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Did You Know You Have The Power to Change Lives?

Kicking off with the National Day of Mourning on April 28th, a day that commemorates workers who have lost their lives or suffered serious injuries in the workplace, the entire month of May 2021 has been designated by the Construction Industry as a time for health and safety focused activities with an emphasis on Fitness for Duty.

Each week of the month is dedicated to one state of fitness:

  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Emotional Health
  • Competency

In this month’s Blog I am going to focus on the two softer issues, Mental and Emotional Health, and the changes to personal behaviour we can all make to cultivate a healthier and safer workplace.

It’s important to be conscious of your own state of mental and emotional health. Am I feeling happy or sad, clear-minded or confused, peaceful or angry, connected or alone? Name whatever it is you are feeling and accept that it is ok to feel that. If you do not like the way you feel now, resolve to make it temporary and move your thoughts and feelings to a more positive place by taking a moment to mindfully reset.

I believe we would all rather be happy, clear-minded, peaceful, and connected all the time. That feels like a natural state for us humans, but we all experience a myriad of emotions that sometimes feel beyond our ability to control, and that is also part of our nature.

It is ok. All of us experience sadness, confusion, anger, and loneliness sometimes.

Studies have shown that one of the best things we can do for our own mental and emotional well-being is to pay attention to how others might be feeling. Taking a genuine interest in other people’s mental and emotional health helps each of us take care of ourselves.

One of the most basic ways we can do this is by practicing kindness. Just the simple act of giving praise has the power to lift another person up and transform the workplace. This act of recognition at work helps to reduce burnout by motivating, energizing, and improving emotional well-being. Getting a compliment from a boss or a co-worker raises a person’s self-esteem and reinforces their natural positive view of themselves.

But how does this help to improve our own sense of self-worth and happiness? Making someone else happy gives us meaning and purpose, which in turn makes us happier and more fulfilled. It moves us away from focusing on ourselves and contributes to our own sense of belonging to a community. This positive contribution of kindness to our community makes us feel good and that we have all it takes to be a good person.

The act of kindness, of giving a compliment to another, has been shown to increase our own happiness even more than receiving a compliment because of the social connection that is created by our genuine interest in the other person’s feelings and emotions.

In short, being kind gives us the power to change lives. And these small changes, one person at a time, can change the world.

Be kind,
Doug Dougherty


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