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Posts from the ‘happiness & wellbeing’ Category

Mindfulness and Heartfulness

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Mindfulness is a way of being in the present moment so that we become more aware and fully present, noticing what is unfolding moment by moment with a sense of spaciousness, curiosity, acceptance and love. Mindfulness is a practice to nourish our minds rather like what we do for our bodies. By spending time training our minds, we can notice where our attention is and with kindness bring our focus back to where we would like it to be. Mindfulness is in effect a workout for our minds.

 What I offer

I run mindfulness for health and wellbeing (based on the pioneering MBSR/MBCT) 4 and 8 session workshops, Finding peace in a frantic world workshops and mindfulness in schools project .dotb-Foundations and pawsb (7-11 years old) courses. Tailored taster sessions available for Schools and businesses.

81% people who took my mindfulness courses to date felt less stressed, 83% feel less anxious, 95% are more aware and 82% feel better about themselves

The Benefits

There are many scientific research studies into the benefits of mindfulness, with more and more research conducted each year. Scientifically validated studies into mindfulness meditation, specifically MBSR and MBCT have found:

  • Increases in positive emotions and contentment and decrease in anxiety and stress
  • Decrease in pain and inflammation
  • Increased mental stamina and resilience
  • Increased focus, attention and memory improvement
  • Increased creativity, empathy and compassion

Interested to read more or watch some short videos – take a look here

My training

Heather has undertaken two MBSR/MBCT teacher training retreats (TTR 1&2) with the Centre for mindfulness and research practice at the University of Bangor, one of the leaders in the field for mindfulness in the UK, along with advanced mindfulness training course in mindfulness based compassionate living and further training in deep listening. Some of the people that have trained Heather include: Michael Chaskalson, Trish Bartley, Jody Mardula, Sarah Silverton, Erik van den Brink, Ros Oliver, Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter. She has also attended masterclasses with: Profs Paul Gilbert, Tania Singer and Associate Professor Kristin Neff. See my bio here.
 
Who should attend mindfulness courses?

Mindfulness is generally available to most people, however for some it may be best to be trained by someone with a specific clinical qualification (such as those with an acute mental health condition).

For some people challenges can arise while meditating for a number of different reasons. While each of us is different, If you are going through a major life event (such as having been recently bereaved or divorced) or suffering from mental ill health (eg acute depression) have a learning disability or have just been diagnosed with an upsetting physical illness (eg cancer) it is best to wait and leave attending a course until life is a little more settled for you or find a course that is more specialised to your particular needs. Why? Mindfulness is about bringing awareness to all that life throws at us. As we tune in to this it is helpful to do so when we are relatively stable so we don’t get overwhelmed. As time passes our practice can then bolster us when we hit the rapids! As Jon Kabat Zinn has said- don’t start weaving the parachute when you are about to jump!

My courses are psycho- educational and suitable for delivery in the workplace. They are not designed to discuss any current or past personal problems not related to the practises and if necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or other appropriate support.

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OD- happy, healthy and productive workplaces

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Research shows that developing a supportive organisational culture is as important if more than important than just focusing on individual employee interventions e.g. health and wellbeing days and training.

As part of our Organisational Development offering we will work with you to think about the wider culture that your Leadership, Management and people policies and practices create within your organisation. Through a consultancy approach, informed by wellbeing and staff survey metrics, we will look to help inform your wider people, health and wellbeing strategies, considering the lifecycle of where you are as an organisation; the natural lifecycle of employees within the organisation and the different evidence based elements that combine to create flourishing organisations.

Consideration will be taken of how ‘joined up’ your approach is, its sustainability, employee happiness, organisational culture, structure, policies and context and the impact of external influences and growth. Through taking a stock check of current practices we can work together to think about how this influences employee engagement within the organisation and work with you to build on best practices to support your organisation’s and individual’s positive future growth and wellbeing. Some of the work that I provide includes

  • Top team strategy workshops and team awaydays/retreats tailored to team needs
  • Review and/or writing people strategy
  • Writing a tailored wellbeing strategy
  • Working closely with your inhouse or other consultants to provide joined up people practices that are aligned to company values and culture and have staff wellbeing at their heart
  • Tailored workshops and facilitated sessions around eliciting company values and business strategy
  • Tailored workshops and online learning focused around healthy management and employee wellbeing
  • Team wellbeing reviews and specialist people reviews to provide objective feedback to inform your action planning and strategies
  • One to one coaching
  • Strengths based learning interventions
  • Mindfulness

Case studies

Perrywood-LogoI have been working for 18 months with Perrywood and award winning family run garden centre based in Essex and Suffolk . They have grown considerably with their success and needed help in crystallising their people strategy, finalising their values and implementing an approach to support staff wellbeing. The work started with running a happiness at work survey to establish key areas of focus and then writing and implementing a people strategy as well as a wellbeing strategy. We have taken an iterative holistic approach that looks at both the structure, policies and processes as well as culture, L&D, staff feedback and involvement as well as establishing partnerships with occupational health and EAP providers.

mind.logo.blueI have worked with two branches of mind on looking at their own staff happiness at work through an all staff  evidence based happiness survey. After completing the survey I then debriefed the results to the top teams and also to staff. Both organisations then used the results of these surveys to inform their people strategy going forward.

 

pmi-logoI worked with the Pensions Management Institute to design and facilitate a whole organisation business planning and values day ahead of the introduction of auto enrolment. These types of days are a great way of bringing teams together, to gather views of everyone on organisational strategy and values so that people feel included and heard. My approach is to add a bit of creativity in the mix so you won’t see hours of powerpoint slides!