Article by Manoj Krishna, Founder, HumanWisdom
Imagine a simple solution, based on learning, that could help people manage their own mental health, have happier relationships, and improve productivity at the same time.
The statistics around stress at work are staggering, with 3.7 million working days lost each year in the UK because of work-related stress, anxiety and depression, costing £28.3 billion yearly (NICE).
The Champion Health Workplace Health Report: 2022 showed that 52% of employees are experiencing symptoms of depression, 61% of those are female and only 9% of employees are currently seeking mental health support.
A 2022 Gallup poll found that only 21% of employees were ‘engaged’ at work, 44% reported high levels of stress, and that this was costing the global economy $7.8 trillion/year. They also found companies with high levels of engagement were 22% more productive. They defined engagement as employees who were keen to go to work.
Your organisation is probably no exception. The relationship between well-being, engagement, and productivity is clear.
How can organisations boost the wellbeing of their employees in an effective way, and thus boost their own productivity?
The first step is to realise the importance of wellbeing, and not regard it as an employee perk and a tick-box exercise. If the CEO participates in the program and signals its importance, the rest of the organisation will take it seriously as well.
Wellness is a complex subject and deciding what to do about it can be confusing. Most wellness programs are reactive, after the event, and deal with the symptoms, rather than the root cause. People bring their problems from home to work, and vice versa, so we need to address the entire person and support them in all areas of their life.
We need to support people to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, addiction, obesity, low self-esteem, bereavement and so on.
If someone is unhappy, they are more likely to be disgruntled, focus on the negative, collaborate less, complain more, and be less engaged because they are preoccupied with their own emotional distress.
Preventing a fire is so much easier (and cheaper) than dealing with the consequences. Similarly, preventing all these problems through proactive intervention is better than reacting after the event.
Though all these problems seem disparate they have one common root – most are an automatic reaction from our thinking to external events. To get rid of stress for example we can either change the event (which is often not possible) or change our reaction to it. To change our reaction, we need to take ownership of our thoughts and feelings and be curious as to why our mind is reacting in the way it is.
Why do others react differently and not get stressed by the same situation?
This curiosity opens the door to learning about ourselves and how our minds work, which leads to wisdom. This wisdom illuminates our thinking, and in the light of this wisdom many problems can dissolve, or we can deal with the challenges we face with a calm mind.
With this clarity we can be mentally healthy, less stressed and anxious, have better relationships, be happier, avoid and overcome addiction, and live with a positive and more generous attitude, being grateful and celebrating what we have, rather than moaning about what we don’t. This can also help us develop our communication and leadership skills, be emotionally intelligent, more resilient, and live with courage and integrity. This approach is simple, but the impact can be profound.
The HumanWisdom app helps people feel better now with breathing exercises and meditations, and then takes them deeper to understand the root cause of problems for lasting benefit. It has detailed modules on stress, anxiety, addiction, happiness, managing emotions, criticism, relationships, communication, leadership, making better decisions, and being happy at work.
It supports users to go on a journey of learning about themselves, connecting with their own wisdom, and living their best life. It has features like an online journal, a forum, short videos, podcasts, guided questions, exercises to boost self-awareness, life-stories and audio meditations. People who are happier in themselves are naturally more engaged and productive at work.
The app is part of the HumanWisdom Project that aims to help each person live their best life and make the world a better place. In addition to the HumanWisdom app for adults, they are developing sections for children, for teenagers, and for parents. To find out more visit humanwisdom.me or download the HumanWisdom app – it’s free to download and has plenty of free content.
About the author
Dr. Manoj Krishna, the founder of the Human Wisdom Project, transitioned from a career as a spine surgeon to start the project. He believes much of our suffering is preventable, and if we can scale this self-understanding to education and people everywhere, we could also address the most challenging problems humanity faces, including violence, war, addiction, obesity, relationship breakdown and climate change. He is also the author of ‘Understanding Me Understanding You – An Enquiry Into Being Human’ and ‘Stress Free – Understand Yourself, Discover Wisdom, Be Free’. www.humanwisdom.me.
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