What is Mindfulness?
It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice, or being ‘mindful’.
By being more aware of the present moment and their own thoughts and feelings; and to the world around them can improve people’s mental wellbeing, which in turn will impact on their health in the workplace. This awareness is often referred to as mindfulness.
Good mental wellbeing
Good mental wellbeing means feeling good about life and yourself and being able to get on with life in the way you want. Historically wellbeing has been commonly understood to be measured in terms of what people have – most often their income, car or job. However, evidence shows that what we do, and the way we think, has by far the biggest impact on our wellbeing.
Why does mindfulness matter?
Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. Becoming more aware of the present moment means noticing the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that you experience, as well as the thoughts and feelings that occur from one moment to the next. Mindfulness (also called ‘present-centeredness’) can help us to enjoy the world more and understand ourselves better.
And, for employers, mindful recruits are likely to make happier, more productive staff.
How can mindfulness be encouraged?
‘Slow down’ and consciously take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you.
Find new ways of waking up to the world around you. Notice the sensations created by the world around you – the food you eat, the air moving past your body as you walk – to interrupt the ‘auto pilot’ mode we are normally in throughout the day.
Pick a time in the day – the morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime – to decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you. Just observe. This takes practice. It’s about putting the mind in a different mode.
Watch out for times when you realise, that for several minutes, you have been ‘trapped’ in reliving past problems or ‘pre- living’ future worries.
As well as practicing mindfulness in daily life it can be helpful to set aside time for more formal mindfulness practice that help you create a new awareness of body sensations, thoughts and feelings.
Commonly, this can take the form of Yoga, Tai chi or Meditation.
Meditation can be practiced at home – the principles are to sit silently and pay attention to the sensations of breathing or other regions of the body, bringing your attention back whenever your mind wanders.
Protecting workplace health
Medigold Health offers employers extensive mental health support for their employees, including:
- Counselling (either face-to-face or on the telephone)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Occupational health advisor consultations
- Access to specialists
Contact Medigold Health today for strategic advice to promote good mental health in your workplace.