Psychologist shares: “Most essential mental health habit is self-reflection”

Mindletic

3 min read

Mental health specialist

Therapy is an effective tool to activate self-care, boost emotional resilience & EQ individually, but it also positively affects others. Research shows that emotions are contagious: one person's emotions affect four other people. In our anonymous data trends, we see that if people have therapy sessions, they are twice as likely to be proactive in taking care of their mental health. For example, they track emotions more continuously for better emotion regulation and cultivate more constructive behavior at the workplace and outside of it.

Our mental health specialist Liubov shares the learnings from working with her clients, providing more understanding of what challenges and work-related issues people bring to therapy and the changes experienced after they start to take care of their emotional health.

What are the main challenges that clients bring to the sessions? What support do they tend to have in dealing with these?

Most of the issues are related to work-life balance, professional burnout, perfectionism and suffering from not knowing how to let themselves take a break, vacations, relax, etc.

Based on your experiences working with clients from organizational settings, what are the most common causes of exhaustion and burnout?

Most often - the fact that clients don't know how to objectively estimate their possibilities and limits (clients tend to over- and underestimate themselves). But it's also the company's politics - sometimes there is this floating idea, not expressed verbally but still felt and understood by the employees, that if you are available 24/7 or do more than you are supposed to do at work - you are a good employee or co-worker. It's the absence of healthy and verbally pronounced rules and priorities of the companies regarding psychological and emotional health of employees.

What work-related issues, if any, do clients bring to the consultations? How do these affect their personal lives?

When this non-verbal understanding (if you do not do more that you are supposed to do at work - you are at risk of being replaced) is present, spending too much time at work also often appears. I see clients spending more time at work and giving less time to their families and partners, which causes general unhappiness in their life. It might also cause depressive episodes and accelerate burnout. The absence of an individually healthy working schedule sometimes even brings clients to the choice where they feel like they have to choose between work and personal life as managing both areas is too overwhelming. So then, some of them decide to leave their job. Others might stay unhappily, and if no action is taken to address the overwhelming feelings, they affect their involvement at work.

What changes do clients notice in their careers after starting the work on their emotional self-awareness and ability to respond constructively to situations?

I notice my clients become more conscious about their choices and understand that they, themselves, take an essential part of the healthy work-life balance process and that setting boundaries and working more mindfully benefits them and the company. For example, learning time-management techniques helps organize not just working time but also relaxing & resting time - so it wouldn't negatively affect their work performance. Self-esteem-oriented therapy is so important and helpful for unlocking a person's potential to be more creative and proactive at work.

With World Mental Health Day coming up on October 10th, what is one easy step everyone can take to look after their mental health that you’d like to share?

Know that you are the best person to take care of yourself. If you don't let yourself have a break - no one will do it for you. Value your efforts, let yourself make mistakes and learn from them. And if you find it difficult to unplug after work, accept support - therapy can be the starting point to support yourself. The first and most essential mental health habit is self-reflection. It is about learning how to be in contact with yourself: how to understand what you want, what you can do, how you can do it, what's your uniqueness, etc.