How Leaders Can Look After Their Mental Health
Thought Leadership

How Leaders Can Look After Their Mental Health

Often in organizations, the focus is on looking after the mental health of the employees; however, it is just as important to ensure leaders take care of their own mental well-being. How can a leader possibly carry out their role effectively if they’re struggling mentally?

New data this year revealed that nearly 70% of people said that the person who has the biggest impact on their mental health is their manager. Therefore, it’s vital that senior leaders prioritize their own mental health and wellbeing to ensure they are the best version of themselves for their team. 

A big part of a leader’s mental health is equipping them with a proactive mindset in the face of challenges. With this in mind, here are a few things that senior leaders can implement straight away to immediately improve their mindset whilst ensuring their wellbeing is looked after long term.  

Change your way of thinking

When things in life aren’t going to plan, and upsetting things happen, it can take a massive toll on your mental health. Spiraling into a negative place can feel inevitable, with your mindset and beliefs shaping your reality. This is the time when you need to change your thought process.

Instead of thinking that life is working against you and things always go wrong for you, start to think that life is happening for you. It will allow you to gain a different perspective and enable you to look for the bigger meaning. By simply changing your way of thinking here, you will be able to learn from the obstacles in your path, the problems you are currently facing, and what each one has been sent to teach you.

“What is before me is for me.”

At times, especially in business, it is tempting to blame others, the situation, and the environment for your circumstances. Everything except you! This is OK for the short term; however, it is important to realize that while you are in a blame mentality and thinking that life isn’t working in your favor, you are completely powerless.

As hard as it may be, you need to take control of your mindset and realize that curveballs happen in life. Everything can be going well in one minute, and then without warning, everything can fall apart, and you can become consumed by anxiety. However, knowing that you have a choice to face issues, head-on will not only empower you but will increase your resilience too.

Delete limiting beliefs

There are times in life when all of us will experience limiting beliefs. They are the invisible barriers you have put up between your existing reality and what you could create as a leader.

A recent KPMG study found that a whopping 75% of female executives across industries have experienced imposter syndrome in their careers. Feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy may feel like the truth, yet it is just an illusion.

A limiting belief will become more powerful the longer it runs in your body. The belief runs on a neural network, so the more time this fires, the stronger the belief becomes. As limiting beliefs can massively affect your mental health, they can rob you of reaching your true potential. This is why it is important to delete them and install new empowering beliefs that positively serve you.

Deleting the beliefs that are holding you back is a liberating process. It is a journey of self-discovery, stepping out of your comfort zone and into the world of your unconscious mind. When you have a clear understanding of what your limiting belief is, you can simply let it go and replace it with an empowering belief. It will take time for you to start to believe the new belief, but there are many ways to speed up the process, such as writing it down on your mirror, setting an alarm on your phone, or writing it on a Post-it note and sticking it somewhere you will see it every day. This exercise will instantly boost your confidence and, in turn, improve your mental wellbeing.

To help organizations help their people with limiting beliefs, I developed a new product called Dream Teams post COVID, this is to support SMEs with their staff’s mental resilience and wellbeing. I ran this with a well-known company in New Zealand called Cookie Time, and we are now in our third year of running this successful product. I recently flew to NZ to run workshops for the whole company for over a month and have now taken this product online too. More companies want to support their staff and reach out to learn more about Dream Teams.

Focus on self-care

Dedicating some time every day to focus on yourself is vital. Turn off your phone, put your computer away, and spend time doing things that make you feel good. This could be spending time with family and friends, going for a long walk, reading a great book, listening to an uplifting podcast, or having a pamper.

Practicing gratitude is also a great way to not only connect you to your unconscious mind – the place that stores everything you believe in – it is also a great exercise to make you feel calmer and more grounded. Gratefulness has a place in everybody’s life, and the benefits are fantastic. Simply spending a few minutes each day thinking about the things you are grateful for will leave you feeling more content with your life, leading to improved mental wellness.

Final words 

As a leader, you should aspire to be the star of your own show, so foster positive thinking, delete beliefs that no longer serve you, schedule in time to do things that bring you joy, and look for the magic all around you. These few things will ensure your mental health is looked after and that you are coming from a positive mindset for your team, allowing you to fulfill your role as a senior leader to your full potential.


About the Author:

Dr Amanda Foo-Ryland is a TedX international keynote speaker, coach and best-selling author of Knowing You. She is a neural coding expert, and the founder of Your Life Live it, and together with her team she works with thousands of clients around the globe to help them achieve lasting personal change.