Simple Mindfulness Techniques at Work
It was another fantastic event at the Humble Grape this month. This time we were talking about mindfulness.
Dr David Cox, gave an authentic and thought-provoking talk on mindfulness, its history, application, and future. Dr Cox is currently the VP of Mindfulness and Wellbeing Content at Audible. He was also the Chief Medical Officer at Headspace, and therefore, has some very interesting sound bites on the matter.
Our team favourites and takeaways are included below…
Most of us have heard of ‘mindfulness’ and nearly all of us know ‘what it is’, but we find it hard to put it into words. This can make it a little inaccessible and hard to grasp sometimes.
Mindfulness is Actually Very Simple to Practice
The practice of mindfulness is very simple and consists of four steps:
- Focus attention on something (it can be your breath or a bodily sensation)
- Your mind will undoubtedly wander
- Notice that your mind has wandered
- Bring back the attention
And then repeat! Mindfulness training in it’s simplest form is just working through these 4 steps over again.
We can use an analogy of a ‘horror movie’. A good horror movie; has us transfixed, we feel scared and anxious watching it. It involves and we often edge closer to the TV. However, it is just a movie playing on our screen. We can step away from it, get a cup of tea, turn on the lights, and get some perspective. We can do the same with our thoughts. Instead of getting caught up with them and taken along with the emotions they evoke, we can stand back, have a cup of tea, and acknowledge they are there.
Personalise Your Mindfulness Campaign to your Audience
Mindfulness comes from meditative practice – which has been part of Buddhist culture for thousands of years. And even though mindfulness has been adapted to the western world, it still needs to be personalised to each workplace, and the audience within. For example, construction workers will need a different ‘mindfulness marketing campaign’ to nurses, or to actuaries. We need to ensure we are speaking the language of our audience.
Related to this, what is the end goal of introducing mindfulness? Reducing stress and sickness? Increasing creativity? Creating emotional intelligence and empathetic leadership? Or even reducing bias in the workplace and helping people make better decisions? Mindfulness can effect all of these things, play to what is needed and what individuals are looking for.
Mindfulness is a big thing – and it is not going to go away. Dr Cox recently chaired a conference dedicated solely to mindfulness – and it was attended by a large number of influential industries. Companies are starting to realise the benefits of mindfulness and are embedding it within all aspects of their culture.
Running was once a fad but nowadays people are aware of the importance of cardiovascular exercise. It will be interesting to see where mindfulness is 10 years from now. It might not be known as ‘mindfulness’ but the core concepts will be known and practiced as part of common self-care. Brushing your teeth also used to be a fad but it went on to transform our dental care, hygiene, and life quality. What could three minutes of morning mindfulness do?
Mindful practice is an antidote to the digital distractions that are continuing to dominate our lives. These will not go away so we need to evolve to deal with them.
Helping People to ‘Thrive’ at Work
Dr Cox’s talk was followed by networking and introductions. To help break the metaphorical ice, we played ‘Bingo to Better’. A game to raise awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week (#MHAW17) as well as encourage us to think about what makes ourselves, and others ‘thrive’. It was great to see everyone get involved, and work on the things that matter, such as helping people to thrive at work.
Do You Want to Attend Future Events?
At each of our events, we aim to host a variety of Founders, CEOs, HR and Wellbeing Executives, all with a shared interest in applying analytics and digital technology to help people be their best selves at work. If you are interested in attending future events then please email us at .
For those curious about ‘Bingo to Better’, you can download the sheets here.
For those curious about the wine we ‘mindfully sipped’ read on:
- Allimant-Laugner Crémant d’Alsace, NV, Alsace (Sparkling)
- Château des Coccinelles Blanc, 2013, Côtes du Rhône, France (White)
- Winzer Schup Riesling, 2014, Thermenregion, Austria(White)
- Domaine des Aspras Trois Frères Rosé, 2015, Provence, France (Rose)
- Cantina Ronca Corvina, 2014, Veneto, Italy (Red)
- Bartinney Noble Savage Cabernet Merlot, 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa (Red)
- Dominio de Punctum Lagasca Tempranillo/Petit Verdot, 2014 (Red)
All wines were from the Humble Grape and are individually sourced. We highly recommend you read the humble stories behind them, if only for a giggle.