Your mental health needs to be prioritised over work. Here’s why

In the race to the top, we often neglect our mental health, and then face repercussions. Here’s why you must prioritise it over work.
Mental health at work
Do things that relieve stress instead of aggravating it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Ms Vipasha Gaur Updated: 11 Oct 2021, 13:11 pm IST
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Dr Reeti (name changed) was a senior radiologist in the US, married to a medico with a beautiful daughter. She owns a lovely house, and has been paying her bills on time. She was at the hospital, when she received a letter that she had been fired. Strangely, she had no emotions, because she had been dreading work for a long time. 

After studying medicine for over eight years, and receiving a gold medal at college, this dedicated, hard-working, and workaholic was being fired for not performing. Her intellect could not be doubted, and neither her knowledge. So, then what?

Over the past few years, many people like Reeti were investing their time and efforts to build their lives, career and families, and missing out on what they already have i.e. Life. The horrendous face of Covid-19 has brought forth some important lessons, and it’s high time we understand them. 

How important is health?

Health has been a lifestyle in India since ancient times. The discipline of rituals and practices were aligned with health, and holistic well-being, i.e. it is all about mental peace attained via mental freedom, which is the ultimate goal of human life.

The pandemic had put a pause to the human race to reflect and reset their life, irrespective of what life-stage they are at. At the end of the day, humans are emotion-driven, irrespective of their intellect level, high qualification and achievements.

work life balance
Life is a balancing act, after all. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Manah has a higher status than budhdhi. Hence it is all about mental well-being, a peaceful balanced mind which makes use of intellect to ensure wise & holistic decisions.

How does the human mind function?

To perform appropriately, the human mind should be aligned and synchronized. On a day-to-day basis, it is easy to observe emotional blockages within. However, it is being ignored due to multiple variables in our lives, and getting trapped in a loop of multiple distorted thoughts, which gets accumulated over time and disrupts our relationship with self and others. 

For years, mental health has been considered a part of eight well-being dimensions. However, mental well-being is not an arm of eight wellness dimensions, i.e. physical, professional, mental, relationship, financial, occupational, intellectual and spiritual. Rather, mental health is the central core wellbeing and rest seven are its arms.

Human desires progress from survival to standard of life, and ultimately quality of life. Harmony and resilience is the very nature of human lives. Mental well-being, being the core of existence, is the key determinant of quality of life i.e. healthy body and resilient mind to celebrate life by accepting it graciously to handle adversities of life and bounce back.

Most of the time, it needs extra efforts to differentiate between mental peace and comfort

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The uniqueness of each individual demands a strong sense of self that originates from their elemental motivation. Not just great decisions but micro behaviours are a reflection of the experience of each moment perceived by the mind. And the values and thoughts could be distorted which leads to undesired experience, leading to unfavourable behaviour and actions.

work life balance
When someone overworks themselves, it can adversely affect their mental, physical, emotional, and personal life. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
How can being mindful help?

Being mindful is a stepping stone towards attaining mental strength. Quite often, we confuse mindfulness meditation with mindfulness. Mindfulness is about bringing our awareness and attention to the expected outcome of the plan of actions we are implementing, big or small. Being mindful helps to implement elements of system thinking i.e. an inclusive approach to make choices. And inclusiveness and interdependence is the basic nature of existence and necessity too. 

All the decisions turned favourable or unfavourable have indeed emerged from our mind based limited ability:

  • to visualise outcome
  • to feel intensely and holistically
  • To use a blend of learnt and novel ideas

In nutshell, everything is being designed in the mind before in action. Hence, the blueprint in mind needs to be clear, crisp, directional and holistic. 

work life balance
Spend time meditating or exercising to ensure your work-life balance stays healthy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
The last word

If the mind is at peace, it functions better, indeed, expands better, can see what is invisible, can hear what is not said, and can feel what is not expressed.  Mind expansion brings many successful ingredients together: adaptability, empathy, prioritizing, letting go and separating self. This is the limitless power of the mind, which enables the human brain to function much beyond the given data points.

Mental well-being is not about absence of disorders; it is a reflection of our constitution of life we choose to lead. To have that constitution aligned with life itself is about life, and of higher priority than anything else. 

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About the Author

Vipasha has done her master’s in clinical psychology. She worked in collaboration with different hospitals over time and finally found her calling in counselling. She primarily uses an eclectic approach, focusing on personal, emotional, and behavioural issues. The basic crux of counselling comes from understanding; not just of what the person is saying but helping them find where it comes from. It helps them find a device in themselves that helps them in navigating through life, in a better way. ...Read More

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