3 steps to building a positive 'mindsweat'

Thought Leadership on The Future of Wellness presented by LifeWork Strategies.

Creating a positive workplace “mindsweat” means that, as an employer, you are going beyond the normal nine-to-five mindset to create a mentally fit workplace. Why should you have a mentally fit workplace? Besides the obvious reasons, a mentally fit workplace is resilient. It is a workplace where employees easily acclimate to change, overcome adversity and become more productive and engaged—all of which is beneficial to employees and employers alike.

Mindsweat is the kind of sweat employees need to persevere, the kind of sweat the mind produces when building willpower. A person’s mind can be trained toward strength, flexibility and endurance, much like the body. Yet, the mental obstacles are often harder to hurdle than the physical. Just ask any professional athlete. Employers need to think about the mental sweat as often as the physical, because no matter an employee’s goal or task, they’re going to need mental stamina to show up and work toward it repeatedly. They’re going to sweat every day, and create new brainpower to launch toward the goal.

There are three key proactive measures you can take to create a positive mindsweat and promote physical and mental fitness among your workforce:

  1. Show support. Employees must have an opportunity to create their goal, recreate it and work on it time and time again. They must know that there is support behind their drive to change, and that that support comes from the company where they spend two-thirds of their day. A well-being program with resources and programs designed to assist in behavior change is necessary. Just saying you support it is one thing, but giving employees the tools and creating a culture of well-being is another. Examples of supportive activities can include mindfulness seminars and stress management workshops.
  1. Encourage physical sweat. Build a physical activity challenge or partner with local fitness facilities to give discounts to your employees. Walk the stairwells. Do a quick set of lunges in between meetings. Encourage physical and mental activity every single day.
  1. Try something different. Encourage employees to explore new ways to accomplish routine tasks. Even taking a new route to work can improve the brain. Give employees a challenging goal and help set their sights on achieving it. Encourage breaks for employees to do mental fitness exercises, which will strengthen neural pathways and keep the brain young, healthy and stimulated.

So, next time you take a moment to think about employee retention and satisfaction, give yourself a fistbump for mindsweat. Allowing employees to dedicate even a short time every day to their mental fitness will yield significant benefits in terms of feeling recharged, more confident at their workplace and, of course, the bottom line.

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