CONNECT – BE ACTIVE – KEEP LEARNING – GIVING – BE MINDFUL
Good mental health matters because it’s fundamental to our sense of wellbeing.
One of the five evidence based NHS principles to step away from stress and build on mental well-being is BEING MINDFUL
Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation with Buddhist origins. It has been around for years and more recently has received a lot of attention in the Western world. It means being able to obtain moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and surrounding environment. It is about observing these without criticism and suspending judgement. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future it is about being present in the given moment.
Mindfulness also affects brain regions involved in learning, processing thoughts and managing emotion. Research also shows that mindfulness alleviates everyday anxiety and stress. With practice, it can bring about some long-term changes happiness and wellbeing.
HOW DOES MINDFULNESS HELP IN A WORK CONTEXT?
We all want our team to be in top mental and physical condition – mindfulness not only aids this but encourages optimum focus and less distractions. It supports the “connect” and “giving” principles mentioned above. A mindfulness culture encourages strong relations and connections – we are more accepting of each other. Mindfulness fosters compassion which means we are more likely to help someone in need. It builds on resilience levels and increases ability to manage stress.
HOW TO ENCOURAGE MINDFULNESS AT WORK
- Incorporate mindfulness training and resources
- Create a mindful environment – a space and place for some clear thinking
- Encourage staff to continually focus on one task at a time and highlight the overall benefits of this
- If your employer offers mindfulness training, take it up
- Commit to taking ten minutes periodically during your workday just sitting quietly practicing mindfulness. This takes practice and what may seem awkward at first will soon become habitual
- Consider listening to a mindfulness meditation on your commute home
Mindfulness can actually change the structure of the brain. This gives us the physical evidence that meditation increases the grey matter in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.