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June Newsletter

 

Introduction to Mindfulness – It’s simple but not easy!

You’ve probably seen many different definitions of mindfulness is, and most of them will likely include reference to being aware of your thoughts and emotions, and focusing on the present moment.

You may also have seen mindfulness meditation exercises with instructions like ‘Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. If your mind wanders, return your focus to your breath.’ Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

But at the beginning, it’s far from easy. You’ll be amazed at how much constant chatter goes on in your mind, and how much frustration and judgement there is if you feel like you aren’t ‘doing it properly’ or if you can’t ‘stop your thoughts.’

This is one of the biggest misconceptions of Mindfulness. It’s not about having no thoughts, it’s about accepting that they’re there on the surface, and letting them go without becoming attached to them.

Another misconception is that you have to actually be meditating to practise mindfulness, and of course, you don’t.

Bringing mindfulness into your day to day routine is one of the best ways to become truly mindful. If you can learn to focus on what you’re doing in the present moment without reacting, judging, criticising, worrying, or complaining, you’ll feel far less stressed. You’ll also be able to live a calmer, more fruitful, and enjoyable life, because you’re not rushing around doing everything on autopilot.

Work on being in the moment when you’re doing everyday things, like eating, cooking, talking to others, and working. Even something as simple as washing your hands can be an exercise in being present. Notice the scent of the handwash or soap, the feel and temperature of the water, whether you notice any sensations in your hands-don’t judge, just notice.

Try it. Try to be as present as possible in your everyday life. It isn’t easy. But just learn to watch your thoughts. Notice them, take a pause, and let them go. Then notice how free your mind feels.

Adapted from: https://makemindpowerful.com/mindfulness-practice-daily-life/


Using mindfulness to be your best self

If you were asked what kind of person you would be if you were the best possible version of yourself, what would you say? I bet you wouldn’t say that the best version of you is someone who reacts at the slightest provocation, is prone to road rage, and who regularly feels like they’re at breaking point because life is so busy.

If this sounds familiar, use mindfulness to help you become your best self. Someone who is calm and considered, who gets along with others, and who isn’t on autopilot and stuck on their default ‘doing’ mode.

Mindfulness can be as simple as just learning to take a moment. So before you have a conversation with a colleague, or talk to your partner about the fact that they’ve not emptied the dishwasher for the umpteenth time, just stop.

It doesn’t matter where you are, just stop. Check in with your emotions. Are you angry, frustrated, anxious, or sad? Where in your body can you feel it?

Take a deep breath and sit with the emotion. Don’t try to bury it, or react, just accept this is how you feel. Then exhale, and let it go. Repeat this for however long you’ve got and you’ll feel much more at peace.

Just taking that moment to reflect on how you feel, ground yourself, and restore some calm can improve both your state of mind, the relationship you have with yourself, and the interactions you have with the people around you, whether you’re at work, or in your personal life.

And if you’re still sceptical, here’s what the research has to say about how mindfulness helps you live and work at your best.

  • Studies show that mindfulness can cause significant changes to the structure and function of the brain. It improves focus and self-control after as little as 11 hours of mindfulness practice. It also improves creativity and the ability to think outside the box.
  • 163 different studies show that mindfulness reduces anxiety and stress.

 

https://mindfulmethodsforlife.com/your-best-self/


How to keep the joy in mindfulness-it shouldn’t feel like hard work!

Even with the best of intentions, sometimes things get in the way of your ability to be mindful. You’re only human, so some days, compulsive thoughts, lack of concentration, a lack of time, and a negative mood can take over.

Mindfulness is not something that comes easy to most people, it’s something you need to work on, but it shouldn’t be arduous, or another thing to add to your already never-ending to do list. Here’s how to practice mindfulness and keep it joyful. Hint: It’s not all about meditating!

Try these fun ways of incorporating mindfulness into your life;

Go for a mindful walk

Even just 10 minutes is enough to be of benefit. Go out and be surrounded by nature (if you can.) Focus on what you can see, what you can hear and what you can feel. What colour is the sky? Can you hear the birds singing? Can you feel the breeze on your skin? Now focus on the walking itself. Pay attention to how your body feels with each step. Enjoy being completely present and you’ll notice so many things you never noticed before.

Try mindful colouring

Colouring books aren’t just for children. Focusing your attention on a simple task like colouring in an image will really help you get into a more relaxed state.

Eat mindfully

Instead of shovelling your food down without noticing, really pay attention to how it smells and tastes, and you’ll find that you really savour it. Try mindfully eating a piece of chocolate, and I guarantee, chocolate will never have tasted better.

Sit outside

This is a perfect exercise to do on your lunch break, or any time during the day when you get a few moments. Close your eyes and just listen. What can you hear? Can you hear insects buzzing? The breeze rustling in the grass? This can instantly bring your full attention to your surroundings and make you feel peaceful.

Join a group or take a course

If you find meditation difficult but you really want to get into a more mindful way of living, you can join a mindfulness meditation class or group. Many people enjoy coming together with like-minded people to learn more about mindfulness. The next step would be taking a mindfulness course, like the mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) course. The courses are generally eight weeks long and they can help you learn how to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life and create lasting change.

https://spiritualbliss.com/2017/02/joyful-guide-living-mindfulness/

 


Using mindfulness at different times of the day

So hopefully by now, you’ve realised that mindfulness is best achieved by being mindful in the course of your daily life, during your activities and interactions with others. But what types of mindfulness practices are best for different times of the day? Read on to find out!

When you wake up: Try a short meditation

Not much prepares you better for the day ahead than a short meditation in the morning. You can even do it before you get out of bed. There are some fantastic apps like Headspace which provides some short meditation practices for free, and longer ones if you subscribe. Just taking a few moments to be present and clear your mind before your day starts can make all the difference to your outlook and mood.

At lunchtime: Eat mindfully

It can be tempting to bolt your food down, thinking that you haven’t got time to linger over it, but it’s better for your mind (and our stomach) if you take the time to eat slowly and deliberately. Really take the time to notice the texture, smell, taste, and colour of your food, and you’ll find that eating is a much more pleasurable experience.

After lunch: Take a mindful walk

If you can, take a short walk after lunch, and go somewhere where you’re surrounded by nature. Walk slowly and notice how your body feels. Think about all of the muscles and body systems that are working together just so you can walk. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you, and notice the sense of calm that takes over.

