meditation at work

Nurses get training to cope with stress

Sylvia Pownall, Irish Mirror: Overworked nurses in danger of burn out are practicing mindfulness to help them cope with the stresses of the job.

Carmel Sheridan’s The Mindful Nurse was published last year and has already been included on nursing training courses in the UK and the US. The Galway-based psychotherapist says she was inspired to write the book when she realized how many people coming to her for help were nurses.

She told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “I’ve been teaching mindfulness around the country and more and more healthcare workers were enrolling …

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The hottest new office perk is a quiet room

Amy X. Wang, Quartz: In a corner of Etsy’s new 200,000 sq ft (18,581 sq m) headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, there is a room meant only for breathing.

Save for the lack of furniture, “A-901: Breathing Room” appears as an ordinary conference room. It sits squarely within the rest of the office, which buzzes with the steady meetings and conversations that characterize most corporate buildings. Soft mats, for sitting, are piled to one side of the room. Digital devices are not allowed.

A few times a week, dozens of employees gather in the …

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Why is meditation good for team building

Sven, Mindful Teams: After Yoga, mindfulness is becoming the new fast-growing trend. Leaders around the world would confirm the positive impact of meditation on work. Though mindfulness is becoming very popular, we are just at the beginning of its business application. At Mindful Teams we do think mindfulness at work is important for both individuals and team. Today we will focus on the benefits of meditation on teams.

1. Develop Team Harmony

Mindfulness practice and group meditation helps people to be closer and in harmony. By practicing together team members develop a …

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Help, I need my device

phone addiction

I used to begin my day with a cigarette and a cup of a coffee. Now I begin my day with a meditation and a cup of coffee. But I have to admit, increasingly I can see that my day often begins with looking at one of my devices.

How many of you begin your day with the cell phone, the iPad, or the computer?

I was asked to do some training on digital addiction with some artists and geeks, and I was alarmed after some research to realize that I too am teetering into digital addiction.

If we rely on the dictionary definition of addiction, ‘the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity, or a dependency, dependence, habit or problem’, we can at least begin to entertain the idea that many of us fall into the category of digital addiction.

You might be saying: “What’s the issue, it’s not a matter of life and death?” Sadly the number of road accidents caused by using the cell phone is on the increase, and that means more lives taken due to this insidious addiction. It’s illegal in many places to text and drive, or to be talking on the phone if you’re not hands-free, and yet we still do it, despite the fact we are putting our life and others’ at risk. Another definition of addiction is continuing a habitual behaviour despite the negative consequences. And texting while driving can be a matter of life and death.

So why are many of us prey to this new addictive habit?

Digital technology is seductive. When we hear that ping on one of our gadgets it’s almost like candy for the brain. Messages can make us think we are needed and wanted, and they encourage us to stay online. The more ‘likes’ we receive on our posts, the more pumped-up our self esteem becomes.

Facebook has recently introduced emoticons — a heart, a thumbs up, a smile — all of which can be experienced as affirming. Other emoticons, like a scowl, angry face or tears, can potentially deflate our egos. We can have a false sense of thinking we know what others are thinking and feeling. However for many people Facebook provides a sense of connection, even if they are alone at home staring at a screen. When it’s our birthday we can receive hundreds of messages. Before the advent of Facebook some of us would have been lucky if we received more than three birthday cards.

Technology has been designed to appeal to our senses. Games such as Candy Crush are replicated in the supermarket, and become as addictive as cigarettes and sugar. So many urban environments are digitalized that even if we don’t own a device we can still experience a cognitive overload from all the digital images we are surrounded by.

There is also the overload of emails. Some people spend half their working day attending to their inbox, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat accounts. Many of us check our social media accounts ten or more times a day.

So what can we do?

There is a company called Unless I Hear Differently that offers a simple tip to improve communication. If you are trying to make a decision over email and people are not getting back to you, this company suggests you write the phrase, “Unless I hear differently, this is what I’m going to do…” This phrase can cut down a whole slew of emails if you are trying to make a decision. It fosters a bias for action without weeks of trying to get an agreement.

Here is a list of other things you can do to help you live more peacefully in this digital era:

  • Put your phone on airplane mode while you are working
  • Put your phone on silent
  • Close the your browser on your lap top
  • Put your email autoresponder on for a couple of hours
  • Disconnect your phone from your lap top, iPad, or computer so you do not hear the ping every time someone sends you a message

Try one of these and see what happens. Perhaps you will find out just how attached you are to your gadget.

The next time you wake up to checking your messages on a device, consider buying one of those old fashioned alarm clocks to wake you up.

Join me online in July – A course working with our feelings, thoughts, awareness and addictions

For a free sample of the first chapter, book study and 21 meditations of “Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings To Overcome Addiction,” please email: eightstepsrecovery@gmail.com

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Meditation can improve your life and work, but you have to do it like you mean it

wildmind meditation newsDov Seidman, Quartz: As those of us in the Northern hemisphere settle into the autumn, I’m mindful of persistent advice from business gurus telling me that I should be practicing mindfulness, but I’m even more mindful that mindfulness has become one of the most overused, watered-down tropes of the year.

