Neuroscience and work: Experts discussed the importance of mental health


The specialists discussed the challenges of cultivating well-being on a daily basis from the perspective of mental health in the workplace

The 3rd International Virtual Symposium on Neuroscience and Wellbeing of the INECO Foundation took place this afternoon with the intervention of recognized national and foreign specialists under the common theme “Cultivating the well-being and mental health of work and daily life”.

Mental health professionals say that the plight the world has been going through in recent years due to the pandemic highlighted the importance of well-being in the face of challenges. older generations youth seem to see this prospect more clearly, as experts have noted that they are increasingly prioritizing their mental health and seek to work in companies with cultures that support it.

Thus, for specialists, those who prioritize their well-being by taking care of their body, their rest time and their emotional health, will be better prepared to face the future increasingly changing and uncertain. “Many of us spend a third of our time at work. If we think that another third should rest, we will soon understand how important it is to cultivate well-being on a daily basis, especially at work,” he said at the opening of the conference in which he participated. Infobae doctor Mary Rock, psychologist specializing in the evaluation of cognitive functions, director of INECO organizations, Deputy Director of INECO Department of Neuropsychology and scientific coordinator of INECO Foundation.

Created in 2008, the INECO Foundation supports research programs aimed at understanding the neurobiological bases of the most complex brain processes and promotes academic projects aimed at improving the prevention, detection and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders (Getty Images)
Created in 2008, the INECO Foundation supports research programs aimed at understanding the neurobiological bases of the most complex brain processes and promotes academic projects aimed at improving the prevention, detection and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders (Getty Images)

It is that to compete for talent, companies and individuals will need to make changes by integrating mental health into their policies, practices, measures and services. This change includes the efforts of all institutional actors who must also take ownership of the issue to serve as allies in fostering an environment of transparency Yes opening and a culture that promotes well-being.

But what do we mean by well-being? The Science defines it as a skill that is cultivated and built but, like most human skills, its construction requires the investment of time and effort. The construction and care of well-being must become a habit cultivated not artificially, but immersed in our daily reality.

“Why do we get out of bed every morning to go to the office instead of spending a lifetime immersed in nature or doing the things we love to do? The obvious answer is that we need to make a living, but there is a long and compelling list of non-monetary reasons that answer that question as well.” Barry Schwartz, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Swarthmore College and visiting professor at Haas School of Business at Berkeley.

Important experts recognized around the world discussed key issues to promote the well-being of our daily work and organizations
Important experts recognized around the world discussed key issues to promote the well-being of our daily work and organizations

For the specialist, “satisfied workers feel good about their work and they do it because they feel responsible. Their working day gives them autonomy which they use to achieve a level of mastery and expertise. They take pride in what they do, they work with people, and they do their job because they believe it’s an opportunity for social engagement. Finally, they do it because they consider what they are doing to be meaningful and meaningful. They believe that their work improves the quality of life of others. Sure, there are few professions that have these characteristics and none that have them all the time”.

“Of course people wouldn’t work if it wasn’t for pay.. But why, for the vast majority, does work have few or none of these attributes? How is it that a model of work has been created in which the non-material satisfactions that inspire better work are reduced or eliminated? Workers who do this mechanical, routine work just for pay, no matter how hard they try to make sense of their work situation, eventually burn out. For the vast majority of the population, work leaves much to be desired. The question is why?”

According Schwartz, “When a job is given under optimal conditions, people perform better and therefore companies generate more income. When we resort to the reward system or labor awards, we are taking a problem and making it worse. By organizing work in this way, companies are guided by money and fail. If we spend eight hours a day five days a week mechanically doing the same thing, we lose the habit of thinking and become ignorant beings.

Burnout is a particular type of work-related stress, a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a lack of sense of accomplishment and loss of personal identity (Getty Images)
Burnout is a particular type of work-related stress, a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a lack of sense of accomplishment and loss of personal identity (Getty Images)

As part of the exhibition, Dr. Marisa Salanova, Doctor in psychology, professor of positive psychology of organizations and director of the team WANT TO (Psychosocial prevention and health organizations) in the Jaume I University (UJI), gave lectures on The new challenges mental health at work.

“Mental health is not the mere absence of disease, but the presence of physical and emotional well-being. The positive leadership styles the autonomy and the variety of chores not only do they cause the worker to end up with greater commitment but reduce the burnout. People who have higher psychological well-being perform better at work,” he said.

Burnout or exhaustion is a chronic stress syndrome which refers specifically to phenomena in the professional context. It is characterized by three dimensions: a feeling of exhaustion or lack of energy, a feeling of negativity or cynicism related to work and finally reduced professional efficiency. In 2019, it was recognized as a mental disorder in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Salanova He wondered what the challenges are for science. “Mental health must be considered as a whole and not just the absence of mental illness. Invest in measures based on solid research. Positive psychological intervention protocols should be developed. We must ensure that we generate healthier and more positive organisations. Mental health is not just an HR responsibility, it must be seen as a value in itself and not as a means to an end,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant effects on workplace stress, whether working from home or going to work (Getty Images)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant effects on workplace stress, whether working from home or going to work (Getty Images)

According to a recent study by the job portal, Boomerangthe occurrence of a burnout syndrome in Argentina it is 80.2%a sin Chili. In Peru is 72.9% and in Panama 53.6%. Regionally, users mostly experienced stress, lack of motivation and unusual exhaustion due to excessive workload.

It is important to point out that not only the workload causes stress, but also when few work activities are assigned or the tasks performed are very simple, it can also have adverse effects, and in both cases , the objective is to grant the necessary medical and rehabilitation care, as good as Recommendations to companies on prevention and promotion of health in the workplace.

Created in 2008, the INECO Foundation supports research programs aimed at understanding the neurobiological basis of the most complex brain processes and promotes academic projects aimed at improving the prevention, detection and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Its fundamental pillars are interdisciplinary work; the relevance of research projects for society; the international impact of his research; and raise community awareness of neuroscience issues. Among other recognitions, the INECO Foundation has obtained the Konex Price 2018 as one of the 5 most outstanding health entities of the decade in Argentina (2008-2017).

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