Before bed: Try a body scan

If you find it hard to wind down at night because your mind is full of thoughts and worries, a body scan is the perfect way to take you out of your mind and focus your attention on your body. Lie in bed and rest with your hands by your side. Starting with your toes, focus your attention on each part of your body, working all the way up to your head. Notice whether there’s pain, any sensations, or tension anywhere. Don’t dwell on it, or judge it, just breathe into it and let it go. Here’s a great body scan meditation to help you wind down and get a restful sleep.

Any time of day: Focus on your breath

It’s amazing how just focusing on your breathing, even for a few moments, can restore a sense of calm, no matter how frazzled you are. Breath in through your nose, pause, and breath out through your mouth, making sure that you breath into your belly. When we’re stressed, we usually take shallow breaths into the chest. Focus on your breath for a few minutes and if your mind wanders (which it will), gently guide it back to the breath. Try this when you’re about to go into an important meeting, stuck in a traffic jam, or in any other situation that raises your stress levels.

Connecting with others mindfully

Do you meditate religiously, feel less stressed and more focused, only to find that you struggle to find that sense of calm when you interact with others who trigger you in some way?

The key is to work on putting mindfulness into practice in our day to day lives, especially when it comes to connecting with others. Here’s how to communicate mindfully with other people and see the benefits at home and at work.

Work on being present

When someone talks to you, do you listen? I mean really listen. Or are you so distracted or busy thinking about what you are going to say that you don’t pay attention to a word they’re saying?

A good starting point for connecting with others mindfully is to notice when you are distracted and not listening. Just like your mindfulness practice, you have to notice when your attention has wandered and bring it back. A good way to do this is to connect to your body. Feel your feet on the floor, notice any sensations in the body, and notice your breath, then draw your attention back to the person who is speaking. You can’t communicate with others effectively if you aren’t present because you don’t really connect with them on any meaningful level.

Think about what you want to get from a conversation

Whether you know it or not, you probably enter into a conversation with someone from a place of judgement. That co-worker who annoys you? You’ve already decided that they aren’t going to have anything good to say and you’re going to feel irritated by them as you always do. When you go into interactions with this kind of feeling, it’s a barrier to effective communication and it creates a lack of trust and respect. Instead, try to enter conversations from a place of curiosity and compassion. Think about how this will improve the quality of the conversation and the issues you could solve. It’s not about you being right and having to tell the other person why they’re wrong, it’s about realising you have different perspectives and being able to learn from each other.

Be mindful when you speak

Have you ever met someone who speaks just because they like the sound of their own voice? Or someone who thinks that whoever speaks loudest has the most authority? To communicate mindfully, it’s far better to think about whether you need to speak at that moment at all, why you want to speak, and if it would be better to simply listen. Try to consciously pause when you speak to let the other person absorb what’s been said. That way, your words can have so much more impact. Doing this can also calm you down, when the conversation is a little heated, for example. If you’re less overwhelmed, there’s less chance of you saying something that is unwise or purely based on an emotional response. Slow down your speech, breathe, and give yourself time to think.

Mindful communication is a great way of using your mindfulness skills in everyday life. It helps us connect with others on a deeper level, communicate more effectively, resolve conflict more easily, and develop compassion, both for ourselves and others.

https://2bpresent.com/blogfeed/2017/03/communicating-mindfully


Mindfulness and Contentment

One of the things I hope you’ve taken from this newsletter is that being mindful doesn’t mean sitting cross-legged and meditating. It’s being able to be mindful in the ordinary moments of our day to day lives that leads to true joy and contentment.

Being mindfully engaged in the present moment leaves no room for sadness, anxiety, or judgment of anything as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’

Here are some easy ways to be mindful day to day:

Doing the dishes

Yes, you can turn the most mundane of activities into an opportunity to be mindful. Feel the warmth of the water, notice the bubbles, and the clinking of plates and glasses in the sink. Really focus on the doing, not rushing through them so you can sit down in front of the TV.

Brushing your teeth

This is something you’ll do every day for a few minutes, so it’s a perfect mindfulness practice. Notice how your feet feel on the bathroom floor, notice the motion of your arm when you’re brushing, how the toothpaste tastes and smells, the sound of the water running from the tap, and the sensation of how clean your mouth feels afterwards.

Driving

How many times have you driven your car and been on autopilot to such an extent that you can barely remember the journey? Try to focus on being in the car, and on the actual act of driving. Turn off the radio, feel your back against the seat and check you aren’t gripping the steering wheel too tightly. Focus on all of these things throughout the journey, especially if you find that your mind is starting to wander.

Exercising

Hands up, who watches TV or reads a book to pass the time when you’re in the gym? Make your workouts mindful and you will notice the benefits for your body and mind. Focus on your breathing and on the muscles that are working to enable your body to do what it’s doing. Modes of exercise like Yoga and Tai Chi are particularly good for promoting mindfulness through movement.

https://sacredseedyoga.com/mindfulness-ordinary-moments-cultivating-contentment-happiness/



Mindfulness apps and books

So you want to get on, or stay on, your path to mindfulness and it doesn’t hurt to have something to keep you on track. There are plenty of good mindfulness apps and books out there that contain everything from guided meditations to the theory behind mindfulness if you want to know more about how it works.

Mindfulness apps

Here are a few of what I think are the best apps;

Calm

It gives you guided daily meditations, and music to help you focus, relax, or sleep. It also has a feature called Sleep Stories, which are calming bedtimes stories narrated by the likes of Stephen Fry to help you wind down. There’s plenty of free content, and there are more features you can access if you subscribe and pay an annual fee.

Headspace

This is one of the best-known mindfulness apps. It is a great introduction to mindfulness and offers bitesize sessions of three, five, or ten minutes, depending on how much time you have. You’ll find everything from body scans to focusing on the breath.

Stop, Breathe & Think

What I like about this app is that it encourages you to ‘check in’ with yourself before meditating. The app will then suggest a meditation session you will benefit from. There are 30 free sessions available, and many more if you upgrade to the premium service.

 

Mindfulness books

If you’re a bit more traditional, and you like to be engaged in an informative book, here are a few I like:

Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World

by Mark Williams. Danny Penman

The simple, yet powerful practices in this book are based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and you can get the benefits even if you practice for a few minutes each day. The good thing about this book is that anyone can benefit from it, not just people who suffer from anxiety or depression. It’s for anyone who is struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of the modern world.

