Emotional Health Day: Putting feelings forward

24 February 2024

On Emotional Health Day, our Director of People & Culture, Vanessa Sampson, shares how we can all value our emotional health, not just for achieving better employee or job satisfaction, but for an improved level of overall wellbeing.

In today’s world, health is a huge topic, especially when it comes to business and employees. We can spend hours sorting out processes, policies and company objectives but easily forget what they’re really about – and that’s people! Psychologist, Daniel Goleman, defines emotional health as the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. Emotions are a huge part of everything we do in life, particularly in the workplace. But if I put myself in the shoes of the employee that I am, what can I do to value my own emotional health?


1. Build resilience.

Recognise that there will naturally be low-motivation days, mis-steps, high pressure projects - and that’s just work. Try building reflection points into your work week to reassess your boundaries, understand triggers and give yourself space to deal with uncomfortable situations in a pragmatic way.


2. Understand and practice empathy.

Having constructive interactions takes work. This comes with its challenges, achievements, and language which is a lot to process when you just want to crack on with your job. So, remember that conversations do not need to be ‘won’; as soon as I make it about being right and wrong, everyone loses.


3. Ask questions and actively listen.

Facing a difficult situation? To help reach a common goal, take time to reflect on what you need to work at your best and confidently speak up about those needs. When you set boundaries and provide solutions, everyone can get more easily on board.


4. Confronting discomfort.

Some exchanges can be unsettling. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid tricky subjects, making do and dismissing important feelings. However, resilience, empathy and asking questions allows us to navigate discomfort. When challenged, be curious: why is this happening? What’s actually going on? How can a constructive solution be found?


Of course, we also need workplace environments where trust and psychological safety are not just buzzwords but are at the centre of a carefully nurtured culture. Everyone has the duty to use their voice and learn. Employers can support emotional health in a myriad of ways: by acknowledging its importance in the employee happiness cycle, by nurturing a trusting and safe culture, by encouraging continual learning and curiosity, and by supporting everyone in prioritising their own wellbeing.

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