Dr. Ektaa Sibal
Founder – Global Holistic Transformation
Organizations and Business leaders need to focus on Building mental wellbeing as a part of Corporate Culture
Dr. Ektaa Sibal is a Globally recognized individual and a known authority in the space of Mental Health, Wellbeing and Meditation with an illustrious career as an International Keynote Speaker, International Meditation Guru, Global Wellness Ambassador, Executive Leadership Development and Transformation Specialist and India’s #1 Inner-self Transformation Specialist.
Dr. Ektaa is also the Mentor of Change – NITI Aayog and the recipient of ET Inspiring Leader Award 2023 along with many other awards.
For over a decade, she’s been Globally promoting Mental Health, Holistic Wellbeing and Meditation at several international events across the Globe.
In Conversation with Dr. Ektaa Sibal Founder of Global Holistic
Transformation and Mentor of Change – NITI Aayog
As a globally recognised authority on mental health and holistic wellbeing what has been your journey and what inspired you to focus on Mindful Meditation, Coaching, and Leadership Development?
My journey in the mental health and holistic wellbeing space started more than a decade ago and I feel fortunate to be able to touch many lives whilst this journey. During my early years of corporate life, I witnessed the impact of stress and various mental health challenges amongst individuals around me. This brought out a sense of curiosity and a desire to understand the human mind and how it affects our overall physical and mental wellbeing.
As I delved deeper into this field, I discovered the transformative power of mindful meditation. As I have been practicing Meditation now for more than 15 years, I can certainly say that our thoughts and emotions have a significant impact on our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. This has led me to explore various modalities of self-transformation, coaching, and leadership development.
Through my own experiences and the experiences of those I encountered, I saw how mindfulness practices, coaching, and counseling could help individuals develop self-awareness, self-acceptance,manage stress, and cultivate emotional resilience. Witnessing the positive impact these approaches had on individuals’ lives further fueled my passion and dedication to this work.
I embarked on a journey of acquiring knowledge, unlearning and learning many things, understanding meditation practice deeply, discovering and customizing coaching methodologies, and applying energy healing systems. I have been fortunate enough to be invited several times for my Keynotes, Signature Talks, Workshops Programs and my Meditation Master Classes across the World.
In my experience one thing remains common weather it was in Europe or the Mid East or South East Asia and even India the importance of Mental health and holistic wellbeing is well accepted and people want to know what tools and methods to apply to improve the overall wellbeing, be it in personal or professional life. I am in gratitude that my journey not only enriches my own life but also enables me to empower others’lives enabling them to overcome their challenges so they lead healthier, happier and fulfilling lives.
Eventually, it is my profound belief that there is an intense potential for growth and transformation within each individual that continues to still inspire me. I am driven to create a positive impact in the mental health and wellbeing space, helping individuals find their inner strength and guiding them towards a more fulfilling and happy life.
As Mentor of Change – NITI Aayog,how do you envision the future of mental health and holistic wellbeing in India?
As Mentor of Change – NITI Aayog, I am privileged to contribute in shaping the wellbeing landscape in our country,as it perfectly aligns with my personal mission of contributing to the betterment of Society, creating a culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship across the country at various levels such as Higher Secondary Schools, Educational and Research Institutions, SME’s, MSME’s, Start-ups and Corporates etc.
I envision a future where mental health and holistic wellbeing are seamlessly integrated into all aspects of society, from education to workplaces and communities.
To create a positive impact, I am leading various initiatives that prioritize mental health and holistic wellbeing. One key area of focus is raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues. By fostering open dialogue and promoting education, my aim is to create a supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking help and support.
I firmly believe that the future of mental health and holistic wellbeing in India lies in a comprehensive approach that addresses not only the individual but also the systems and structures that influence wellbeing. Together, we can build a society where mental health is prioritized, stigma is eliminated, and everyone has the opportunity to lead a fulfilling and balanced life.
In your extensive experience, what are the common challenges organizations are facing in today’s time with respect to employee retention?
Employee retention has always been a challenge for organizations especially the HR to retain the talent. However, nowadays we are seeing a shift in the trend where the retention of the talent is not just by providing a hike in the salary or by giving some extra perks, many employees are wanting to stay in those organizations which are offering them better health and wellbeing opportunities too.
According to various survey data, 47% of employees regularly feel overwhelmed at work. A business that pushes its people over the edge for the sake of profitability will watch their top performers walk away for better opportunities where they can enjoy a more sustainable work-life balance.