 

Into the Heart of Mindfulness: Finding Our Path to Well-Being

by Ed Halliwell

This book looks at how mindfulness can help us recognise and transform unhelpful ways of thinking and habits and live with less stress and more compassion. There’s an emphasis on mindfulness as a lifelong path which can lead to a much more fulfilling life, rather than just a short course or quick fix.

If you would like support and guidance along your mindfulness path, why not join my Mindfulness Facebook group? I also offer a telephone mentoring service that is designed to help support people just like you in their practice.

 

 

How can I help you?

I can help you master mindfulness to enhance the wellbeing of individuals at work, and to help organisations build productive, successful teams of individuals who listen to, and support each other. Through face to face mentoring and mindfulness sessions, or via e-learning, we can work together to manage stress, promote workplace wellbeing, deal with anxieties about job insecurity and organisational change, and develop effective leaders who’ll remain calm and make considered decisions even during volatile times. Find out more about what mindfulness can do for you here.

I hope you have found our newsletter both interesting and useful.  If there are any topics that you would like us to include in our next newsletter please let me know.  If you do not wish to receive further copies of the newsletter contact me and I will remove your details from our database.

How to Be an Effective SME Leader

The majority of businesses in the UK are SMEs. SMEs are crucial to the economy because they provide jobs and they drive innovation, but according to research, one thing in particular is holding them back- poor management. 

Problems in SME leadership

According to a study carried out by Warwick Business School, under-developed leadership and management skills coupled with a failure to adopt best practice is negatively affecting the performance and growth of many SMEs.

Businesses which are led by leaders with strong leadership skills are more profitable and more productive, thanks to good strategic management and people management practices.

One of the best ways you can be an effective SME leader is to ensure that you develop your leadership skills and continue to do so. The good news is that even if you feel like you’re out of your depth with some aspects of management, and with being an entrepreneur in general, there are a lot of valuable training, education, and consultancy resources out there that can help you, and your business grow.

 Being an effective SME Leader: What you need to know

As well as developing your management and leadership skills, there are other things to consider if you want to increase your effectiveness as a leader of an SME.

The kind of leadership your business needs can change as the business changes

When a business starts up, much can be achieved by a leader’s drive and inspiration alone, but as the business grows, there needs to be more of a focus on strategy. You might find that you feel like a true entrepreneur at the beginning, then you move on to a stage where you plan for the longer term and put down solid foundations, before moving back to feeling entrepreneurial when you want to introduce new products or services, or take the business in a new direction.

As your business grows, you’ll come up against new challenges

As your business expands, you’ll find that you have to deal with leadership and people management issues you’ve not faced before. To overcome these, think about what you need to learn or what help you might need to recognise and solve problems. Do you know another leader or business that has faced similar challenges? How did they deal with them? Do you need external help? Asking these questions will give you some perspective on how to deal with the issues in your business.

Nobody expects you to have all the answers and do everything

In the beginning when you’re getting your business off the ground, it makes sense that you’ll be involved in every decision, and taking a lead role in most tasks, but as the business grows, you should think about developing and empowering others to take over key roles and tasks within the business. Your business will only grow if everyone’s skill set is being used in a way that truly meets the needs the longer-term needs of the business (including yours).

 

Maureen O’Callaghan is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She works with organisations, teams, and individuals to create less stressful working environments, improve team working, enhance performance and productivity and develop leadership and management skills.  For more information visit www.mocallaghan.co.uk or e mail maureen@mocallaghan.co.uk

How to Deal with Workplace Bullying

Bullying in the workplace has an insidious effect not only on the target of the bullying, but also on the organisation. Bullying creates an unhappy and toxic working environment where morale and productivity are low, and sickness absence rates are high, and this can only affect a company’s bottom line.

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying comes in many different forms, whether it’s perpetrated by, or aimed at, a manager, supervisor, a co-worker, or anyone else in an organisation. Examples of workplace bullying include:

  • Insulting someone or intentionally embarrassing them
  • Spreading rumours
  • Excluding or ignoring people
  • Personal or professional criticism that is not warranted
  • Deliberately giving someone an unmanageable workload
  • Making someone do demeaning or pointless tasks
  • Threatening someone
  • Making unwanted sexual advances or sexual harassment
  • Deliberately passing someone over for a promotion or stopping them from developing in their role

It should be noted too that bullying doesn’t necessarily need to be face to face. If the insulting or threatening behaviour happens over email, phone, or text message, it’s still bullying.

The effects of bullying

Victims of bullying can experience stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and physical health problems which can all result in time off work. At work, they can find it hard to concentrate and be productive, and they may dread going into work at all.

When is a workplace bully not a bully?

The answer is never. Whether a workplace bully tries to pass bullying off as a misunderstanding, or they are allowed to act however they want because of their position within an organisation, it’s not acceptable.

The role of managers

Managers have an important role to play in tackling bullying in the workplace. They can:

  • Produce and enforce a comprehensive bullying and harassment policy
  • Make sure that any allegations of bullying and harassment are taken seriously and dealt with sensitively
  • Ensure that all employees are clear on the grievance procedure and what they can expect once an incident has been reported

Are you being bullied?

If you are the victim of workplace bullying, here’s what you can do:

Firstly, stay calm

This is easier said than done, but the best way to deal with bullying is to remain calm and professional, and to go through the proper channels to find a resolution.

Speak to the other person

Talk to the person who is bullying you and let them know how much their behaviour is affecting you. If you aren’t comfortable doing this alone, ask a trusted colleague to go with you. Some issues can be resolved informally.

Speak to your manager or HR

If you don’t feel like you can confront someone, talk to your manager, or if it’s your manager who is bullying you, speak to someone from HR. Explain how the bullying is affecting you and get advice and guidance on next steps.

Take things further if necessary

If you have gone through the appropriate channels and you don’t feel like you’re being taken seriously, start looking elsewhere for help and advice. ACAS and the Citizens Advice Bureau are a good place to start.

 

Maureen O’Callaghan is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She works with organisations, teams, and individuals to create less stressful working environments, improve team working, enhance performance and productivity and develop leadership and management skills.  For more information visit www.mocallaghan.co.uk or e mail maureen@mocallaghan.co.uk

March Newsletter

Positive psychology is a field that looks at what gives our lives meaning and purpose, how we can become happier and more fulfilled, and how we can flourish, and not just merely survive. In this newsletter, we’ll look at how positive emotions can foster positive relationships, what it means to flourish, and how according to a study, how happy we are is largely self-determined.

