October 10th is World Mental Health Day

Globalisation and the technology boom have brought in many favorable changes to the Indian economy and lifestyle. However, these developments have come with a price – increasing rates of stress, depression and anxiety among India’s corporate employees. And yet, most often, the issue is not recognized – in a 2015 ASSOCHAM study, 42.5% corporate employees were suffering from depression or general anxiety disorder.

Mental health problems hurt the individual as well as the organization.

If you are suffering from chronic stress, it can affect almost every part of body and mind. Stress decreases quality and quantity of sleep, decreases memory and concentration, depletes energy and creativity and increases the risk of depression and anxiety.

Due to its effects on the brain and hormone system, stress affects the body as well, causing muscle tightness, and physical pain, impaired immune system, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, weight gain and an increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart attack.

Stress also affects the organization, causing decreased productivity, absenteeism, accident proneness, employee tension, conflict with co-workers, and high attrition. In the US, it is estimated that stress decreases the bottom line by at least $300 billion annually.

Fortunately, both individuals and organizations can do a lot to reduce stress and prevent depression. Research proves that a healthy lifestyle is protective – this includes a healthy and balanced diet and reduced intake of sugar, and processed food, adequate sleep, and regular exercise.

Meditation has also been shown to help reduce stress and improve mental and physical well-being, and organizations and individuals around the world are now turning to this ancient method to cultivate peace of mind.

Research proves that even 10 to 15 minutes of a mindfulness meditation practice, that involves bringing the mind to the present moment, decreases stress hormones, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, and improves brain health.

In today’s world, organizational wellbeing is vitally linked to the mental wellbeing of its employees. When there is psychological well-being employees feel more enthused to work well.  Mental health fosters a culture of hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, and overall positivity.

It’s time that organizations and HR professionals start prioritizing the mental wellbeing of their employees – this will lead to health and prosperity of the individual, the company and society.

The following article has been written by Dr Shyam Bhat, a famous celebrity mental wellness expert who is associated with Mind.fit (which is a vertical of Cure.fit).