Organizations that prioritize wellbeing, offer health benefits, and support mental and physical health will do wonders for retaining employees.
What should organizations adopt to develop better mental health and wellbeing for their workforce?
Mental health has become an urgent priority for companies as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. The uncertainty and stress created by the pandemic, and increased isolation due to large scale remote working, have put pressure on workforce mental wellbeing. The global cost of mental-ill health through lost productivity, absences and staff turnover is estimated to be around $2.5 trillion annually.
Organizations and Business leaders need to focus on Building mental wellbeing as a part of Corporate Culture. Just like physical health, mental health is a constant human reality for every person, every day.One way to accelerate prioritizing Mental Health and Wellbeing is by taking a broader view that incorporates mindfulness and mental health first aid all the way through to flexible working policies and financial wellbeing. Its important to understand what works for who, when providing Mental Health support to the teams as some may require personal attention and for some group therapies may work.
Are people open to talk about their mental health and wellbeing at workspace or is it still a taboo for people to discuss on such subjects. How can business leaders create an environment that encourages people to open up?
Yes, I have experienced situations where people do not open up about their struggles and challenges especially in a work environment. There can be several reasons stopping them to seek help such as the fear of being judged, stigma and conditioning attached to mental health issues, or even being completely unaware of their own mental or emotional health.
As such, the workplace is a critical setting for understanding and supporting mental health. Basic care for employees’ psychological wellbeing is the fundamental expectation for today’s competitive and successful businesses. Positive and supportive workplace practices, on the other hand, can boost employee physical and psychological health, company morale, and your bottom line. Some of the ways by which businesses can provide right kind of environment are –
l Leadership Awareness – Your organization’s leadership needs to be on board to create a emotionally and mentally healthy culture. Conducting awareness and learning sessions will help in creating more acceptance and empathy towards anyone facing mental health issues. Educating leaders how to support their teams and recognize the signs of stress and mental health issues helps reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. Research shows leaders with even three hours of mental health awareness training report improved attitudes about mental health and a higher motivation to promote mental health at work.
l Model healthy behaviors – Just saying you support mental health is not enough practicing it will make all the difference. Model it so that the team members feel they can prioritize self-care and set boundaries. More often than not, the focus is either on completing the targets or just getting the work done that the leaders forget that taking care of oneself is also a priority. As a leader, when one models a behavior which shows others that selfcare is important, or one is open to seeking help through therapies etc or one is prioritizing a staycation (and actually turning off email); they create a path for others to follow too.
l Mental Health Conversations –When organizations provide the workforce with several opportunities to talk about their feelings, emotions by creating a safe environment for them to open up about what are the stressors and how can it be mitigated. This involvement helps employees to a great extent in their mental health too. In fact, a robust body of research suggests that when employees feel they have a voice in organizational decisions, they are more likely to feel content and happy in those assignments. Research shows that the psychological benefits are especially great when leaders not only solicit employee feedback but explicitly use it in their decisions.
On the occasion of Global Wellness Day, what’s your advice or a message that you would like to convey to the individuals and leaders in the professional world.
On the occasion of Global Wellness Day, I would like to convey that it is crucial to prioritize your wellbeing and create a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
To individuals, I encourage you to remember that your
wellbeing is a fundamental aspect of your success and happiness. Take the time to nurture yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Incorporate wellness practices into your daily routine, such as mindful meditation, exercise, healthy eating, and quality sleep. Find moments of calm amidst the busyness of life, and seek support when needed. Remember, investing in your wellbeing is not selfish; it is necessary for your overall growth and fulfilment.
To leaders in the professional world, I urge you to cultivate a culture of wellbeing within your organizations. Recognize the importance of work life balance and provide resources and support for your employees’ Wellbeing. Encourage open conversations about mental health, and foster an environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking help when needed. Implement wellness programs, such as mindfulness training, stress management workshops, and opportunities for physical activity. By prioritizing the
wellbeing of the workforce, you not only enhance their productivity and satisfaction but also contribute to a healthier and more compassionate work environment.
Remember, wellness is not a one time event; it is an ongoing journey. Embrace this opportunity on Global Wellness Day to reflect on your own Wellbeing and take positive steps toward a healthier and happier life. Together, let us create a world where Wellbeing is valued and nurtured, both personally and professionally.