Maureen


Positive emotions and positive relationships

Emotional intelligence is about being able to identify and manage your emotions and the emotions of the people around you, and the good news is, this can be learned, and achieved through living mindfully. Being emotionally intelligent means that you have a better relationship with yourself and with others.

Emotional intelligence has three elements:

  1. Emotional awareness: Being aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others. If you’re emotionally aware, you accept yourself and others because you understand that every person is different and deals with their emotions in their own way. When you’re emotionally aware, you’re less likely to react emotionally to situations.
  2. Emotional application: This means that you use the emotions you are feeling for your benefit and to help others. You don’t allow emotions to take over, instead, you acknowledge what you’re feeling and think about where it’s really coming from.
  3. Emotional management: This means that you are able to check in with yourself every day, and you try to be positive but you also recognise that negative emotions are a part of real life. Being able to manage your emotions gives you a sense of control, especially during stressful times. It also means that you respect other people’s emotions, empathise with them, and support them if they need it.

Why is emotional intelligence linked to positive relationships?

Emotionally intelligent people easily gain the trust of others, because they’re observant, and they listen and speak without judgement. Instead of judging someone’s emotional reactions, they try to understand them and demonstrate empathy. This can apply to any interaction with others, from close relationships to brief daily interactions.

How mindfulness makes us more emotionally intelligent

The 2015 paper Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation on Emotional Intelligence, General Self-Efficacy, and Perceived Stress found that mindfulness helps us increase our emotional intelligence in three key ways:

  1. It improves our ability to understand our own emotions
  2. It helps us to recognise the emotions of others
  3. It improves our ability to manage and control our own emotions

How mindfulness can help you manage your emotions: An example

Mindfulness improves a person’s ability to use their emotions effectively by helping them determine which emotions are beneficial when undertaking certain activities.

Do you feel annoyed or stressed out when you really need to be productive? Well doing a short mindfulness practice can make you aware of the emotions you’re experiencing. You might be aware in that moment that you’re feeling distracted or irritated, and that you are unlikely to be productive if you carry on working. So this is the perfect opportunity to do a short mindfulness practice to acknowledge your emotions and bring you back to the present moment. If you make this a regular habit, you are more likely to learn how to manage your emotions which will help you be more productive, less stressed and in control.

Adapted from: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/mindfulness-emotional-intelligence/


5 Ways to Wellness: How Organisations Can Build Wellness into their Culture 

Happy, healthy employees are good for business. They take less time off work, and if they believe that their employer cares about their wellbeing, they’ll be more motivated, engaged, and productive, which is great for the bottom line.

So how can organisations who want to take advantage of this build wellness into their culture? Here are five strategies.

Create well designed workplaces that inspire

How many people would describe their workplace as ‘inspiring?’ Probably not many. Attention should be paid to workplace design and designers should aim to create light and airy spaces which are more conducive to creativity and calm. Furniture and other equipment should be ergonomic so as to increase comfort and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury.

Encourage employees to take regular breaks

Many people eat their lunch at their desk every day so they don’t really get a true break from work and their screen. This is not great for motivation or productivity, and unsurprisingly, surveys have shown that employees feel much more productive after taking a break.

Promote personal and professional development

If employees feel they are being challenged and encouraged to develop, they’ll be more motivated, and more likely to stay.

Introduce flexible working

This may be harder to implement if you’re a small business, but employees who have a better work/life balance are happier, more productive, and more loyal. Allow employees to work flexible hours or to work from home every now and again, and promote a healthier work-life balance throughout your entire organisation.

Introduce fitness opportunities into the workplace

If employees are chained to their desk all day, it’s terrible for their mental and physical health. Offer employees subsidised gym memberships or start walking groups, and make sure that employees have facilities where they can get changed and showered, or store their bike if they want to cycle to work. Employees will feel healthier and more energetic, which equates to less time off sick and more time being productive.


What it means to flourish

What would you say if someone asked you what it means to flourish? Would you say it means being successful and financially well off, or would you say it means being happy and being able to grow and develop as a person? Well, as it happens they’re both right.

To flourish encompasses a lot of things that might make us feel happy and give us a sense of wellbeing.

Dr Martin Seligman is often thought of as the ‘founder’ of flourishing, and he developed a model (the PERMA model) to explain the factors that contribute towards greater feelings of wellbeing. These are:

Increasing positive emotions

  • Engaging with the world through work and our hobbies and interests
  • Meaningful relationships
  • Finding meaning and purpose in our lives
  • Achieving our goals by using our strengths and skills

Everyone can flourish, but it can take some work to get there, and to have a healthy balance in the key areas of our lives.

How can you flourish?

  • Expand your social network. Try to meet new people often and work on having deeper relationships with your family, friends, and significant other.
  • Make sure you experience the good things in life. Regularly plan fun and meaningful things into your life, and simply enjoy your experiences.
  • Have more fun. Instead of automatically saying ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know,’ plan a short break, have a date night, or try something you’ve always wanted to do. Anything that makes you smile, laugh, and feel good inside counts.
  • Live your life according to your true values. Do things that fulfil you. You will never flourish if you’re not living authentically.

Do you want to read more on flourishing? Click here

 


Positive thinking and gratitude

Positive thinking and gratitude play a big part in a happy life. We all know that sometimes something happens and we might find it hard to see any positives at all. We also know that it’s easier to wallow in self-pity, but it’s definitely not better for us. Focusing on the negatives all of the time can really affect our quality of life and our outlook. So how can you learn to look on the bright side?

One way you can feel more positive is to practice gratitude.

How many things in your life do you take for granted? Our fast-paced modern lives where everything is available on demand has made us forget about the truly important and joyful things we should be thankful for. The simple things that make our lives richer, like a kiss goodbye from your partner in the morning, a hug from your child, or a phone call from a friend.

Many studies have found that practicing gratitude makes us more compassionate towards ourselves and others, it helps us sleep better, and it increases self-esteem and mental strength. This is not surprising. Once you realise how many things in your life you have to be thankful for, it can be hard to complain too much about your life.

An exercise in Gratitude

The gratitude journal

Having a gratitude journal is an easy way to practice gratitude. You can write in it every day or a few times per week. Some people like to do this before bed. Write down three things you’re grateful for and say why. So instead of just saying ‘I’m grateful for my friend,’ say what he or she did that makes you feel so grateful.

Even if you think you’ve had a terrible day, I guarantee you’ll still have things to be thankful for, and you’ll realise that maybe it wasn’t that bad after all.

