eeling like you have a place where you can be free to express your feelings and thoughts is one of the most important aspects of a healthy work environment. A bad work environment or small stressors from work over time can really affect a person, especially if their work environment isn't a place where they feel comfortable expressing these issues. This can affect your neuropsychological safety, which in turn can make you apprehensive about coming to work.

Mental health isn’t typically talked about in general, let alone in a workplace setting. But that shouldn't discourage you from learning about ways that you can protect your mind’s health as well as learning how to calm your nervous system, especially in a world where we are surrounded by things that make us stressed.

Maintaining good mental health is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, especially when you’re in an environment where you are surrounded by potential stressors. It’s hard to prioritize your health when you have work to focus on. You may feel like you don’t have time to prioritize anything else besides your answers, project, or an email that needs to be sent ASAP. You may even feel the urge to push people away or even choose to ignore the problems brought on by your job. But it’s essential to learn how to understand your own mental health, what’s stressing you, and how to better approach this problem from a psychological standpoint.

Often when people feel overwhelmed or down in the dumps, they may not feel comfortable talking to anyone about their problems. You may be one of these people, but by reading this article, maybe you will come to see that you don’t have to suffer alone. You may learn how to better understand your own mental health and in turn, help others you know have been stressed as well.

Understanding Neuropsychology

Before you learn how to better handle stressful situations and the impact they can have on your health, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of Neuropsychology.

No matter the role you play in the workplace, whether that be in a leadership role or not, your mental health is essential and should be treated as such. Just because you have different workloads compared to other people and others may not understand the importance of your stress concerning these projects, doesn’t mean that your health shouldn’t be a priority.

What better way to begin assessing your mental health, than learning the basics?

Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that concerns the way a person’s brain functions. It focuses on how a person’s cognitive workings and behavior work hand-in-hand with the nervous system and how it affects their everyday life. In other words, neuropsychology is the study of the mind and body in relation to the central nervous system.

Our brains are very complicated. So complicated in fact, that we feel emotions without realizing that we are. These emotions are entirely subconscious, meaning that we could be so stressed and overwhelmed with tasks, that we aren’t even consciously aware of them. If we aren’t aware of them, then we also aren’t aware of the effect these problems have on our minds and bodies.

Woman holding her head in her hands while pouring over a notebook.
Struggling is inevitable, but doesn’t have to be a common occurrence if you know how to manage it.

If you have background knowledge of neuropsychology, then you will better know how to handle your emotions if or when a situation arises where you start to struggle mentally. There comes a moment in everyone’s life when you feel so defeated and like you lost all energy to fight your battles, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore them or brush them off. You’re feeling these stressors for a reason and if you don’t address them sooner rather than later, your productivity and work as a whole will suffer.

Why Neuropsychological Safety is Crucial

It’s very important to talk about issues, especially with people who you may not realize are going through very similar situations as you. These people may very well be your co-workers, as they most likely know and understand the kind of stress you’re under for your particular job.

If you don’t feel comfortable confiding in a co-worker or employer, then having a basic understanding of neuropsychological safety in the workplace can do wonders for your mental health.

Man and woman holding hands.
Having someone to confide in can make a world of difference for your mental health.

No more long hours of sitting at your desk, swamped in work while you find yourself slowly slipping into a bad mental state. If you know how your brain works you can learn why it has begun to work in these self-destructive ways. It’s not as if you are intentionally being self-destructive, but stress can do a lot to your mind and body. Besides the headaches and long hours pouring over work, you suffer in more ways than you realize.

Your mental health works hand-in-hand with your everyday life. The way you perform activities, the effort you put in at work, etc. are all results of you taking care of your mind. When work gets hectic, your mind is in overdrive and you may find yourself focusing more on your work than yourself. If you’re not functioning properly, then how do you expect to work to your best ability? The answer is simple: you can’t.

Knowing The Importance of Neuropsychology is crucial to allowing your cognitive and emotional processes to work properly, over time making your life easier. Once you acknowledge what your stressors are, you can better work to fix them. Instead of pouring over your work or the issue at hand, it’s better to take a step back. Assess the situation and react accordingly.

If you have a big workload and don’t know how to manage it, talk to other employees or co-workers for advice and guidance. If you spend all day working on a project only to realize that you’ve done it all wrong, take a step back and try to calm yourself before reminding yourself that you can fix it and all will be okay. You’ve gotten through stressful situations before and you’ve overcome them. The same will happen here.

If you never acknowledge your stressors, they will start to affect you and your working habits subconsciously, allowing your work life bleed into your everyday life.

How To Help When in A Leadership Position

When someone is in a calmer state of mind, no matter the situation people tend to listen and trust them more. Let’s say you’re currently in a leadership position and you have a big project that you’re working on that doesn’t seem to be picking up or going anywhere. You’re stuck and it’s up to you to pull you and your team out of this problem regarding the project. Your team looks to you for guidance and if you don’t have a cool head or a calm demeanor, their trust in you may falter.

A great majority of your employees' comfort at work is a result of their employer's attitude. If you openly emphasize the importance of emotional stability, then every team member will feel like their emotions are valid. This creates an open and safely inclusive environment.

Men and women laughing and sitting around a table at the office.
Having a laugh with co-workers is a simple, but effective way to ease your mind.

It’s your job as an employer to take your employee’s needs into consideration, as well as your own. Even if they are different from you or their ideas are entirely foreign to your own, it’s up to you to create a stable environment where they can come to you to express these ideas. This can be achieved by simple means such as active listening and giving well-informed feedback on important tasks.

Relationships in the workplace are the basic foundation for stable mental health. If someone doesn’t feel comfortable in a place where they spend up to 40 hours a week, then they won’t work to the best of their abilities. Whether conscious or not, their workplace relationships will hinder their work ethic.

A man and two women sitting around a table working.
Creating an environment that values inclusivity will encourage people to engage at work.

There are many benefits to supporting your employee's mental health and they are as simple as they are easy. You were once in their shoes as you weren’t always in a leadership position. You had to work your way up, so you know how tough work can be, especially when you can’t focus because problems seem to keep arising.

Having empathy and showing your human side instead of your corporate side, will bring out people’s comfortability. Even if you can’t personally help them through their struggles, offer mental health training and focus on communication.

It’s Time to Apply This Knowledge of Neuropsychological Safety in Your Own Life

Your workplace is made up of people from a variety of different backgrounds regarding religion, ethnicity, and more. Not everyone is going to think and function the way you do, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by everyday workplace stressors the same way you are.

Confiding in another person can make even the slightest difference in how you go about work. It also helps to keep in mind that just because you’re struggling now, doesn’t mean these struggles will stick with you. You’ve been through stressful situations before and you’ve learned and grown from them. The same can be said for your struggles now.

Now that you have a better understanding of neuropsychology, in turn, you may feel like you have a better understanding of yourself and how your mind works.

Sep 27, 2023