Why Mind-Body Connection Matters To Your Team
We understand that our minds are deeply connected to and affect our bodies, and vice versa. For example, when we’re feeling dumpy, we don’t have motivation and we don’t focus well. When we can’t get work done, it can cause us to think negatively about ourselves, our coworkers, our jobs, etc. And when we think that way, it may perpetuate the feelings of dumpiness.
According to the NIH, "there is a powerful mind-body connection through which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioural factors can directly affect our health...Over the past 20 years, mind-body medicine has provided evidence that psychological factors can play a major role in such illnesses as heart disease, and that mind-body techniques can aid in their treatment."
What does this mean for your employees?
From the above example, we can see a connection between the mind and the body, and it’s clearly affecting our ability to work and be productive.
If your employees are not treating their bodies well...
It's not only affecting their physiological health, it's also affecting their productivity and creativity. Those who are sedentary for much of the day are physiologically not creating enough blood flow in their bodies.
Their brains, muscles, and organs are not getting enough circulating blood flow with fresh supplies of oxygen, causing them to not only move slower, but to also think slower.
We as humans naturally take the path of least resistance because it's easy, so when our bodies are lacking blood flow and energy, our brains will refer to and use an old, easy behavior or thinking pattern to solve a problem.
Without bodily movement, creativity and new solutions are out of the question.
If you're wondering why your employees seem a bit lackluster, bored, or slow, it may be interesting to take a look at your wellness and engagement programs. Are your employees regularly engaging in healthy activities, whether provided by you or self-directed? If you don't know, how can you start finding out?
If your employees are not treating their minds well...
Their bodies will follow. (And when their bodies are not doing well...well re-read the last two paragraphs please.)
For example, an employee who regularly shows up at work with a mindset of, "Work sucks. I just need the money" may be going home each night exhausted, stressed out, and irritated and watches TV for the rest of the night to numb the stress and helpless or "stuck" feelings. His health may start to slip as he becomes more and more sedentary, which then has a further negative effect on his energy and stress levels.
One employee never works in isolation, either. This person's attitudes and mindsets also inevitably affects everyone else he works with. It may be difficult to work on projects together with him as he is not fully invested in the outcome of the work, causing stress levels to rise for the entire team.
Pretty soon, the whole team may be going home stressed out, exhausted, and irritated.
So what can you do as a business owner to address the mind-body connection?
You are your employee's wellness and culture model.
It's a good idea to consider whether you are walking the walk and talking the talk of wellness. It's easy to tell your employees to be healthier or to provide free gym memberships. But they're taking their wellness cues from you - if you work 15 hour days, they are too. If you have a negative or critical mindset, the ones who stay in the company will adopt that too, even they didn't come on board already with it.
So take a look at your own lifestyle to see if you are doing what you can to be a healthy and happy individual. This doesn't mean you have to perfect - just showing that you make a regular effort towards personal health and development will make a big difference. It makes you a better boss in the short and long run!
Check out the office environment.
Is it conducive to creating a happy, healthy, and creative culture? Is everyone sitting in cubicles with their heads in their hands, surrounded by tall grey bare fake walls? Or are there art on the walls? Is there colour in the space that is conducive to the type of energy you want in your company? Visual stimulus is a very important factor to consider in creating your company’s culture. Check out John Lechner’s artwork specifically designed for the office space here.
Create a good wellness program.
You can create a wellness program that specifically addresses your employees' mind-body needs. It's a good idea to assess where your employees are at, what they feel like their needs are, and then consider your budget and how much you can afford. This way you can get baseline numbers as well to see if your wellness program is saving you costs on healthcare, injuries, absenteeism, retention rates, etc. in the long-term.
For good and successful wellness programs, you can get up to 200% return on each dollar that you invest. So if you aren't getting close or at least closer to a 200% return with a few years of programming, it's time to reassess the program.
Many companies get discouraged when they don't see an immediate return in the dollars they invest in wellness programming and conclude that wellness is bogus. Consider the fact that wellness is not something that can be changed immediately. We're talking about unrooting deep-seeded mindsets to heal the mind and replacing decades-old "easy" habits that feed those mindsets and vice versa. It's not an overnight change, but the long-terms benefits are astronomical.
Not only will you experience a more creative and productive company, you'll have more cohesive, excited, motivated, and inspired teams of employees who are all working together to make your business dreams come true.
What if I don't want to do all that work?
There are a ton of wellness professionals out there providing all kinds of employee wellness and engagement workshops, classes, other services. And this can get a bit overwhelming. Maybe you've even tried a few of these but employee attendance was awful or none of what you provided were implemented.
You get that wellness programs are important and you want to make it a priority, but dealing with all the choices out there can be stressful.
This where a full-service company like Damon Wellness Consulting is helpful in saving you time, costs, and energy. From creating and administering surveys and interviews to learn more about the current wellness and engagement situation in your company currently, to creating a cost-saving wellness program that feeds not only your employees wants, but also needs (for they're oftentimes different), to providing a customised series of workshops, environmental readjustments, and one-to-one coaching...we do all the heavy lifting for you.
So please start dreaming about a more productive, innovative, motivated, inspired, healthy, cost-saving company! We'll do the rest.