Optimism and hope

So gratitude and positive thinking can improve your outlook, and make you feel much more optimistic about your life. Optimists generally feel more confident about the future and their lives. Here are 7 benefits of being an optimist:

  • Optimists experience less distress than pessimists when they face difficulties in their lives
  • Optimists cope better with negative events, like having major surgery or a serious illness
  • Optimists are capable of learning lessons from negative situations
  • Optimists are not in denial, so they deal with problems before they get serious
  • Optimists are less likely to give up because they believe they can achieve a positive outcome
  • Optimists enjoy better physical and mental health because they experience less stress and generally eat more healthily and exercise more
  • Optimists are more productive and effective in the workplace. One insurance sales industry study found that the most optimistic sales people sold 88% more insurance than pessimistic employees.

 

Hope and Positive Psychology

Hope is similar to optimism and we tend to feel hopeful if we:

  • Know what we want
  • Can think of several ways we can get there
  • Start working towards what we want and keep on going, even if it gets tough

Like being optimistic, having a sense of hope has many benefits. Hope protects against negative emotions and intrusive thoughts, and it can also even prevent diseases (because hopeful people tend to take action to prevent diseases like eating well and exercising).

Research has shown that athletes with a higher sense of hope perform better and that hopeful students do better academically.

http://positivepsychology.org.uk/optimism-and-hope/


Happiness and Wellbeing

The pursuit of happiness is like the holy grail. Everyone wants to be happy, and everyone defines happiness in their own way.

The psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky talks about the “happiness set point,” in her book, The How of Happiness. She writes that there’s compelling evidence that 50% of happiness is genetically predetermined, 10% is due to life circumstances, and 40% of your happiness is determined by your outlook.

So with that in mind, you have quite a lot of control over how happy you are, or not.

Mastering the happiness habit

Focus on positive thoughts

The more we focus on positive thoughts, the happier we generally are. A study in the journal Science found that many people go through their days on autopilot or daydreaming, and when their minds wander, they generally wander to unhappy thoughts. This is where practicing mindfulness can help. It focuses your mind on the present moment, and gets you to ‘smell the roses’ rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future.

Replay positive memories

Instead of thinking about unhappy times, thinking about good memories makes us feel happier and more positive. There are going to be things that happen in our lives that we can’t control, but we can control what we focus on.

Take action to be happy

Making a commitment to doing things to make you feel happier each day can improve your mental and physical health, and your overall enjoyment of life.

How to build a happiness habit

  • Notice the good in every day. Stop rushing through life at 100mph and missing the good things that make life worth living
  • If you find you’re caught in a cycle of negative thinking, train your brain to focus on something else, your breathing or an activity like calling a friend
  • Carry around positive memories. If you want to feel happier, look at an old photograph or a picture or video on your phone that brings back positive memories
  • Think about your strengths, every day. Write down 10 of your best qualities and look at the list each day to make you feel more positive


 

How can I help you?

I can help you master mindfulness to enhance the wellbeing of individuals at work, and to help organisations build productive, successful teams of individuals who listen to, and support each other. Through face to face mentoring and mindfulness sessions, or via e-learning, we can work together to manage stress, promote workplace wellbeing, deal with anxieties about job insecurity and organisational change, and develop effective leaders who’ll remain calm and make considered decisions even during volatile times. Find out more about what mindfulness can do for you here.

I hope you have found our newsletter both interesting and useful.  If there are any topics that you would like us to include in our next newsletter please let me know.  If you do not wish to receive further copies of the newsletter contact me and I will remove your details from our database.

How to Increase Employee Engagement

One thing that many organisations struggle with is keeping their employees engaged. Whether the problem is the culture, a lack of purpose or of opportunities to grow, disengaged employees cost businesses dearly due to lost productivity and high staff turnover. So how can you motivate employees and get them engaged and working for the good of the business again?

Tell them your ‘why’

What is your company’s mission and purpose, and how do your employees fit into the overall picture? If they understand this, they’ll feel as if they are a vital and valuable part of something bigger than them, and they’ll be more motivated to work towards business goals.

Tell them their ‘why’

Employees will feel less engaged if they don’t understand how they contribute. Be sure to clearly define their role and how it contributes towards the achievement of strategic goals.

Communicate

If managers make an effort to be approachable and have regular contact with employees, they’ll feel valued and less like they’re just a ‘number.’

Encourage collaboration

Encouraging employees to contribute their ideas and suggestions will increase engagement, inspiration, and innovation.

Encourage regular breaks

If motivation and energy levels are low because people are stuck at their desks all day, including at lunchtime, make a point of encouraging them to take regular breaks, away from their screens and ideally, in the fresh air.

Be flexible

Employees have lives outside of work, and many of them would be better engaged if they had more flexible working patterns. Being able to start later, finish earlier, or occasionally work from home would improve work/life balance for many people, and they’d be happier, more productive, and more likely to stay as a result.

Look after employee wellbeing

If long working hours prevent people from exercising or heavy workloads make them feel chronically stressed, they’re much less likely to be happy and engaged at work. Introducing things like subsidised gym memberships, walking groups, and relaxation or meditation classes can go a long way towards improving employee wellbeing.

Reward a job well done

Giving an employee some recognition for a job well done can really boost morale and make them feel appreciated. It doesn’t have to be anything costly, but whatever it is, recognising good work can be an incentive to work hard for the company.

Encourage professional development

If employees see that they’re being encouraged to develop and learn new skills, they’ll feel more challenged and engaged, and they’ll want to stay, rather than go elsewhere for better opportunities.

 

Maureen O’Callaghan is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She works with organisations, teams, and individuals to create less stressful working environments, improve team working, enhance performance and productivity and develop leadership and management skills.  For more information visit www.mocallaghan.co.uk or e mail maureen@mocallaghan.co.uk

How to Take Inspired Action

Do you ever try to plan something to the letter, only to find that something unexpected happens and throws everything up in the air? Whether it’s work plans or plans we make in our personal lives, life has a funny way of scuppering our best intentions.

When things in life are going our way, it feels good, but when something happens to derail us, we can feel all sorts of emotions, from disappointment, to frustration, anger, anxiety, and overwhelm.

The reason for this is our need to control situations and their outcome, especially if the situation stirs up negative feelings like anxiety and fear. But control is an illusion, the only thing you can really be in control of is your own reaction to a situation, and the action you take as a result.

