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Have Yourself a Mindful Little Christmas

December 17, 2015

Since 2009 the number of sick days linked to stress, depression and anxiety has increased by 24%*. Does this jingle a bell as you cope with shopping, cards, wrapping, an infinite inbox and titanic schedule? Whilst we need peace on earth now more than ever, first we all need less stress at work and at home.

A recent report by Mindful Nation shows how a shifting employment market and longer working lives has escalated stress, depression and anxiety at work. So how does stress affect us? Neuroscientist Dr David Lewis says:

When stressed the focus of our attention tends to narrow and we tend to act less rationally

A report by Mindlab found that:

Being stressed is an injury not a badge of honour

High stress levels are now recognised as the critical link to people’s mental wellbeing to performance in the workplace. So stress should be seen for what it truly is: a threat to our mental wellbeing and our ability to perform.

Mindfulness: ‘Kook and spook’ or sane and healthy?

Following benefits from initial trials, the Mindful Nation report proposes the practice of mindfulness in the workplace. It also calls for more research to engage employer’s in its effectiveness. Mindfulness is meditation made normal and natural; it uses simple meditation principles to help us manage our thoughts and emotions. The increased mental clarity improves our performance, through better coordination, decision making, and productivity.

If it’s good for Google…

Google recognise the potential of mindfulness and employ Gelong Thubten, to teach them. Thubten says “mindfulness gets the mind to let go of stressful thinking, bringing a greater sense of focus, non-distraction and concentration.” Thubten also explains it makes us more compassionate and abler to deal with and resolve conflict.

Life, like Christmas, should be enjoyed not endured

We all recognise the issue of stress from our own experiences and the current popularity of mindfulness runs ahead of the evidence. We now need more trailblazers like Google to implement mindfulness practice and study in the workplace. In the meantime, please reject the toxic idea that stress at work is desirable or inventible, and ask yourself

‘How can I support myself to function at my best and brightest?’.

If you’d like to understand how Starr Consulting can help lower stress levels in your workplace using mindfulness and other compatible techniques, get in touch.

Create a happy Christmas – for you

In the meantime, let the greatest gift you give this Christmas be to you, from you; namely relaxation, rest and care for self. Then watch how peace and goodwill to all men, women, children (and in-laws) naturally follows. It’s like a little piece of magic at Christmas, if you still believe in either of those…

*Findings from The Mindfulness Initiative Mindful Nation UK Report

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