Are you up for talking about your mental health with your boss?

Mental health in the workplace blog post April 2021

Over 50% of people reported that they would not discuss their anxiety, stress and mental health with their employers, line managers or team leaders.

Why is it that when mental and emotional health issues are constantly highlighted yet people won’t open up? Great questions! We all are aware that today’s working practices and Lockdown are playing a major part in our current mental state. Constant distractions while juggling daily demands puts us on continual high alert leading to mental exhaustion.

We tend to think it is only us; we look at social media and it looks like others are managing well. Some are but some aren’t. We don’t want to be different and admit we can’t cope as we would be different from the majority. Being different risks rejection and isolation.

We can all remember times when we put ourselves in a position where we appeared stupid or lacking in some way – and the looks and reactions of others. The “herd” metaphorically “turning” on us. This fear of rejection is hard-wired into our survival mechanism along with fight, flight and freeze.
Being with the group (herd) means safety and strength, being on our own means vulnerability and danger. But it is time to leave that way of thinking way behind in the past, where it belongs.

Caveman didn’t lead the complex, intellectually-based life we do. He lived in tune with nature, its rhythms and his needs were basic relying speed, strength and brawn.

Today we need to be healthy but our worlds need high perfomance brains. Our sophisticated, fast-changing lives need huge mental commitment and brainpower and it is this increasing overload and overwhelm which is the issue – not a mental health problem per say (although it can become one without intervention and changing ways)

By not discussing, opening up, being honest with yourself and others, especially those who pay you, is counterproductive. There are always workable solutions – stress blocks creativity, imagination and limits your potential opportunities. This traps us and prevents us from growing and increasing our resilience. When we become bogged-down emotionally and mentally we further weaken ourselves by not taking proactive steps to problem solve.

Talking about it, engaging with others on this topic about how they feel too and actively seeking solutions will give you an inner strength. Others need to also hear that they are not alone.

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