The importance of awareness

When you find yourself in an unexpected difficult situation, it’s important to take a moment and give yourself some breathing space before you make a decision about what you’re going to do next. Be aware of how you feel. Do you feel sad, angry, or frustrated? Acknowledge this. You might have felt these feelings so often that you’ve forgotten what they truly feel like. Allow yourself to just be with your feelings and to see them for what they are, even though this may be uncomfortable. This awareness gives you some much-needed space and being mindful grounds you in the present moment when you start thinking about things that have happened in the past, or trying to control a situation that may or may not happen in the future.  It can also help to ask yourself these questions:

What is it that I believe when I’m feeling like this?

Is this belief true?

What would my life be like if I didn’t have this belief?

Taking inspired action

Awareness and mindfulness are about what is present in each moment, and from a place of being aware and mindful, it is more likely that we’ll take inspired action. Inspired action is action we take when we’re choosing what our actions are inspired by. Every action we take is inspired by something, whether it’s habit, compassion, greed, or desire. Being aware and mindful helps you to make conscious choices about what inspires your actions. It might be that you mindfully decide to let go of a habit that no longer works for you, or you give up rushing through your life at 100mph and slow down and smell the flowers, either way, being truly aware can transform your life.

Inspired action feels good, but it’s not always comfortable

You might have to follow a course of action and simply trust that it’s right, and fight your mind’s desire to plan and control every aspect of what happens along the way. It’s not easy, but when your actions come from a place of deeper awareness and knowing, they are more aligned with who you really are, and you get to experience the true peace that comes with that.

Maureen O’Callaghan is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She works with organisations, teams, and individuals to create less stressful working environments, improve team working, enhance performance and productivity and develop leadership and management skills.  For more information visit www.mocallaghan.co.uk or e mail maureen@mocallaghan.co.uk

Success Without the Stress

Many people dream of being their own boss but few people don’t realise how challenging and stressful it can be. Leaving a secure salary behind can be scary, and then there’s the thought that you have to make all the decisions and wear all the hats. Suddenly, it all seems very daunting.

The pressures and challenges business owners have to face:

Financial insecurity

Walking away from a secure job and a salary can be scary, especially when you’re just starting off.

Uncertainty

There are no guarantees that your business will work or turn a profit, or even if you’ll be able to pay yourself a salary at first.

Staying motivated and passionate

You might have dreamed of being your own boss and following your passion, but will you have the determination and motivation to keep pushing on when it gets tough?

Lack of work/life balance

When you’re building your business, and even further down the line, you’ll come to realise that balancing work with a family and social life is very difficult unless you take some steps to properly manage your time.

Isolation

Being your own boss can be quite isolating, especially if you’re a sole trader or you work from home. The long hours you put in working on your business can make it tough to see your family and friends as much as you would like.

You’re not alone

So business owners have a lot on their plate, but the good news is, you’re not alone. After 20 years’ experience of leading teams in high-pressure corporate environments and running my own businesses, I decided to write ‘Success Without the Stress,’ a definitive guide to reducing stress for small business owners.

Stress can have an insidious impact on physical and mental health, and the book aims to help small business owners understand the pressures and challenges of running a business, and how to manage them.

What’s in the book?

You’ll find tried and tested management theory and practice, up-to-date research, and my own personal insights on topics such as:

  • Identifying the pressures and challenges faced by small business owners and how much control / influence you have over them
  • Building your confidence and self-esteem
  • Developing an authentic and powerful personal brand
  • Avoiding feelings of isolation by connecting with others
  • Developing business skills
  • Making wise and ethical decisions
  • Developing a less stressful approach to handling problems
  • Working more efficiently and effectively
  • Avoiding negative thinking habits
  • Building emotional resilience
  • Maintaining optimum health and wellbeing

There are also interactive activities to help you apply what you’ve learned

There are plenty of business books out there that aim to motivate people and help them reach their potential, but I saw a need for a book that addresses how stressful owning a business can be. I wish there had been a book like this when I first started out, and I wrote it with that in mind.

If you are a business owner who frequently feels overwhelmed, this book is for you. You can buy it here.

Maureen O’Callaghan is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She works with organisations, teams, and individuals to create less stressful working environments, improve team working, enhance performance and productivity and develop leadership and management skills.  For more information visit www.mocallaghan.co.uk or e mail maureen@mocallaghan.co.uk

Supporting Flexible Working

Flexible working is fast becoming the norm, thanks to improvements in technology, and a need for flexibility from both employees who want a better work/life balance, and businesses that need to meet customer demands around the clock.

Many business owners worry about whether they can accommodate flexible working, especially in small businesses that might not have the capacity or flexibility to do so, but if flexible working is included in your business strategy, it can have real benefits.

Examples of flexible working

There are many different flexible working options to consider, so whatever size your business is, you can find the arrangement that suits you and your employees. The most popular types of flexible working are part-time working, flexitime, job-sharing, remote working, compressed hours, staggered hours, and annualised hours.

The benefits that flexible working can bring

The benefits for employees

  • Better work life balance
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Improved motivation and morale
  • Less stress and anxiety

Business benefits

  • Flexible working opportunities are more attractive to potential employees and they encourage good employees to stay with your business
  • Employees are more focused when they have a better balance between work and personal responsibilities. This means they’re more productive which is better for your bottom line
  • There are less costs relating to absence, sick leave, and lateness
  • Flexible working makes your business more flexible and more responsive, for example, having a customer service department that is open outside of office hours is very attractive to customers. You can also change shift patterns/staff working hours to meet demand at busier or quieter time of the year

How to make flexible working work for your business

  • Use it for the benefit of your business. Flexible working doesn’t just have to benefit employees, you can use it to achieve business goals. For example, if you want one of your best employees to work on a project but you know that they have a lot of family commitments, could allowing them to work from home a few days per week mean that they’ll be able to focus fully on the project instead of being stuck in the office and worrying about what’s going on at home?
  • Make it clear that even though you’re an advocate of flexible working, you still expect an employee’s work to be of the same standard. Set ground rules about when you expect them to check in with you, and always agree deadlines for work. This reduces the chance of flexible working having a negative impact on the business.
  • Advocate collaborative working. Even if you do allow some employees to work from home on set days each week, make it clear that you’ll need them in the office sometimes. Make sure they use their time in the office to work jointly on tasks with the rest of the team. This will have the added benefit of helping flexible employees maintain a sense of connection with colleagues.

Ask yourself regularly if flexible working works for the business and employees. You must monitor how effective flexible working is, and if it’s not working, changes must be made and communicated to everyone.

