Whole Being Workplace Wellness

The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.

Johann Hari

Integral to the success of any workplace is the well-being of its participants.

Whole Being Workplace Wellness expresses the value of each member of the workforce regardless of job title, pay or longevity of service. Core tenets of this approach are each person’s inherent capacity for resiliency; an intrinsic desire to relate positively; the importance of recognition & respect; the necessity of intentional practices to foster well-being.

We experience health holistically, not disparately in spheres of physical and/or mental health; thus workplace leaders embrace the concept of whole being wellness, providing comprehensive services to address underlying causes and psycho-social factors that impact productivity, job performance and a culture of collaboration. A comprehensive approach to wellness cultivates healthy attitudes, behaviors, and core life skills sustainable over a lifetime. Healthy and productive functioning depends upon our ability to:

Whole Being Workplace Wellness

  • identify inherent self-worth,
  • develop shame resiliency & emotional regulation,
  • communicate authentically & compassionately,
  • process grief, loss & transition effectively.

A comprehensive approach includes the consistent opportunity to cultivate connection, empathy and accountability necessary to achieve long-term goals not simply temporary lessening or avoidance of pain, toxic stressors, anxiety or conflict.

Johann Hari, the noted author writes, “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.” While many workplace prevention and employee assistance models focus on the importance of credible information about substance misuse and brain chemistry, evidence based delivery systems of that information, and the critical thinking skills necessary to make healthy choices, they rarely include social-emotional learning that provides the essential foundation for lifetime well-being.

Inadequately addressed conflicts, internal and external to the workplace, drain energy and compromise morale. Research supports the growing use of circle processes that insure an equal voice, thus fostering connection, empathy, and accountability—all critical for a responsive and responsible workforce. Circle processes focus on the lived experience of participants, providing acknowledgement, compassion, and respect—cornerstones of healthy living.

The content of circles varies yet the process remains consistent: sitting in circle, identifying shared values, creating guidelines by consensus, listening attentively and reflecting with curiosity not judgment. This builds the skills and habits elemental to a comprehensive prevention and healing approach.

Whole Being Workplace Wellness Circle processes that draw on the work of Nonviolent Communication identify four typical ways we address stressful situations by:

1) blaming others,
2) blaming ourselves,
3) being curious about our own feelings and needs,
4) extending the curiosity to another’s feelings and needs.
Expressing feelings and appropriately meeting needs through clear requests equips us to face challenges constructively in lieu of addictive or otherwise destructive behaviors. Incorporating circle processes into wellness programs maximizes connection, empathy, and accountability and supports improved productivity and overall well-being.