The Importance of Mental Health Awareness Month for Leaders at Work, Home, Everywhere

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? It’s a great time to spotlight effective ways to let go of over-the-top stress and anxiety.

Above all, Covid has profoundly impacted people of all ages at home, school, and work. Now, more than ever, the stigma around mental health struggles needs to be addressed.

Did you know stress-related issues that influence both physical and emotional health are at an all-time high?

MENTAL HEALTH AND WORK

Did you know excessive stress causes organizations to lose billions of dollars because of absenteeism, human resource issues, and litigation?  

As a result, stress and office conflict are on the rise. The natural tendency to blame and attack is everywhere.

Imagine a resource that provides practical tools and tips everyone can use to improve their mental health and find ways out of outdated mental reactions.

Look no further. We offer ways to deal with anger and frustration and help you understand the root of your upset.

First, you may want to take The Sanity Challenge to get a handle on your stress barometer. That will give you a good idea of what you can do to diminish stress and mental health issues for the rest of the month.

THE PATTERN TRAP

I’ll start with a situation that happened recently.

I was on a Zoom call with an angry client who asked me the following question. Initially, it was about how to get even with a co-worker. It turned out to be more than a question; there was a long rant about injustice and unfairness.

It went something like this “That a-hole on my team stole my idea. Do you know what that jerk did? He used my exact words and took all the credit for a post-pandemic marketing campaign. He sounded so smart. Of course, that was thanks to me. Yet, my ideas were uncredited. And damn, he became the office hero.”

I listened until his wave of rage had hit the shore and finally petered out.

It started again as soon as I asked, “What do you think you should do about it?”

Off he went, again.

It was the same theme; only he used different words.

Later, much later, he could finally talk through his hurt, sense of unfairness, and rejection.

GET REVENGE OR GET BETTER

As we discussed, some great ideas came forward. Once he began to dig down and understand why he was so furious, his stress lifted. He developed a plan. No, not get revenge, not get even; he devised a plan to get better.

Better at what?

Better at communicating, better at relating, and better at conflict resolution; that’s what keeps stress in the safe zone.

Here are some tools to improve your mental health and increase your resiliency, regardless of your situation.

CORE ISSUES

  • When stress hits the hot button, know that you are prone to revert to behavior patterns you learned as a child for safety and security.
  • You each have a primary pattern that ignites when someone “pushes your buttons.”
  • When you begin to “see red,” you are often upset with a past incident from long ago that has hurt, embarrassment, or sadness at the core.
  • When you search for and find the pattern and connect it to the present situation, you can make more mature, more positive decisions.
  • Use what you know from the past to communicate more effectively now.

ACTION PLAN

  • Write in a journal about how you tend to fall into the “he did it to me” victim mindset (or whatever your basic pattern is)
  • Talk to a friend about how others perceive you. No response; listen.
  • Discuss with the offending colleague privately and share your frustration from a place of strength rather than weakness
  • Take credit for your work without having to make the issue a wrestling match.
  • Communicate without blame, judgment, or attack

GET OUT OF THE TRAP

My client followed the action plan with the following results.

He was able to see from writing in his journal his natural tendency to hold back when he was angry, or find a way to “get even.”

That was how he dealt with his older brother growing up. It was always a wrestling match, and he usually lost.

Thus, he would stew yet, never directly confront his brother who he saw as stronger and smarter.

Now, he had the right understanding and the right communication techniques to move ahead in a positive, healthy way.

LEAD WITH INTENTION

At the next staff meeting, he was able to acknowledge his co-worker with concise communication: “I appreciated your ideas last week. It was what I spoke about privately before we started the team meeting. I am glad you think my ideas were valid, and I look forward to having you help me flesh this project out.”

LESS STRESS MORE SUCCESS

Now he was taking charge.

He no longer felt like a victim. He was strong and in control. There were no ‘poor me’ words. A new balance of power had emerged. It is a brighter day, and the team is able to move forward and collaborate more constructively.

In short, they are now in the safe stress zone where relationships and creativity can soar.

To your success,

Sylvia

PS Here is the link to the Stress Busters Course

There is a special discount for mental health awareness month so get it now. Visit http://ceoptions.com/ to learn more!

Sylvia Lafair

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