Good mental health matters because it’s fundamental to our sense of wellbeing.
One of the five evidence based NHS principles to step away from stress and build on mental well-being is CONNECTION
When it comes to our wellbeing, connection and relating to others is a vital component. Being the social animals that we are, our innate need to be involved with other people increases our sense of security and self-esteem. Fostering good relationships with people around us means being able to express ourselves, be heard, be understood – it can act as a buffer to stress, anxiety and depression.
Social scientists have played a central role in the outcome of how social relationships affect our mental health and physical health. They have shown this through evidence of extreme social deprivation and the clear links between social relationship and our health.
Adults who are more socially connected are healthier and live longer than their isolated peers.
“Strong social connection leads to 50% increased (link is external)chance of longevity1, strengthens your immune system and may even lengthen your life”
HOW DOES BUILDING CONNECTIONS HELP IN A WORK CONTEXT?
Developing a culture that enhances strong connections amongst the team, as well as between employees and management, results in higher employee engagement levels. Fulfilling one of our most important needs, to contribute and connect, leads to a more satisfying work life.
ENCOURAGING POSITIVE CONNECTIONS
There are many ways we can take positive steps to make our workplace somewhere for good relationships to flourish. Encourage a culture of teamwork, collaboration and openness.
We can take positive steps by focusing on communication:
· One of the most important relationships is between manager and employee. Build mutual trust, support and fairness by having regular one-to-ones
· Feedback, praise and reward spontaneously when it is deserved. Appreciation is essential to help develop strong connections
· Promote a buddying or mentoring system to encourage colleagues to support one another, which is mutually beneficial to develop wellbeing.
Wellbeing can be contagious – it can be passed on through mentally strong people around you. Build strong connections to enrich every day.
· Have lunch with a colleague
· Speak to someone new today
· Take some time out at the end of the day to spend with a loved one or a friend. Turn devices off – be curious, talk, listen.
ACTION TO CONSIDER:
Share some time over lunch with a colleague this week. Nowadays proper lunch breaks are overlooked – in fact only 29% of British workers regularly take a break . Whilst you may think you are saving time by working through your lunch break, the lack of re-energizing lowers performance. By promoting shared lunches at work not only encourages a “proper” break, but encourages connecting too.
CONNECT – BE ACTIVE – KEEP LEARNING – GIVE – BE MINDFUL
Good mental health matters because it’s fundamental to our sense of wellbeing. This is one evidence based NHS principles that we’ve elaborated on to offer ways to step away from stress and build on mental well-being.