More research is showing the impact mental health has on physical health and overall well-being. Modern life is quite stressful, and we need to do everything in our power to ensure that we are mentally healthy.
Your job or work environment is one of the most crucial factors affecting your mental health. You spend the vast majority of your time at work; hence you should try and make it as conducive to your mental health as possible.
Many workplaces are becoming aware of how their environments are affecting those that work there. However, the change is not happening quickly enough, and there are still places negatively contributing to employees’ mental health.
If your work environment is impacting your mental health, the following is what you should do:
Realise how work is affecting your mental health
The first step is to know the various ways in which your working environment can affect your mental health. Unfortunately, many employees are oblivious about how work affects their mental health and hence have no idea what to do or where to start.
There are a plethora of ways in which your working environment may affect your mental health, including being in the wrong career field, lack of job security, insufficient or delayed pay, and toxic colleagues at the workplace.
A workplace is a complex environment where employees are competing for favourable positions and working together to accomplish the organization’s goals. Too much competition and little cooperation can create a hostile environment that is harmful to your mental health.
Find out the cause of your mental health issues
Once you know the various ways that your work environment can adversely affect your mental health, you should pinpoint precisely what is causing you mental anguish. It is a difficult question to ask yourself and answer, so you should give it sufficient time and attention.
The issue could be as simple as lousy office furniture causing you chronic pain, which can cause depression. The solution in such a case would be to get ergonomic office furniture. If you are in Singapore, you can source for such chairs by getting these office chairs in Singapore. If you were sitting down for the majority of the day, it would be best to use furniture that promotes your health and well-being.
The best way to pinpoint the exact cause of your mental health issues is to keep a journal or record of your feelings throughout your typical workday. After several weeks, evaluate your records and find the triggers of the problems. It will be much easier to eradicate them if you know what they are.
Change your attitude
Mahatma Gandhi has a famous quote: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ Therefore, if you want to change something, you should start by changing yourself.
Even if your environment is toxic, changing your perspective on the workplace is the foremost way to change how it affects you. Anything about your workplace environment can trigger mental health issues, but its effect will be minimal if you have the right attitude.
A change in attitude can change your life, and it will also change your work environment. It may be that your positive attitude causes a subsequent shift in the entire workplace, which shows you just how powerful a change in perspective can be.
Consult your HR manager
Human resource departments and managers in organisations exist to help you with toxic work environments. If you think your workplace is causing your mental health problems, you should consider consulting your HR manager or department.
If you want to work in the organisation long-term, ensuring that the workplace is safe and positive is the best choice. You will also be in a formal environment where your grievances are likely to be taken seriously.
If your organisation has not invested sufficiently in its human resource department, it may be best to consult an external party. However, you should ensure that you have exhausted all avenues within the organization.
Speak to a mental health professional
Sometimes, it may not just be that your workplace environment is toxic; you may perceive it that way. If others seem to be okay in the environment, you should seek help from a mental health professional.
Take the time to find a therapist or counsellor you can talk to, and you will soon get to the root of your issues. In some cases, the best choice might be to leave the environment.
Many work environments are harmful and toxic. Such places will indeed adversely affect your mental health. Follow the points outlined above, and you should be in a great position to address the issues. Remember, leaving the environment is always an option.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.