What is mental health?

Mental health is a state of well-being where you are free to:

  • Unfold your abilities
  • Dealing with problems or stress in everyday life
  • Engage with other people

Your mental health is therefore an important part of your well-being. Both privately and at your workplace.

Crises, major challenges, or persistent dissatisfaction can drain or wear on your mental health. If the problems are not solved or treated properly, it can, over time, lead to depression, stress, and other mental illnesses.

In this article we explain:

  • What is mental health?
  • What can you do to promote your mental health?
  • How can your workplace safeguard your mental health and well-being?

With Pleaz, you – or your company’s employees – get a series of short videos that provide a relaxing break during the working day. We offer both mindfulness and yoga exercises that help reduce symptoms of stress.

As an extra tip: also try a few of our workouts. Your physical and mental health are closely related.

What is mental health? (According to the National Board of Health and WHO)

The National Board of Health and the WHO defines mental health as:

A state of well-being where the individual can unfold his abilities, deal with everyday challenges and stress as well as enter into communities with other people. (National Board of Health) 

It can thus be broken down into four parts, which together characterize healthy mental health: 

1. A state of well-being

First of all, mental health is an emotional or psychological state.  

When you feel happy and at ease, you typically are too. This does not mean that you cannot be busy at the same time, be dissatisfied with minor things in your life, or perform duties that do not contribute to your overall joy of life. But if most of the time you feel effortless and satisfied, it is a clear sign of mental health.

It is also important to point out that you do not have full control over this. You may not want yourself to have a certain feeling or be in a certain state.

However, you can cultivate, and perhaps evoke, this feeling by:

  • Do things that make you happy
  • Take one or more minor breaks
  • Think about what gives you that feeling
  • Get a handle on tasks that otherwise stand in the way of your well-being
  • Ask for help – if something seems unmanageable

2. To unfold your abilities

Mental health is also about doing things. 

You can prove to yourself – and others – that you are good at something; you can take control of your own situation or cultivate something that you find satisfying. In other words, so you do not feel limited or locked.

In the workplace, this is reflected in the fact that you are happy with most of your work tasks. It may be because you are doing the work that you think is right; may cultivate your interest at work, or may take time to become even better in your role.

When you develop your abilities with a certain autonomy, you also thrive better. This means that the resources you possess correspond to the requirements of the task. In such situations, you may experience a positive feeling of losing the sense of time and place.

3. Dealing with problems or stress

Mental capacity is also a part of your mental health.

This allows you to accommodate when something goes wrong or if for a shorter period of time you have to work faster than usual.

Challenges and problems wear on our profits and capacity. But they can also give you greater joy if you find new and better ways to solve them. If the problems persist or you constantly encounter new ones, over time it will use up your resources.

4. To enter into communities with other people

Being social is also part of healthy mental health.

You can both experience using or gaining energy from being with others. But whether you are more introverted or extroverted, it is important that you can interact with other people.

When it comes to working, this ability also helps to create better collaboration on projects or assignments; a stronger sense of camaraderie and loyalty as well as increasing the social health and well-being of the individual employee.

A good working environment creates well-being - and better mental health for employees

A good working environment contributes significantly to your and your employees’ mental health.

As an employer, you are responsible for the physical and mental work environment. In addition to the individual legal requirements, a healthy working environment also has a number of secondary effects, such as lower sickness absence, higher productivity, and better working conditions for all.

It is therefore important for the workplace that consideration is given to whether individual employees are having a hard time or bad at times – and that you strive to create the best possible framework for cultivating a culture that protects the mental health of all employees.

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