Mindful Meditation Training
Happy, motivated people create immense value for the organisations where they work. People are much more successful and fulfilled in the workplace if they can manage their stress, remain objective, be responsive rather than reactive, show compassion to themselves and others as well as build trust with their colleagues and staff.
However, stress and burn out in the workplace is on the increase. Figures from the HSE for 2017/18 show that 15.4 million working days were lost through absence due to stress, depression or anxiety. This represents 57% of all working days lost due to ill health amounting to a cost of £4.3bn. Stress, depression and anxiety have now officially overtaken musculoskeletal disorders as the largest contributor to the overall number of days lost as a result of ill-health.
‘Presentee-ism’ costs, being at work but not really working, are estimated to be twice the number of absent days lost.
The impact of stress on workplace culture can result in unhealthy behaviours such as muted tensions between work groups, or subtle power-play games between executives, as well as misunderstandings, missed deadlines and mid-afternoon fatigue.
Research indicates that co-workers are a major source of stress for employees and that disagreement and disaffection between colleagues has a significant impact on wellbeing and productivity. While human behaviour is complex, most particularly when under stress, an understanding of what is really going on and the dynamics involved is imperative when seeking to neutralise and resolve conflict.
By increasing our levels of self-awareness and self-management, we can become more proficient at spotting early warning signals, and are far better placed to dissolve tensions before they implode. This argument runs parallel to Drucker’s thesis that we cannot manage others until we first learn to manage ourselves.
The practice of mindful meditation, which includes a number of tools and techniques for enhanced self-awareness, is fast emerging as a popular approach that contributes to wellbeing and increased productivity at work. Mindful meditation is about training our minds to be more focused and connected to the present moment, shifting us from “auto- pilot” and bringing about more effectiveness in our interactions and decision-making.
Advances in research in the fields of neuroplasticity and behavioural medicine over the last ten years have shown that we have much greater control of our brain’s response and our perceptions of reality than previously thought. In fact we can proactively choose to use the mind to alter neural pathways in our brain to enhance the way we think and interact with the world for the better.
Our training in mindful meditation will help you address problems associated with stress and ‘presenteeism’ by introducing you to both the concept and practice of mindfully directing your attention; to make conscious the non- conscious and enable more conscious choices about the invisible, ineffective behaviours that can be replaced with habits of “being” that can serve you better.
My 6-week Workplace MT training programme was created by Prof. Mark Williams and colleagues from the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. The programme has been designed specifically to fit in with busy work schedules and will support you to establish a regular meditation practice as well as provide you with valuable tools you can use to recalibrate throughout the day.
Mindfulness is described by Mark Williams as A non-judgmental awareness. "A direct knowing of what’s going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment”.
The way we train meditation is as a practice, much like gym training for the brain and it is this practice that equips you with the capacity to be mindful.
The 6-week programme is follows the same structure as outlined in the recommended course companion Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams.
Week by week you will learn different aspects of mindfulness and new meditation practices that build to support you to develop a high level of proficiency and a sustainable habit by the end of the programme.
The following is a brief outline of the 6-week programme structure:
Week 1 - Focusing Attention
Autopilot – habitual responses
Mind wandering – ruminations
Meditation focus on breath
Week 2 - Mind body connection
Directing attention to sensations
Feedback from body as radar
Body Scan Meditation
Week 3 - Mind the gap!
Avoidance and approach modes
Stretching without striving
Three step breathing space
Week 4 - Thoughts are not facts
Relating differently to thoughts
ABC model – story telling mind
Sounds and thoughts meditation
Week -5 Approaching difficulty
From reaction to response
Insight and perspective
Approaching difficulty meditation
Week 6 - Developing intention
Attention – awareness - intention
Nourishing / depleting activities
Please contact me for more information – I look forward to hearing from you.