It is, therefore, no coincidence that the wellness industry has boomed in the last decade. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the Wellness Economy is projected to reach $8.5 trillion by 2027, with an annual growth rate of 8.6%. In 2022, the wellness economy represented 5.6% of global economic output.
The growth in this industry is directly proportional to the decline in our mental health. We have all come to the unanimous conclusion that today’s lifestyle demands have affected our holistic well-being.
Interestingly, statistics reveal that there has been a significant shift in prioritising mental well-being in comparison to the 80s and 90s. In the past, mental health was often overlooked or stigmatized, and expressing one's mental distress could be detrimental.
Efforts towards destigmatising mental health conditions have also been made in the entertainment and sports industries, where celebrities and athletes have come forward to talk about their mental health struggles. This trend has also encouraged regular people to relate to these stars and has brought the conversation into the average person's everyday life.
Simple mental health strategies
Prioritising mental well-being can be achieved by incorporating simple yet effective strategies into our daily lives.
Recognising the importance of mental health and adopting straightforward practices can nurture a positive mindset, cultivate emotional resilience, and enhance our overall well-being. Embracing the notion that mental health doesn't have to be complicated empowers us to proactively care for ourselves and create a foundation of lasting mental wellness.
Regular physical activity has been proven to release endorphins, elevating mood and reducing stress levels. Engaging in activities such as running, yoga, or cycling boosts mental health and provides a break from work-related pressures.
However, even a little physical activity can have far-reaching benefits for our physical and mental well-being. The key is to start small and gradually build a routine that works for us.
By identifying pockets of time throughout our day, whether in the morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evening, we can carve out dedicated moments for exercise.
Additionally, integrating exercise into our daily routines, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk during phone calls, can help us incorporate movement without feeling overwhelmed.
Remember, even a few minutes of exercise daily can make a significant difference.
Mindfulness is a powerful practice that enables individuals to fully immerse themselves in the present moment, fostering a sense of calm and self-awareness while reducing anxiety and stress levels.
Deep breathing exercises are an effective technique as they can be done anywhere and need no equipment.
An effective example of calming breathwork is the ‘Box Breath’, also known as ‘Square Breathing’.
Other mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and guided imagery also help high achievers manage stress effectively.
By stepping away from constant distractions and digital demands, we open a window into our minds, thoughts, and emotions.
Unplugged walks offer an environment where we can confront our innermost thoughts and feelings rather than burying them under constant activity and work-related demands. This, in turn, allows us to confront any issues or concerns impacting our mental well-being.
Taking a break from technology and spending time outdoors can help you become more mindful of your thoughts and emotions, enabling you to identify and deal with any underlying issues.
By indulging in unplugged walks, we develop greater self-awareness, which can improve our mental health, and increase our productivity, and overall life satisfaction.
If you need help with including an unplugged walk into your routine, here are some ideas:
- Morning routine - Start the day with an unplugged walk. Set aside 20-30 minutes before starting work to disconnect from screens and technology, and go for a walk in a nearby park or quiet neighbourhood. This helps establish a peaceful and focused mindset for the day ahead.
- Lunch break - Instead of spending the entire lunch break scrolling through social media or catching up on work emails, use a portion of the break for an unplugged walk. Find a nearby green space or simply walk around the block to enjoy fresh air and clear your mind.
- After work wind-down - After a long day, an unplugged walk can help you transition from work to relaxation mode. Dedicate 30 minutes to an hour to walk in a park or nature trail, allowing yourself to decompress and let go of the day's stress.
- Weekend ritual - Make unplugged walks a regular part of your weekend routine. Block off time on Saturday or Sunday to explore nature trails, visit local parks, or hike in nearby mountains. Use this time to fully disconnect from screens and technology and bask in the beauty of the natural world.
- Family or friend activity - Incorporate unplugged walks into your quality time with loved ones. Plan a weekend outing to a scenic location and enjoy a leisurely walk together, engaging in meaningful conversations and bonding without the distraction of technology.
Writing down thoughts and feelings can be an effective outlet for high achievers.
Journaling can help process emotions, reduce mental clutter, and gain perspective on daily challenges.
The Reflective Method
The Reflective Method of journaling is a structured approach that can help individuals gain clarity, process emotions, and develop insights into their thoughts and feelings.
Every journaling exercise starts with a prompt which provides a framework for self-reflection, allowing individuals to engage in a more intentional and focused journaling practice.
Here's a breakdown of each step:
- Stop: The first step is to pause and bring awareness to the present moment. Take a deep breath, centre yourself, and create a calm and focused environment for journaling. This step helps to ground yourself and disconnect from distractions, allowing you to engage in the process fully.
- Engage: Once you've established a sense of presence and mindfulness, take in the prompt. Try to go deeper into what that prompt brings up within you. Rather than simply recounting events, this type of journaling encourages deeper reflection.
- Nurture: After self-reflection and exploring your thoughts and emotions, the final step is to nurture yourself. This involves practising self-compassion, acknowledging your growth, and expressing gratitude. Write about the lessons learned, insights gained, and any positive aspects that emerged from your reflections. Embrace self-acceptance and celebrate your progress.
- How can I take care of my needs today?
- What made me smile today?
- What triggered my anxiety today?
- What advice would your future self give you today?
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Can improving mental health lead to better job performance?
Don't let stress hold you back from your full potential.
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