• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Building a psychologically secure and sound environment

Building a psychologically secure and sound environment – Part 2

Environments have different categories, such as the physical one I wrote about last week. This week and next, we will examine how the invisible environment, known as the psychological environment, affects your wellbeing and learn how to make it safe and healthy.

The physical environment is no stranger to us; we can see, appreciate, occupy, enjoy, and care for it. However, the psychological environment, which is equally as important as the physical, cannot be seen but felt, experienced, cared for, and enjoyed. As intangible as the psychological environment is, its impacts on individuals are more far-reaching than ever imagined, and here is why. The psychological environment, often shaped by behavioural, cognitive, and emotional conditions, is formed by the innate forces behind personal performance. These three factors cover the human nature that influences thoughts, feelings, habits, culture, and values.

Read also: Six reasons to invest in employees’ financial wellbeing

Therefore, our psychological environment is the inner vista that shapes our perception, experience, and interaction with the world. Sadly, this inner landscape is created, formed, and shaped by what it receives from its outer counterpart, which is made up of external contributions. This is why protecting people’s mental health should not be seen as a stopgap or coping mechanism but as a long-term commitment. The emphasis should be laid on a collective responsibility to build a psychologically safe and healthy space for people to live, work, and thrive. Here are a few factors that can help create a secure and sound environment for everyone’s mental wellbeing, such as promoting open communication, fostering a culture of respect, and providing opportunities for personal growth and development.

Balance: With the eight dimensions of wellness, balance is crucial for overall well-being. This means harmonising the different aspects of living, such as career, family, health, and network. Balance offers stability, motivation, rejuvenation, focus, productivity, soundness, grounding, and the ability to manage stress. However, it is essential to note that this state of equilibrium does not equate to the amount of time or commitment, but rather the value and quality of it. For example, spending seven productive and fulfilling hours at work, three quality and memorable hours with family, two impactful hours of networking, and an hour of a good read does not show evenness in time spent. However, the value derived from each activity can be described as fair based on the individual’s feeling of having a great day. Imbalance, on the other hand, can lead to anxiety, stress, burnout, lack of focus, poor judgement, and strained relationships. So, be sure to find balance among all your activities.

 “The psychological environment, often shaped by behavioural, cognitive, and emotional conditions, is formed by the innate forces behind personal performance.”

Civility and respect: A popular saying goes, “Respect begets respect.” Respect shouldn’t be limited to age or status, but by acknowledging the golden rule: “Treat others as you want to be treated’. Everyone requires a degree or level of respect to function effectively as human beings in a society; this is called dignity. No one should be subjected to shame, as it robs them of their essence of living at that moment in time. The aftermath danger is when such an individual is pushed to the wall to resort to social vices without bothering about perception, values, and lives. No society will thrive with such a menace or handful of them in it; hence, treat everyone with civility and respect. Civility and respect are essential in significantly impacting the psychological environment as people feel heard, valued, and understood, fostering a sense of belonging and trust. This means avoiding behaviours that undermine others, such as bullying, discrimination, or disrespect, and instead promoting a culture of understanding, empathy, and acceptance.

Read also: Importance of selfcare routines for physical wellbeing

On the other hand, incivility and disrespect can lead to anxiety, stress, trauma, and a toxic environment. When people are mocked, belittled, disparaged, or dismissed, their ability to thrive is compromised. It’s crucial to avoid such behaviour as much as possible to maintain a healthy psychological environment.

Effective communication and clear expectations: Whenever we communicate ineffectively with people, we should also be ready to deal with poor outcomes without getting offended. Every leader should be able to break down tasks into simple instructional steps without assuming that the receiver is mature enough to reason things out. Such a mindset is a recipe for disaster because serious tasks cannot be left to assumption but on precise instructions for a successful outcome. Therefore, communicate effectively to ensure both parties are clear on expectations, with an open line of communication for clarifications and updates. This will save time in ascertaining capabilities, strengths, and abilities. Other significant benefits of effective communication and clear expectations include trust, collaboration, partnership, improved mood, enhanced productivity, and reduced anxiety, conflict, and uncertainty.


Call to Action

What other psychological factors can improve your environmental wellbeing at home, work, or social gatherings? Stay tuned for the concluding part next week.

Olayinka Opaleye is a Wellbeing Specialist and Corporate Wellness Strategist. She can be reached at [email protected], +234 09091131150, or through www.linkedin.com/in/olayinkaopaleye.