Birmingham Professional Event Recap: Mindfulness Series
Led by Sharon Jones, this series of three one hour sessions provided participants with an introduction to mindfulness. Sharon explained that contrary to popular belief, mindfulness is the practice of focusing one's awareness on the present moment and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations as appose to ‘emptying the mind’ of all problems.
During the sessions Sharon articulated that the practise of mindfulness can not only improve our mental wellbeing, relationships and physical health, but scientific study has also proven that regular use of mindfulness techniques can help reduce chronic pain and has even assisted the recovery of substance abuse patients.
Through a range of sensory activities and guided meditations, Sharon invited participants to clear their minds of unnecessary thoughts and focus on particular activities such as breathing, taste, sight and sound.
The feedback from this series was incredibly positive with participants reporting that they particularly enjoyed the tips on incorporating mindfulness techniques into everyday life in order to restore a positive work/life balance. On this subject Sharon offered helpful tips on daily list making, mindfulness breaks in the workplace, realistic meditation goals, body scans and improving decision making skills, which proved to be particularly popular with attendees.
Upon reflection of this session the participants felt they gained:
- ways to “incorporate mindfulness into everyday”
- “tangible actions to improve work/life balance”
- “practical applications of mindfulness specific to the job environment”
- The Open Heart Project: http://susanpiver.com/open-heart-project/ An online meditation community. Free to sign up for a weekly, ten minute guided meditation video and access to a mindfulness blog. Led by Susan Piver, an American Buddhist who has written widely on mindfulness.
- Headspace: https://www.headspace.com/ – app for mobiles and tablets: offers a free introduction to mindfulness meditation. After an initial 10 day period, further programmes are on offer for a fee.
- Sounds True: www.soundstrue.com – large, US-based provider of online mindfulnesss/meditation programmes. Some are free, others have to be purchased. Signing up to their mailing list gets you access to some free stuff!
*Remember – the university is not responsible for the content of any external websites or app providers, so always check that your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed before downloading any programmes from these websites. Similarly, externally run groups/workshops are not within our control, so always check that you feel comfortable about the way a group is being run before committing to it long-term.
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Would you like to see more Birmingham Professional sessions like this on offer, or do you have ideas for sessions that would be beneficial to staff? If so please let us know via email.