06 Oct Getting ‘Mindful’ One of the Best Ways for Workplaces to Stay Healthy According to Expert
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Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month kicks off on October 1st and Dr. Geoffrey Soloway says organizations should be looking to mindfulness to help improve the health, wellbeing and performance of employees. With a PhD in education and mindfulness, Soloway, a Training Director at MindWell Canada and one of the medical reviewers at iSum, is piloting a comprehensive mindfulness program for the Movember Foundation which offers innovative, blended learning for the workplace.
“With more than 500,000 Canadians missing work each day because of mental health problems, costing businesses $6 billion a year, it’s no wonder organizations are looking for proven ways to better support their people,” said Soloway.
While mindfulness is an ancient wisdom tradition, today it is an evidence-based training used in government, healthcare, business, education and military settings to decrease stress, anxiety and depression and increase performance, focus, memory and creativity.
“There are many definitions of mindfulness but it boils down to a training in attention,” said Soloway. “Rather than worrying about what has happened or might happen in the future, mindfulness teaches people to respond skillfully to whatever is happening right now. Once people see things for what they really are, they can respond better, communicate more clearly and be more engaged with what they’re doing. Mindfulness also has a huge impact on leadership because it helps leaders become more empathetic, in-tune with their employees and responsive vs. reactive which has big benefits when it comes to consensus-building and decision-making.”
Mindfulness is taught at leading organizations such as Google, Goldman Sachs, British Parliament and MBA schools around the globe, including Harvard Business School. According to Bill George, Professor of Management Practice at HBS, “teaching mindfulness enables students to calm their minds and increase focus. Such skills are crucial for succeeding in an increasingly frenetic environment where distractions from an always-buzzing phone to pressure for strong quarterly profits constantly impinge on decisions.”
Dr. Soloway and MindWell Canada are launching this November the 30 Day Movember Mindfulness Challenge designed to reach busy, on-the-go people who don’t have time to attend lengthy, in-person mindfulness classes. The online course can be accessed on any device, anytime and anywhere and the time commitment is just 10 minutes a day. Organizations including Coca-Cola Canada, The University of British Columbia, BC Technology Industry Association and others are signed up to take the Challenge. Results are being studied by researchers at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
For more information on mindfulness, Dr. Geoff Soloway or the 30 Day Movember Mindfulness Challenge, please visit www.mindwellcanada.com.
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