Maureen O’Callaghan is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She works with organisations, teams, and individuals to create less stressful working environments, improve team working, enhance performance and productivity and develop leadership and management skills.  For more information visit www.mocallaghan.co.uk or e mail maureen@mocallaghan.co.uk

How to Declutter a Busy Mind

What would you give to clear your mind of all of the clutter? To rid yourself of the thoughts and emotions that are taking up unnecessary space? To stop holding onto grudges, guilt, and anger? To no longer live on autopilot to the extent that you completely forget to make yourself a priority?

You might say you want to live a positive and happy life, but worries about the past or the future, and negative emotions simply clutter up your mind, and steal the joy you should be experiencing in your life. The good news is there are some steps you can take to declutter your mind and have a happier, more balanced existence.

How to declutter a busy mind

Declutter your surroundings

This doesn’t just mean your home, it means your workspace too. Clear that bulging closet and file away that pile of papers from your desk and just see how much less stressed and more balanced you feel.

Prioritise tasks

If you have a never ending to do list, this immediately clutters the mind and you can’t see the wood for the trees. Have a look at your list and categorise tasks as urgent, important but not urgent, and not urgent, and you’ll be able to see where you should be directing your energy. If you do have some onerous tasks on your list and you feel overwhelmed, try breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Say ‘no’

We can sometimes feel guilty for saying no when people ask us to do something, but if you’re already very busy, and your brain is at boiling point, say no. You don’t even have to give an explanation. Just acknowledge to yourself that you have your own priorities and a responsibility to look after yourself.

Resurrect your creativity

Do you love to write, draw, or paint, but never feel like you have the time? Make time for activities that bring you joy, relieve stress, and calm your mind.

Accept that there are things you can’t change

Trying to control every little detail of your life, and allowing your thoughts to rule you is exhausting and overwhelming. Accept that there are things you can’t change, and decide to be happy. It can be that simple. For example, imagine that you get caught in a really heavy rain shower and you tell yourself ‘this is really miserable, I hate the rain, I bet it lasts all day,’ how is this likely to make you feel? It won’t make you feel good, that’s for sure. This is just a small example of how thoughts can really impact upon how you feel. You can’t stop bad things happening, but you can change how you think about them and react to them.

Practice mindful meditation

Mindfulness is about living in the present moment, not the past, or the future. Being mindful doesn’t need to be about meditating either, though this is very helpful in reducing stress and bringing clarity of thought. You can do any activity mindfully, whether it’s eating, showering, walking, or even washing the dishes. It’s about savouring what you see, feel, taste, smell, hear, or notice and it focuses the mind on exactly what you’re doing, and not on bills, the shopping list, or what that co-worker you don’t like said to you today. Mindfulness can help you learn how to just ‘be’ rather than running around on autopilot. In today’s busy world, everyone can benefit from being more mindful for the sake of their physical and emotional health.

Maureen O’Callaghan is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. She works with organisations, teams, and individuals to create less stressful working environments, improve team working, enhance performance and productivity and develop leadership and management skills.  For more information visit www.mocallaghan.co.uk or e mail maureen@mocallaghan.co.uk

Autumn Newsletter

Welcome to our Autumn newsletter.

There is a lot of promising research on the benefits of mindfulness on many areas of life, and the business world is taking note. Many businesses are turning to mindfulness to help improve performance, but can it really help? A growing body of research shows that mindfulness can improve focus, reduce stress, improve communication, and improve clarity of thought. It has the potential to positively affect the entire culture of an organisation.

Many people will meet the suggestion of being more mindful with a retort about being far too busy to ‘sit and think of nothing’ for 20 minutes, when actually, taking those 20 minutes out to practice can improve your focus so much that you can work through your tasks with a calmer and clearer head.

In this newsletter, I’m going to look at some key factors which affect performance, such as time management, productivity, motivation, calmness, and confidence, and you’ll see how mindfulness pervades every single one of these.

Also, I am delighted to announce that Maureen O’Callaghan Training and Mentoring has been accredited as a CPD Training Provider and that my 10 Week Living and Working Mindfully and 1 Year Mindfulness Teacher Training Pathway courses have been approved for CPD accreditation!

Maureen


How can mindfulness improve performance?

A mindful culture positively affects a whole organisation

Are you a leader who rushes around, constantly pushing to get things done, or are you calm and grounded? What effect does this have on the people around you? If you lead by example and remain centred and calm, people around you will likely slow down, focus, and be more effective.

It improves focus

Studies have shown that mindfulness affects the part of the brain that is responsible for self-regulation. The effect of this is that you don’t spend so much time on activities that make you less productive, like browsing online or looking at social media.

The research also found that people who practiced mindfulness-based meditation stayed on one task for longer and didn’t multitask.

It helps us to accept criticism

No matter how good you are at your job, it’s likely that you’ll have received negative feedback at some point. Criticism, when it’s delivered in the wrong way, can kill morale and productivity. But mindfulness can help you to accept negative feedback more easily. Of course, it’s not easy, but you can learn to focus on your breath, listen to what the other person has to say, and observing your response. This makes it far less likely that you’ll react emotionally to what you hear.

It makes you a better listener

How often has someone been talking to you and you’ve switched off, thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, or formulating a response in your head? This is not helpful in those situations at work when you really have to be listening, like when you’re talking to a client or you’re in an important meeting. Mindfulness can help filter out the less important things so you can focus your attention on what is important. It can also make you more aware, so that you hear changes in tone of voice, cues for a response, or something that triggers an idea.

Mindfulness helps you build better relationships

A study from Harvard Medical School shows that mindfulness meditation increases the grey matter in the brain’s hippocampus. This area of the brain is associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. Having these qualities and being more attentive, will make you a greater asset at work, but it will also likely make you a person that people want to be around.

It makes you a better leader

Mindfulness can be used to excellent effect by leaders to improve self-regulation, to make more effective decisions and to protect themselves from the effects of stress.

Mindfulness reduces stress

Speaking of stress, work is still the main source of stress for many people. Stress reduces work performance over time. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. Mindfulness can help, and it gives us that essential pause so that we can take a step back from whatever is causing stress, and just breathe. It really can be that simple.

Adapted from https://aboutmeditation.com/mindfulness-at-work/


Getting it all done

One of the biggest stressors that people complain of is an increasing workload and a lack of time in which to do everything. Many people work long hours, to the detriment of their personal lives to get everything done, and this can lead to disillusionment, stress, and diminished work performance.

