Why Managing Stress Matters This World Mental Health Day
As we arrive at World Mental Health Day, October 10th 2023, the global community gears up for a collective effort to raise awareness and promote positive change in mental health. This year's theme, 'Mental health is a universal human right,' directs our attention to a vital aspect of our lives - mental health at work.
For business leaders, this day serves as an opportunity to internally elevate the importance of mental health. It's a chance to have positive conversations, break down social stigma, and advocate for an always-on approach to supporting mental health at work.
The personal and financial cost of poor mental health
Last year the World Health Organization (WHO) published a groundbreaking report on the state of mental health at work, revealing a stark reality: globally, 15% of working-age adults live with a mental health condition.
Amongst the most commonly experienced mental health conditions are anxiety and depression, experienced by 374 million and 264 million people respectively, each year. These alone are estimated to cost a staggering US $1 trillion annually on the global economy, primarily through lost productivity.
A major contributor to developing or exacerbating anxiety and depression is workplace stress. With 83% of the working population in the UK and US regularly experiencing dangerous levels of stress, it’s vitally important to focus on preventative health measures to manage our stress and help keep our mental health in check.
There is an intimate relationship between stress and mental health.
Workplaces have the power to either bolster or compromise an individual’s mental wellbeing. A lack of effective structures and support at work can affect stress levels, self-confidence, enjoyment at work and the ability to work effectively, resulting in increased absences and challenges in gaining employment.
On a physiological level, the release of stress hormones such as cortisol can adversely impact brain function, influencing areas associated with mood regulation. On a psychological level, chronic stress can wear down our usual ways of dealing with problems. It can make us feel like we're losing control and not able to handle things well, which can make anxiety and depression worse.
Breaking the cycle of chronic stress is surprisingly simple
It centres around micro moments of recovery.
Stress management tools have been practised for thousands of years by leaders in times of battle, such as Marcus Aurelius, and more recently have been adopted by famous leaders of today including Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. Neuroscience has scientifically validated these tools; it takes as little as a 60-second breathing exercise to move from a state of 'fight or flight' to 'rest and recover'.
By giving employees a measure of their stress relievers and triggers, and the tools to regulate their stress response, we can empower them to harness their stress, manage their mental health, and perform at their best.
Preventative health solutions like WONE can help us to manage our stress at work, and by doing so, strengthen our mental health.
WONE regulates stress levels during the working day to provide employees with micro moments of recovery when they need it.
- First we calculate your measure of stress with our WONE index, integrating with biometrics and clinical assessment
- Second, we provide personalised recommendations to give you micro moments of recovery in the working day, synced with your calendar
- These micro moments are science led interventions delivered by our world-leading experts across neuroscience, mind and body based practices
It’s important to recognise that any solution must meet the needs of the individual, because mental health isn’t linear. Meeting people where they are in their personal wellbeing journey at any one time, requires a combination of technology and genuine human connection from skilled experts.
We need to move workplace wellbeing from perk to priority
Over the past few years, more employers have realised they need to protect employee’s mental health and wellbeing and make these efforts a part of companies’ attraction and retention programs. A happier, less stressed, and less anxious workforce is a more productive workforce.
And, most importantly, employees want to work in a place that cares about both their productivity and their emotional and mental wellbeing.
Taking a bold stance and an innovative approach is what organisations need to make sustainable change. By placing mental health at the forefront of business agendas and allocating resources to effective initiatives, together we can change the narrative where mental health is not just a right, but a central pillar of our professional landscape.
To learn more about how WONE can help to preventatively manage team stress at your business, get in touch.