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Kate Nowicki: It's all in the Mindfulness

Friday 20 March 2015

On International Day of Happiness, Kate Nowicki, Acas East Midlands Area Director, explains what mindfulness is and how it can impact health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Kate Nowicki

Kate Nowicki is an Acas Area Director based in Nottingham.

Kate Nowicki

Close your eyes, breathe deeply and... Stop! Don't fall asleep, I have something to share with you. 

Mindfulness: is it modern nonsense or a key to good health in the workplace?

Last week I was one of a number of colleagues making presentations at a national conference on Workplace Wellbeing. Mindfulness was a hot topic on the day, and is being promoted as a tool for us all to cope better with the demands of our busy working lives.

So what's it all about?

I have been speaking to employers about this, picking up some of their ideas, and we have looked at it with Acas staff in the East Midlands too. I've also attended a training session which had thirty delegates walking around the room in their socks!

When we are mindful, we stop hurtling through our activities and take time out for moments or minutes to be fully present in what we are experiencing in that instant. Just to take our eyes off the screen, to feel the clothes on our backs and the breath in our lungs can be a boost to our energy and our focus. 

So what?

Well some employers are finding that mindfulness support is helping employees to cope better with the stresses and strains of life, cope better with work, and to stay healthy in mind as well as body. In Nottingham, round the corner from our office, is the UK headquarters of Capital One. They take an innovative approach to employee wellbeing. They have a mindfulness room, quiet and relaxed, mindfulness courses available to all, and mindfulness therapy for individuals in need. Does it work? Yes, it does. Staff report higher wellbeing, and the sickness rates have reduced since they introduced it. 

Is it for everyone?

No, I don't think so. We are all different people with different ways of responding to the world and coping with the pressures we face. 

Has it got real value?

Yes, I believe it has for many people. Whether it's a walk out at lunchtime to feel the breeze and take notice of the world, or a five minute 'zone out' at our desk, a daily spell of mindfulness could be the medicine that we all need to help us.

So, after you have read this, divert the phone, let your eyes lose focus, drop your shoulders and relax. Listen to the detail of the sounds around you, and relish a few moments of down time. 

If you found that helpful and want to learn more you can take your pick of 27 million hits on Google. I like this one from the Guardian.


1 Comment

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  • Posted by Bonica Pal  |  13 October 2016, 11:39AM

    This article is very good