In mindfulness workshops, most people raise their hand when asked if they have heard of the word before and are able to describe mindfulness as being more present and calm. So it’s safe to say, Mindfulness has become a widely familiar term.
While participants see the value in feeling less stressed and not getting caught up in thoughts about the past or worries about the future, they do not know where to start and crave practical tools and guidance on how to be more present and feel calmer. For those who have tried mindfulness meditation before, some have given up after feeling like they’re ‘not good’ at it.
Participants are surprised to learn that there is no right way of practicing mindfulness; it can be practiced at anytime, anywhere and in a number of different ways. Simply taking a few minutes before going to sleep, or on your commute home and focusing on your five senses, rather than scrolling through social media or responding to emails to exercise your brain, to support your mental health and wellbeing could be the small yet essential change that is needed to help prevent burning out.
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Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to improve memory, focus and concentration, improve our immune system functioning and sleep patterns, decrease ruminative thinking, increase self-awareness and our ability to regulate our emotions, empathise and see things from other people’s perspectives. Most importantly – it reduces stress. Practicing mindfulness deactivates the amygdala – (fight or flight response) responsible for stress, anxiety and fear and depression.
How? Through a process called neuroplasticity which is the brain’s ability to change and re-wire itself. Improvements can be seen in as little as a day however structural changes to the brain can be seen on imaging scans after only 8 weeks of practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is essentially brain training – the more we practice tuning into the present, the better we become. The more we practice emotional-regulation, the better we become. The more we practice taking a breath before reacting, the better we become.
All good reasons to train your employees to become more mindful, right? If you are interested in running our Mindfulness At Work course for your team, please contact us at [email protected] or give us a call.