The good news is that you can gain control of your work time by taking some simple steps to be more productive.

Make a To-Do List

This probably sounds like an obvious step, but an effective to do list will motivate you to complete important tasks and achieve more in the time you’ve got. Instead of scribbling down a list of tasks which gives you little or no direction, write down a to do list, then under each task, write when you need to complete it by and why.

Prioritise!

Your time is precious, so you need to spend it on the tasks that are going to add value in some way, rather than the humdrum tasks that don’t. It’s not to say that these low priority tasks don’t need doing, they just shouldn’t take up a disproportionate amount of your time.

The “Urgent/Important Matrix” can be useful here. It helps you to focus your attention on the most urgent and valuable tasks on your to do list. There are 4 categories that your tasks will fall into:

  • Urgent and Important: These are the tasks that must be done right away.
  • Important and Not Urgent: These are tasks that probably contribute to your long term goals and they should be worked on each day so that they don’t become urgent.
  • Urgent and Not Important: These are the tasks that stop you from completing your important work. Whether it’s something your manager has passed onto you or it has been delegated from elsewhere, think about whether the task is important to you. See if it’s possible to delegate or reschedule these tasks, or even try and avoid them landing on your desk altogether.
  • Not Urgent and Not Important: These are distractions that don’t contribute to your goals. You might have imposed them on yourself or they may come from others, but try not to let them rob you of the time you should be spending on your work.

Create a schedule

Life is not perfect, and so despite your best efforts, you might still have to deal with interruptions and being asked to do extra work with a short deadline. There is a way you can see what time you actually do have, all you need to do is make a timetable or schedule of your week.

So looking at a weekly timetable, or your diary if that suits you better, then:

  • Block out the hours you don’t want to work as ‘not available.’
  • Allocate an appropriate amount of time you’ll need to do your important tasks well. (prioritise things that need to be done in the next week.
  • Schedule in ‘contingency time’ for interruptions and things you might need to deal with from day to day.
  • The time left over is for non-urgent tasks.

Do you need to delegate?

You may need to delegate some of your work to others if you are going to spend more of your time on valuable tasks. You don’t need to be a manager to delegate, but remember that effective delegation is not just about passing work onto others, it’s about involving others in doing something that uses everyone’s skills and knowledge and that builds a sense of working towards organisational goals as a team.

Putting an end to procrastination

What do you do each day that eats into your work time? Do you scroll through social media (okay, cat videos are compelling!) or do you always have a few cups of coffee before you even get going? A good way to identify which habits are robbing you of your time is to record how you spend your time each day. When you see exactly where your time goes, you might be surprised! Procrastination is behind most of our time-wasting activities. If you know you need to write a long report, you might avoid it by tidying your desk, or browsing the internet, promising yourself that you’ll get started ‘in a minute.’

To beat procrastination, break bigger tasks into smaller chunks. So you could spend 10 minutes writing a title and a structure for the report, then complete small sections of it at a time. If you really need motivation to continue, promise that you’ll work solidly on your task for 45 minutes, then give yourself a reward, such as a nice cup of coffee or a piece of cake.

Some more reading material…

Do you work ever longer days and still don’t seem to get everything done? This article talks about why the key to success and productivity is not what you do at the start of the day, it’s what you do at the end:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/things-successful-people-dont-do-at-the-end-of-the-day-2014-10?r=US&IR=T


Facebook Groups

We currently have two Facebook groups, one for Mindfulness Discussion, and one for Workplace Wellbeing. Come join the discussion!


Mindfulness practice

Mindfulness of the breath with self-compassion

Try this simple mindfulness exercise a few times per day, even if just for a few minutes at a time. Focus on your breath. Don’t try to change your breathing, just notice it. When your mind wanders, as minds do, just say the word ‘thinking’ to yourself then return your attention to your breath. Do this without criticism; minds wander, that’s what they do. Just return your attention to your breath when it happens, even if it happens a hundred times.


Tips to Change Your Life

Reproduced from be me life coaching


Mindfulness News

In a fast-paced world, businesses are turning towards using mindfulness and meditation to cope with  change, uncertainty, and a stressful environment. Being able to handle stress, reflecting rather than reacting, and maintaining focus are all key attributes in these busy times, and organisations are finding that mindfulness is the key to improving performance. Here are some of the biggest firms that have implemented mindfulness techniques;

Google

Every year, thousands of Google employees take a mindfulness course called ‘Search Inside Yourself.’ It’s so popular that there’s a six month waiting list to enrol. The mindfulness practitioner who runs the course Chade Meng Tan, managed to talk the sceptics at the internet giant into implementing mindfulness by explaining the neuroscientific evidence behind it. Now the mindfulness programme is one of the reasons why Google is rated as the world’s best employer to work for.

General Mills

The food company behind Häagen-Dazs and Cheerios have implemented mindfulness and they’ve seen their business grow. They ran a 7-week mindfulness and meditation programme and carried out a review where they found out that:

  • After the programme, 83% of participants said they took time out to optimise their productivity
  • 80% of senior staff said that their decision-making had improved
  • 89% of participants said they had become better listeners

Intel

Intel made a resolution to deal with employee stress more effectively and now thousands of employees take part in their Awake@Intel programme, which includes yoga and mindfulness practices. Although many employees were initially sceptical, many participants reported improved creativity, well-being and focus, reduced stress and greater enthusiasm after taking part in the programme.

Goldman Sachs

You wouldn’t expect a firm of driven, type A personalities to warm to mindfulness, but the investment bank now includes mindfulness in its wellbeing seminars and actively promotes the use of the Headspace meditation app.

Could your organisation benefit from mindfulness?

Why not take advantage of 10% of our comprehensive Mindfulness in the Workplace e-learning package? Click here to find out more.


How can I help you?

I can help you master mindfulness to enhance the wellbeing of individuals at work, and to help organisations build productive, successful teams of individuals who listen to, and support each other. Through face to face mentoring and mindfulness sessions, or via e-learning, we can work together to manage stress, promote workplace wellbeing, deal with anxieties about job insecurity and organisational change, and develop effective leaders who’ll remain calm and make considered decisions even during volatile times. Find out more about what mindfulness can do for you here.

I hope you have found our newsletter both interesting and useful.  If there are any topics that you would like us to include in our next newsletter please let me know.  If you do not wish to receive further copies of the newsletter contact me and I will remove your details from our database.