Taking the Extra Minute to Breathe
Everyday, about 4 times a day, my Apple Watch will vibrate and tell me to breathe. To most of us this seems silly when we’re already breathing, so why take the time out of your day to focus on it? Apple has created this feature to remind its users to take time out of their day to be mindful and meditate.
For a while I would look down at this notification and roll my eyes. I simply had too much to do and would spend the entire minute feeling anxious about all the tasks I could be doing instead.
Unfortunately, the lack of mindfulness and attention to mental health is having a huge effect on Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that a person who suffers from depression misses an average of 4.8 workdays and loses about 11.5 days of productivity in a three-month period. Overall, this is estimated to cause a loss of 200 million workdays a year, costing about $44 billion. In addition to the financial impact, the following stats show the effect on our health:
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year
- More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime
- In 2017 there were 47,173 deaths to suicide
- Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,000 people
- Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54
- There were more than twice as many suicides (47,173) in the United States as there were homicides (19,510)
The sad truth behind these statistics shows that not only are companies suffering financially, but many employees are also suffering mentally. It’s becoming increasingly important to put mental health first. This can be done by implementing mental health initiatives into your wellness program or offering an EAP to your employees that allows them to receive the proper support that they need. Partnering with vendors that provide self-guided exercises and coaching, such as Headspace, is another step in the right direction.
Not sure where to start? Talk to a member of the ‘A’ Team to learn about plan offerings and options that are best suited to your organization.
After hearing these startling statistics, it’s clear that mental health needs to be a priority. So if you’re like me and you continuously ignore your Apple Watch's reminders to breathe, take that extra minute to be mindful and support your mental health. It could make all the difference.
- The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace
- Minimize Your Risk with Mindful Practices
- Keeping Employees Mental Health Top of Mind
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