When mental health is mentioned, it’s often in the negative. So often, people who have mental illnesses are stigmatized or dismissed. However, just like with physical health, mental health plays a big role in our well-being–and it is something that can be improved. Even if you don’t have a diagnosed mental illness to cope with, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to work on your mental health.
Instead of just looking at mental health as a problem, we need to start looking at it as a solution. Taking care of our mental health is a challenge in our busy lives. Our brains are overwhelmed by information, making it crucial to step back and make mental health a priority. Many of the most successful people have had to work on their own mental health as well as their career. But is mental health the key to more success?
Why it is Important to Focus on Mental Health
Americans lead incredibly stressful lives. We push ourselves to the breaking point at school, at work, and at home. Work tends to be a primary source of stress, with 80% of Americans feeling stressed at the office. Stress can lead to a host of physical health problems. It can also be a factor in anxiety and depression, which affects 300 million people worldwide.
We rarely take time to take care of our brains the way we do our bodies. Most people know how important exercise, sleep, and a balanced diet are to being productive and healthy. In contrast, taking time to focus on mental health is often brushed off as unnecessary.
Unfortunately, letting stress and other mental strain go unchecked can reduce our ability to fully enjoy life, focus on what’s most important, and stay motivated. Mental health is one of the keys to happiness and well-being, and it’s crucial not to neglect it.
Ways to Improve Mental Health
It’s strange that people avoid activities to improve their mental health, including visiting a therapist or other mental health professional. We go to doctors for every other issue but often pause at the idea of behavioral health services.
Aside from talking with a professional, which may or may not be necessary, people improve their mental health and mindset in many ways. Meditation is becoming much more popular in Western culture, with nearly 18 million American adults now regularly practicing.
Improving mental health often requires unplugging from technology, taking away all distractions, and just allowing the mind to be still and quiet. Physical activity is often paired with these strategies, whether that means yoga, taking a walk, or losing oneself in a hobby. Its important to integrate work life balance to improve mental health and decrease stress. That means staying physically healthy and detaching from obligations and letting the brain rest.
Mental Health’s Role in Career Success
These days, we need It seems counterintuitive that unplugging from work and meditating or walking in silence could make someone more effective at work, but that seems to be the case. People who prioritize their own mental health are better able to lead, communicate, adapt, and get along with others. The introspection that goes along with mental health prioritization can also improve emotional intelligence, an important skillset in the workplace.
It’s been shown that people with better cognitive abilities typically make better leaders in organizations, and better leaders create improved outcomes. Meditation and other mindfulness techniques help you excel in the workplace, and can help you develop a better mindset so you can achieve more.
Great Leaders Prioritize Their Mind
There are so many examples of business leaders who prioritized their mental health to become more innovative and successful leaders. That doesn’t mean they were born with perfect mental health—many artists, creatives, and successful business leaders have struggled with mental illness. Abraham Lincoln, J.K. Rowling, and Jim Carrey are just a few of many examples of successful people who have lived with depression.
Regardless of their struggles, successful people know that focusing on their mental health is important. J.K. Rowling worked with a health professional to improve her well-being while she was creating bestselling books, while Steve Jobs used meditation to improve innovation at Apple. A sharp mind, focus, and energy fuel inspiration, innovation and productivity for success in art and business.
Mental Health: An Important Component of Success
Obviously, good mental health alone won’t make a person successful. However, focusing on mental health is a necessity for health, well-being, and inner peace. Using mindfulness practices and seeking help when necessary can positively impact other areas of life. The most successful people have taken care of their mental health and used that to share their work and innovations with the world—and that’s something we should all pay attention to.