We cram a lot into our Decembers. And although many of us will hopefully benefit from a few days holiday at the end of the month to enjoy the festive period – Christmas is rarely a stress-free time.
One way of helping to manage stress is to consider practising mindfulness. Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment in an accepting, non-judgmental way. Or a simpler definition? In Dan Harris’ words: “I think of mindfulness as the ability not to be yanked around by your own emotions”.
Science has shown that just 30 hours of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) practice dampens the activity of the amygdala by up to 50%, meaning the brain is less reactive to stress.
At Bitesize Learning, we have seen mindfulness courses growing in interest as part of a bigger trend in improving employee wellbeing and mental health. If you’d like to more know about our work in this field then please take a look at a few of our other blog posts.
Mindfulness techniques are being taken up by some of the world’s largest companies. Like US medical insurance company Aetna, one of the 100 largest firms by revenue. After a near-fatal accident, 58-year old CEO Mark T. Bertolini decided to drastically transform his company. His measures included a 33% salary increase for the lowest paid employees, and the establishment of free yoga and meditation classes. After the first year of implementation, Aetna reported a whopping $9 million saving in health care costs! Moreover, employees who have participated in the classes reported a 28% decrease in stress levels and an increase in productivity levels. These improvements were estimated to be adding a value of circa $3,000/employee a year.
So in the spirit of the season, we have created a calendar of mindfulness messages to use to calm your mind and see the bigger picture in the run up to the holiday season. We are sharing a mindful message every day on our Twitter and LinkedIn channels, so make sure to follow us on those platforms so you don’t miss out.
If you can’t wait for our daily tips and want to get them all in one go, then you can download the full calendar here.