Building Mental Strength with Mindfulness at Work
Mental strength, or mental toughness, is the emotional resilience of an individual; it’s how effectively someone deals with negatives, stressors, or challenges, and how well they reframe these to get a desired outcome. Mental strength is key to fighting the negative beliefs we have that can seriously reduce self-confidence.
Why is building mental strength at work so important?
Building your mental strength at work is really important. But, why?
Positive work ethic
Building your mental strength in the workplace can really help you to keep a positive outlook, boosting your work ethic even when challenges arise.
Having mental strength when working means you can give more and feel far more committed, versus feeling deflated and unable to give a lot to the job that you’re doing. It’s this idea of perseverance that subsequently drives your productivity and performance.
Tune out negative messaging
Negative thoughts, negative feedback, and negative talk in the workplace are serious inhibitors for motivation. Positiveness is the opposite. If you can build mental strength, you’re far more likely to be able to deal with negativity and reframe it so that it acts as a motivator.
Increased workplace happiness & wellbeing
Having good mental strength helps you improve the way you deal with stress, often decreasing it altogether. With less stress comes greater employee happiness and an overall better wellbeing in the workplace.
How to build mental strength at work
Because mental strength in the workplace is so beneficial, we’ve put together some tips to build mental strength at work.
Exploring mindfulness activities and affirmations
Working with a coach
Writing things down, or journaling
Building a support system
Making achievable goals
Developing a routine
Exploring mindfulness activities
Mindfulness is a well-known term that people have become increasingly more aware of in recent years; but do we really know what it means. Mindfulness is the state where an individual is fully aware of both their surroundings and their internal state. This acts to boost self-awareness and help individuals create a holistic relationship with themselves, which is why practicing mindfulness at work is so important. There are plenty of ways to practice mindfulness; it’s not all breathing and meditation (although they’re two ways you can practice it!). Mindfulness activities can be shared in teams or done solo; they can be high energy or relaxing. We’ve listed a few examples of how to practice mindfulness at work:
Coloring: take a 15-minute break to draw, color, doodle, and re-set your mind.
Play the name game: this can be as a team or by yourself. Stop for a minute and look around you. Name three things you can see, two things you can hear, and one thing you can feel to really become aware of your environment.
Take a walk: go outside for 10 minutes, self-reflect, and even sit outdoors and focus on listening to what you can hear and how you feel.
Write down your daily accomplishments: recognize your achievements.
Ground yourself: it sounds simple, but whether you’re standing or sat at your desk, ground your feet and feel the connection with the floor as you steady your breath.
Listen to music.
Practice mental affirmations: think of and tell yourself (either in your head or out loud) brief phrases that are going to build your self-confidence and affirm yourself. Some examples of mental affirmations include:
“I believe in myself.”
“I am resilient to the challenges I face.”
“I will accomplish my daily goals.”
“My best is good enough.”
“I am good enough.”
“I trust myself to make the right decisions.”
“I am proud of myself and my achievements.”
“I deserve to be here.”
“I am really good at what I do.”
“Making mistakes is what helps me to grow.”
“I am really good at what I do.”
Work with a coach
A professional coach has the skills to challenge and reframe the negative thoughts in your head, whilst helping you move forward and better yourself. The right coach will help to reframe challenges, negativity, or any setbacks that you face; they’ll help to re-motivate you, and they’ll keep you accountable to achieving your goals. Even by achieving goals and taking small steps in the right direction, you’ll start to notice your mental strength develops – because you can do it.
A coach can also provide you with tips for mindfulness at work and check in with you to see how they go!
Because no one is perfect! Give yourself some breathing space and be mindful about being compassionate to yourself. Most of the battles we face are in our own heads, so being kind to yourself can massively boost your mental strength, and you’ll start to make a habit of it!
Write things down
Whether it be accomplishments, goals, or just journaling, write it down. Experts often say that writing down how you feel has huge impacts on your mental health and your mental toughness – by getting it on the page it’s out in the open, not closed up inside of you. In fact, writing your thoughts down is a well-known mindfulness technique, to help you become more aware of yourself. Not only is being able to express your emotions one step in building your mental strength, but actually starting to understand them and deal with them is the next.
Build a support system
Mental strength is aided hugely by the relationships we make and keep. By having a good support system around you, both in the relationships you have at work, and those you have at home, building your mental strength is going to be so much easier. These individuals can celebrate wins with us, help us when we’re challenged, and provide vital support.
Make yourself uncomfortable
This might sound counterintuitive, but actually throwing yourself in the deep end with new experiences and challenges is vital to building mental strength in the workplace. Mental toughness is a skill and like with any skill it needs to be practiced – that means putting yourself in challenging positions that you can face and overcome.
Develop a routine
Build daily routines that help to reinforce your mental strength – practice makes perfect!