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The Mindful Nation

The findings of The Mindful Nation UK All Party Parliamentary Report suggest that mindfulness has the capacity to address some of the larger challenges and opportunities to be found in the domains of health, education, the workplace, and the criminal justice system, by tapping into interior resources we all possess but that are mostly underdeveloped.

The danger lies in it being seen as a panacea for all problems and from the risk of opportunistic elements seizing onto the prospects of a quick fix

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Will Mindfulness become Mandatory?

Madeline Bunting (The Guardian May 2014) asks this important question as we move toward the release of the all parliamentary report The Mindful Nation later this year. Indeed, can we afford for it not to be mandatory as levels of mental health issues amongst young people escalate  and organisations struggle with increasing levels of workforce stress, anxiety and depression.

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Time for a Spring Clean?

Do you ever open your email account in the morning and groan at the number of new mails you have in your in box? They seem to arrive by stealth overnight drawing our attention to this new product, or a new notification that its someone’s anniversary at work, or maybe a newsletter promoting a new workshop? I don’t know about you, but they are a huge distraction when I’m trying to get my day off to a productive start. It is no wonder that distraction levels in adults during the working day runs at around 47%. It is very easy to allow our focus and our attention to get caught up in the bright and sparkly lure of the next greatest offer or latest celebrity gossip.

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Change Leader, Change Thyself

This is a great article from the Mckinsey Insights Series about how in order to achieve lasting change within organisations, we must change ourselves…

Organisations that look outward only on the achievement of outcomes and fail to look inward to the development not only of skills but of behaviour change will not achieve lasting success.

Changing workforce behaviour, encouraging self development, self responsibility and ownership whilst aligning this with the drive for external change is critical… Read more here:

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/leading_in_the_21st_century/change_leader_change_thyself?cid=other-eml-ttn-mip-mck-oth-1412

 

Collaboration is the Key

It has never been more important to build collaborative teams to face the unique challenges presented in todays organisations. In this great article by Jeff Walker the Vice Chair for the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Envoy for Health Finance and Malaria, he explores some effective characteristics that collaborative organisations share. Read more here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141002025118-162708-solving-the-world-s-biggest-problems-takes-ensembles-not-soloists

 

Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace

Traditionally Mindfulness has been defined as:

Paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non- judgementally (Jon Kabat Zinn). Its foundations lie at the core of contemplative practices and have evolved over the last 30 years into Western approaches that have to date most commonly been associated with therapeutic approaches to health and well being. There is a massive body of clinically researched evidenced based data to support its benefits/impact.  Mindfulness however is increasingly becoming an essential part of working life.

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Ruby Wax on mindfulness: ‘We need to stop stressing about stress’

The Telegraph’s Claire Cohen reports:

Ruby Wax might be known for her rapid-fire comedy, but now she’s travelling around Britain educating live audiences on how to survive modern life. Here, she talks to Claire Cohen about mindfulness, mental illness and the urge to buy 70 striped cushions…

It’s perhaps ironic that on the day I meet Ruby Wax to discuss mindfulness, she’s not managed to fit in her usual daily session and isn’t feeling very mindful at all.

“I do it every morning. I’ll sit for 20 minutes,” she says, removing the bike helmet from her shower-wet hair and sitting down to a vegetable juice in the Notting Hill café where we meet. “But I didn’t today – this is one of those rare times.

Read more on The Telegraph’s website

 

Tim Parks on meditation’s pros and cons: ‘This is more than medicine’

The Guardian’s Tim Parks reports
Mindfulness, it was reported this week, can have harmful side effects. But for novelist Tim Parks, meditation offered an escape from pain – after an initial struggle. Here is his advice to beginners, and an account of his first ‘buzz’

I came to the practice of breathing relaxation out of desperation. It was 2008. A book had suggested that the constant abdominal pain and urinary problems I had been experiencing were due to chronically tense muscles in the pelvic floor. I needed to learn deep relaxation. The book gave instructions for achieving this, but warned me it was hard to do alone. At the time I didn’t connect the practice with mindfulness or meditation, about which I was extremely sceptical. I was hardly confident about this approach either. On the other hand, my problems had been going on for years and official medicine had got me exactly nowhere. Anything was worth a whirl.

Read more on The Guardian’s website