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Nowhere can you get a better indication of how people feel about returning to work than on the daily commute. I have huge sympathy for the great British public. So many of them look sad, stressed and ready to give it all up.
I coach a large number of senior executives and most of them are incredibly stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed by the demands made on them and their perceived lack of control in their lives.
This is not good for business as we know happy, motivated people create immense value for the organisations they work for. 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 other stakeholders. So what can we introduce into our lives to make these changes?
Mindfulness training is getting quite a lot of coverage at the moment. Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive” is a best seller and explores the latest research that shows how mindfulness and meditation training can really make a difference to our working lives.
As well as individuals, many employers are now becoming aware of the benefits of supporting the development of their employees through training in Mindfulness as part of their CSR and CPD programmes.
We know that there is a high proportion of economic output lost in the UK each year through absenteeism, poor performance, employee turnover, accidents and stress-related compensation claims.
The main causes of workplace stress are:
There’s a lot that employers can do such as:
It's not all down to employers though, we each have a responsibility for our own health and wellbeing. We know that there are lots of things we can do that will enhance performance such as:
For many, making these changes just seems too overwhelming when balanced against all the other demands they face.
I recommend 3 things that will make more difference than anything to getting control and perspective back:
I have been interested in meditating as I live a fast paced life. I travel a lot, I work long hours, have kids and other responsibilities, I eat quickly, I like fast music, I could go on but you get the gist!
I wanted to learn how to meditate but don’t have much time and know that going to a class would not work for me. In looking for an option for one of my time starved executives I discovered Headspace It’s a fantastic app that provides you with 10 minute guided meditations. You can progress after the first programme. As long as you have a phone and some headphones you can do this anywhere, I have used it in car parks in-between meetings, trains, aeroplanes etc. It’s perfect and of all the suggestions I make to clients it’s the one that is making the most difference.
So value your headspace, know that your mind is the most important resource that you have and treat it well. Take a minute to think and consider what’s happening in your head. This way you will do what you love and love what you do. What do you think?