The television series Silicon Valley nails this problem on the head, when it has Gavin Belson, the chief executive of Hooli, the show’s Google-like fictional technology company, consulting with his spiritual advisor for ways to use yoga and meditation to crush his opposition.

There’s nothing wrong with mindfulness in itself. But what we have …

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How corporates co-opted the art of mindfulness to make us bear the unbearable

wildmind meditation newsZoë Krupka, The Conversation: Almost every person who walks through my practice doorway is anxious in some way. And so they should be. While their anxiety might be blasting messages at an overly high volume, the messages themselves are worth paying attention to: abusive relationships, significant losses and workplaces that have squeezed their personal, physical and spiritual lives into a corner too small for a hamster to burrow in.

Most come in hoping that the volume of their anxiety will be turned down, but many also hope that the messages themselves will go away. Like all of us, they want to find a way …

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Is something lost when we use mindfulness as a productivity tool?

wildmind meditation newsCharlotte Lieberman, Harvard Business Review: I came to mindfulness as a healing practice after overcoming an addiction to Adderall during my junior year of college. I found myself in this situation because I thought that using Adderall to help me focus was no big deal — an attitude shared by 81% of students nationwide.

Adderall simply seemed like an innocuous shortcut to getting things done – and to do so efficiently yet effortlessly. I still remember the rush I felt my first night on Adderall: I completed every page of assigned Faulkner reading (not easy), started and finished a paper several weeks before the due date (because …

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Don’t worry, you can practice mindfulness and still be a jerk

wildmind meditation newsJeena Cho, Above the Law: In case you missed it, there was a cover story in the Wall Street Journal on mindfulness in the legal profession. It’s fair to say that when the WSJ is writing about mindfulness in law, it’s gone mainstream. I was interviewed and quoted in the article, and I’ll admit, I got a little teary eyed when I saw my name on the cover of the WSJ. Not bad for an immigrant “salon girl.”

In the July issue of the ABA Journal, there was an article titled How lawyers can avoid burnout and debilitating anxiety, citing meditation and mindfulness …

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Mindfulness for better work performance, less stress

wildmind meditation newsJoel Villaseca, Inquirer.net: Phil Jackson holds the record for the biggest number of NBA titles (six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers). Behind his coaching success is the Zen principle “one breath, one mind” (Huffington Post). “As much as we pump iron and we run to build our strength up, we need to build our mental strength up… so we can focus… so we can be in concert with one another,” he says. This he accomplished with his teams by having them practice mindfulness through meditation.

Athletes, Fortune 500 corporate leaders, Silicon Valley techies, the US Marines, hardened criminals …

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Mindfulness at work can reduce retaliation after unfair treatment

PRWEB: Practicing mindfulness at work can reduce retaliation by employees who feel treated unfairly.

Mindful employees are less angry, less likely to dwell on the mistreatment and less likely to retaliate, according to a new study by PhD student Erin Cooke Long and Professor Michael S. Christian of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School,

“When employees think they have an unfair boss or colleague or the organization is unfair, they might be tempted to seek retribution or act in ways to ‘even the score,’” said Cooke Long. “Mindfulness helps them short-circuits emotions and negative thoughts so that they can respond more constructively.”

Their study is the first to test the role of mindfulness in the relationship between workplace injustice and retaliation.

“It demonstrates that a trainable mindset helps diffuse negative reactions by employees, said Christian. “We also show that both emotions and thoughts affect our behaviors when we believe we’ve been treated unfairly at work.”
Mindfulness – nonjudgmental attention and awareness of what is happening in present-moment experiences – has important workplace implications.

“It helps employees to overcome knee-jerk reactions to unfairness at work, said Cooke Long. “When treated unfairly, people tend to feel angry and dwell on the unfair treatment, which can trigger acts of retaliation or attempts to even the score. More mindful people are less likely to ‘take things personally’ and therefore less likely to retaliate.”

“Our work introduces mindfulness as a malleable psychological factor – one that managers and employers can cultivate in their employees to reduce unproductive reactions when they feel unjustly treated,” said Christian. “Delivering mindfulness training can help employees control their thoughts, emotions and, ultimately, behavior at work.”
Their findings are based on two studies: An intervention study using brief mindfulness training in the lab and with a diverse sample of employees who recounted experiences with unfairness at work. Their paper “Mindfulness Buffers Retaliatory Responses to Injustice: A Regulatory Approach” will be published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and is available online.

Mindfulness matters at work in more ways than we think,” said Cooke Long. “It is not just a skill that promotes health – it also helps us behave positively and helps us avoid behaviors that are short-sighted and can damage relationships, reputations and career.”

Promoting mindfulness is a proactive option for organizations to reduce retaliation at work, said Christian. “Mindfulness training is not difficult for novices to learn and use.”

“Employers can enhance employee mindfulness through mindfulness education,” said Cooke Long, “by creating an organizational culture that recognizes the merits of mindfulness and by conducting large-scale interventions.”

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