagues? Make exercise a priority for you today, even if it’s just ten minutes walk this lunchtime.