what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the most scientifically validated form of meditation in the world today. Because of its effectiveness and applicability in modern life, it continues to receive huge interest in health, workplace and educational settings.
In its simplest and most universal sense, mindfulness is a form of brain training that involves cultivating your attention. It teaches us how to use the mind in different ways and focus on what is most useful, helping us live more consciously and fully.
We have all experienced moments of mind-less-ness; where we’re caught up in busyness or our thoughts seem to be looping, swirling or obsessing. It’s a normal part of the human condition. When we are in this mode, we tend to act on automatic pilot and can seem pre-occupied and quick to anger or distant and aloof. We aren’t in touch with the 'here and now' and as a result it’s harder to concentrate, our relationships suffer and our stress response is heightened.
Integrating mindfulness into our daily life teaches us to notice patterns of thought and behaviour that don't serve us well – often these involve being overly pre-occupied with the future, the past, ourselves or our thoughts in a negative way. With practice, these thought patterns and behaviours can be changed and we no longer need to get caught up in them.
Mindfulness training provides a range of evidence-based techniques to train your attention for greater clarity and focus. Merging a practice that has stood the test of time, with the demands of the modern workplace, corporate mindfulness programs have been shown to increase staff performance, foster a cohesive working environment and improve wellbeing.
THE BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS
THE GROWING BODY OF EVIDENCE BEHIND MINDFULNESS INTERVENTIONS CONSISTENTLY DEMONSTRATES SIGNIFICANT PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS.
- Changes to both the structure and function of the brain
- Increased ability to manage stress
- Reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Enhanced quality of sleep
- Improved immune function
- Increased ability to regulate emotions
- Improved wellbeing and happiness
Mental Health in the Workplace
The recent national Stress and Wellbeing survey, conducted annually by the Australian Psychological Society, found that Australians are reporting lower levels of workplace wellbeing and higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety than in 2011, when the survey began.
The issue of mental health in the workplace has become an OH&S issue. With an increasing trend towards restructuring, downsizing and organisational change, coupled with the ever-increasing availability of technology, many professional demands and workloads have intensified while the boundaries between work and private lives merge.
Research demonstrates that for every $1 spent on creating a mentally healthy workplace, the average return on investment (ROI) is $2.30 with many industries experiencing an even greater ROI. Investing in a healthy workplace is gaining traction as many employers recognise that it makes good business sense.