October is Healthy Workplace Month and as such, MindWell-U is pleased to make a number of resources available to you and your workplace.
After entering your details below, feel free to download, share and discuss the materials below.
MindWell-U in discussion with Jon Kabat-Zinn
MWU had the amazing opportunity to sponsor an event with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in Ottawa last week. For those of you who don’t know of Jon Kabat-Zinn, he's considered the Godfather of Mindfulness in North America, largely responsible for initiating the movement of mindfulness into the mainstream via his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in medicine and health care.
MWU and our partners at INNERSPACE brought together 22 leaders from the government, non-profit, and corporate sectors at the historic Chateau Laurier to listen to Jon speak about how mindfulness can transform our life and work. Below summarizes some of his key points:
- Mindfulness in one word = Awareness
- We need to flip our thinking in how we are approaching Leadership Development so mindfulness is the foundation.
- We can get out of ‘me, mine, I’ thoughts by activating our senses - these different pathways in the brain are what experience the here and now
- Non Judgement doesn’t mean stop judging (because we are always judging something!), it means to stop judging that we are judging. We can notice the judgment, but we don’t need to buy into it.
- While the surface of our minds may be turbulent like waves on the ocean, as we go a bit deeper under the surface we can find a bit more stillness. This is available to us all, at work and at home.
- A wandering mind is the common human experience.
- We can practice and strengthen our muscle of mindfulness via everyday life.
- If we continue to ruminate about depressive thoughts, guess where it leads us?!
- Our kids are our best mindfulness teachers. Before we flip our lids, notice what opportunity is presenting itself.
You can read more about Jon and his visit to Parliament Hill in this September 21 Globe and Mail article.
Read our latest blog post called Why Add Mindfulness to a Workplace Wellness Program
Among other things, Dr. Geoff Soloway explains: "Workplace Wellness Programs often promote physical exercise, and we know now the importance and possibilities of mental exercise. Mindfulness practice is a form of mental exercise, and when practiced routinely (similar to going to the gym or walking 10,000 steps) there is a significant benefit. Mental health is top of mind for most workplaces and therefore workplaces need to be offering trainings – not simply education – in the area of mental health.
MWU’s top 3 tips for adding mindfulness to workplace wellness programs:
The ROI of Mindfulness Training
Aetna instituted an employee mindfulness program and 12 month later it saved the company $2,000 per employee in healthcare costs, and gained about $3,000 per employee in productivity. This New York Times article explains.
30 Day Mindfulness Challenge
MindWell-U's e-mental health tool called the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge has been studied by university researchers and is shown to lower stress, increase resilience and improve performance. Below are some components of the Challenge which you are welcome to use in your workplace.
This video explains the benefits of mindfulness and introduces people to "Take 5", MindWell-U's core mindfulness practice that's woven throughout the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge in order to make Take 5 a habit.
Consider sharing the video with employees, playing before a team meeting or including in your workplace wellness initiatives.
Included in the Challenge is a series of infographics which teach participants, among other things, how to hard wire happiness, get off 'Thought Trains' and be mindful in the middle of whatever they're doing. The Challenge teaches something called 'mindfulness-in-action'... no dark rooms, scented candles or yoga mats required!
These infographics could be shared with employees in a presentation, in print or on your intranet site. You could also release them one at a time or as a set. HINT: involve management in the distribution of these in order to send a clear message to employees that workplace wellness is supported by the organization.
Participants in the Challenge and their buddies (everyone who takes the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge gets to include a buddy from outside the organization at no cost) are encouraged to listen to this Take 5 podcast and learn the steps so they can be present and mindful no matter what they are doing (in a meeting, commuting to work, having a difficult conversation, etc.).
Share this 3 min podcast with your leaders and managers and have them play it before starting their next meeting. Wait until you see how attendees become more present, engaged and focused!