Calming the farm

Gone are the days when meditation was associated with gurus, hippies or others outside the mainstream.

Mindfulness skills have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and depression in both clinical and non-clinical populations. Moreover, as research reveals the resilience and wellbeing benefits of mindfulness, programs are now being adopted by corporations, schools, healthcare settings and government departments around the world. The evidence is clear; mindfulness promotes physical and mental health, reduces illness and absenteeism, increases productivity, develops better leaders and generates more positive and creative workplaces.

Mindfulness is hardly time consuming. The above benefits can be achieved with as little as five or ten minutes of practice most days a week. If you wanted to introduce one sweeping change to the culture of your organisation, and it had to be well proven, and cost effective and time efficient you would implement a mindfulness program.

Tips for transforming your workplace

Brad Desmond has been a mindfulness coach, a member of the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Society of Hypnosis for more than twenty years. In that time he has introduced mindfulness and stress reduction programs to workplaces, executive teams, health care settings and high pressure environments such as prisons. Having accumulated this hard won experience the following tips are recommended.

  • Begin by offering mindfulness sessions during existing breaks, for example establish a regular lunchtime program. This will lower any resistance, i.e. ‘I don’t have any extra time.
  • Always offer programs on an ‘opt-in’ basis to further limit resistance.
  • Ensure your promotional information includes brief mention of the scientific support for the physical health and mental health benefits of mindfulness.
  • Lead by example by having managers endorse and participate the program.
  • Build more interest by forwarding the positive feedback from participants.
  • Invite those interested to become ‘mindfulness champions’ by allowing them take over the running of sessions. Your ‘mindfulness champions’ can learn as they participate, i.e., ‘train the trainer’ or they can simply use readily available apps or recordings. This makes your mindfulness program very cost effective. Increase the availability and scope of your programs in times of change or increased workloads.
  • Contact us. There is no cost to discuss ideas for your unique circumstances.