By Guest Contributor on December 2, 2015
Health benefits of mindfulness include less stress, improved sleep and reduced pain
The chances are good that you have heard about mindfulness recently– it’s everywhere! From the World Economic Summit in Davos, to 60 Minutes, to the Armed Forces or the Seattle Seahawks, mindfulness is being used in a multitude of settings , as it has been proven by neuroscience to do everything from improve leadership skills and sleep quality, to reduce stress and conflict.
What is mindfulness & how does it work?
Mindfulness is a systematic training of the attention to help people live their lives in the here and now. By teaching people to focus on the moment, without judgement, they can see things more clearly – the good and the bad, and can therefore respond more skillfully.
Benefits of mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness can improve both physical and psychological symptoms as well as create positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors.
|Physical Health||Mental Health||Workplace Benefits|
The University is participating in a pilot project in partnership with the Movember Foundation to bring the benefits of mindfulness to faculty and staff. During 2015, UBC offered several mindfulness workshops, plus a ‘Mindfulness@Work’ six-week course and one-day retreat taught by Dr. Geoffrey Soloway and Kara Smith of MindWell Canada. All events were well attended, with results showing increases in resiliency, productivity, and the ability to handle stress and interpersonal conflict.
To further create a mindful community at UBC, the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge, an online mindfulness training, is being offered to 225 faculty and staff on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Challenge is an online mindfulness training where lessons are delivered via any device, anytime, and anywhere that takes just 10 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days. Participants and their buddies (each person will be asked to invite a buddy for free, from outside the organization) will learn core mindfulness concepts and be able to experience outcomes including improved health and wellbeing, enhanced productivity and creativity, and improved problem-solving and teamwork.
Orientation and Information Sessions
To learn more about mindfulness and the 30 Day Challenge, join Dr. Soloway on Dec. 8, Jan. 12 and Jan. 13 for one-hour information sessions. Click here for more information.
Can’t Make the Orientation Session?
Everyone is welcome to attend an orientation session, however attendance is not mandatory in order to register for the challenge. To secure a space in the 30-Day Challenge, payment must be made at an orientation session or sent to UBC Human Resources (attn. Melissa Lafrance). Please note that payments will not be processed until after December 8, 2015. Click here for more information.
MindWell Canada (MWC) is a leader in helping people integrate mindfulness into their personal and professional lives, by working with executives, athletes, health care professionals and teachers helping them create a more joyful, less stressful and more connected career and life. MWC has a network of partners around the world and has worked with companies and organizations throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
Dr. Geoffrey Soloway has been working in the area of health promotion, mindfulness and wellbeing for over 12 years. Geoff completed a PhD on Mindfulness at OISE of the University of Toronto, as well as a Master’s of Education on Holistic Education. Geoff is also an Organizational Coach, completing his certification through the University of British Columbia. Currently, Geoff is a Partner with MindWell Canada, and Instructor for UBC Continuing Studies.
Posted in Geoffrey Soloway, Guest Contributor, Mental Health, Mindful Moments | Tagged 30 day challenge, challenge, Geoffrey Soloway, mental health, Mindfulness, Movember, online, skills, UBC | Leave a response
By Guest Contributor on February 4, 2015
Guest contribution from Dr. Geoffrey Soloway
Last year, UBC HR launched an exciting six-week Mindfulness@Work program for UBC faculty and staff. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and four programs ran from March through June. After going through the program, one participant said “I am happier and empowered to deal with difficult situations. I am now better able to let things go.”
Mindfulness@Work is back, with MindWell Canada offering another round of programs beginning April 2015.
Did you see Anderson Cooper say that mindfulness changed his life on 60 Minutes?
Mindfulness isn’t fluffy new age stuff. Rather, it is a rigorous form of mental exercise – training in attention to help bring our focus back into what’s really important – the present moment – versus wandering off on autopilot and worrying about the past or becoming anxious about the future. Mindfulness is an inherent skill we all have, and with practice can be improved leading to benefits that ripple into all areas of our lives.
Mindfulness is proven to benefit the workplace in numerous ways including improved health and wellbeing of employees, improved teamwork and communication, stronger leadership, and enhanced performance. No wonder it is now taught at Harvard Business School and practiced at companies like Goldman Sachs, Google, Apple, General Mills, Target, and with professional sports teams. The Seattle Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll, for example, encourages his players to meditate daily, while roughly 20 team members show up for the official yoga and meditation sessions three times per week. The team’s sports psychologist says that this kind of training helps players develop skills essential for any great athlete or leader: focused awareness, clarity of thought, and the ability to stay in the present moment.
In case you are brand new to mindfulness, or want a refresher, MindWell Canada will be offering the six-week Mindfulness@Work program for UBC employees beginning April 2015. Seventy percent of UBC participants who took the Mindfulness@Work program last year gave a 5 out of 5 rating in terms of satisfaction with the program, with the other 30% giving it a 4 out of 5 rating.
Registration for the six-week program will take place at the Orientation on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 12:00-1:00pm. Sign up here.
The Orientation is free and will provide a comprehensive overview of the program. There will be two programs running in April/May 2015.
Mindfulness@Work Program 1 will run from 9:00-11:00am on:
- April 1, 8, 15
- April 20, 27
- April 25 (10am-2pm)
- May 4
Mindfulness@Work Program 2 will run from 2:00-4:00 pm on:
- Wed April 1, 8, 15
- Mon April 20, 27
- Saturday April 25 (10am-2pm)
- Mon May 4
MindWell Canada (MWC) (www.mindwellcanada.com) is a leader in helping people integrate mindfulness into their personal and professional lives, by working with executives, athletes, health care professionals and teachers helping them create a more joyful, less stressful and more connected career and life. MWC has a network of partners around the world and has worked with companies and organizations throughout North America, Europe and Asia. MindWell Canada and the Movember Mindfulness Pilot please visit www.mindwellcanada.com.
Dr. Geoffrey Soloway has been working in the area of health promotion, mindfulness and wellbeing for over 12 years. Geoff completed a PhD on Mindfulness at OISE of the University of Toronto, as well as a Master’s of Education on Holistic Education. Geoff has worked as an Instructor at the University of Toronto, teaching in the area of Stress Reduction, Health Promotion and Enabling Learning as well as offering Mindfulness-based workshops and programs with human service professionals in the workplace. Geoff has also worked as Health & Wellness Specialist in Human Resources at University of British Columbia, focusing on faculty wellbeing and developing new mindfulness programming. Geoff is also an Organizational Coach, completing his certification through the University of British Columbia. Currently, Geoff is a Partner with MindWell Canada, and Instructor for UBC Continuing Studies.
Posted in A Thoughtful Mind, Colin Hearne, Events, Geoffrey Soloway, Guest Contributor, Mental Health | Tagged attention, Geoffrey Soloway, Mindfulness, mindfulness@work, MindWell Canada, productivity | Leave a response