Fitness for the mind
In a previous Technicians’ Network meeting The Edge were kind enough to give away some passes to the gym. In April’s meeting we all got a work out without even building-up a sweat.
Sally explained how 47% of the time our minds are elsewhere. A point proved by the number of times I checked my emails (three) and my phone (two) while writing that first paragraph! She described how our lack of attention can be potentially dangerous for us physically - for example, while driving. However, it can also be dangerous emotionally as our brains tend to drift towards constantly trying to problem solve, resulting in increased anxiety. Sally showed us that Mindfulness is a way to help reduce this anxiety.
In the session we had the opportunity to try mindfulness, or as Sally called it fitness for the mind. As we sat comfortably in our seats, Sally talked us through bringing our attention to different parts of our bodies. Focusing first on our feet and how they felt in contact with the floor, then through our hands and our whole body, finishing with our breath - just accepting the sensations, good or painful, without judgment. One person compared the sensation to the amazing feeling after a back massage leaving work behind. Even better it was free - unlike the back massage! Sally explained that this same approach could be used with our thoughts, accepting them good or bad and then moving on.
It was a fantastic session and talking to people afterwards, one person said: I wish I'd known about this years ago it was great!
Sally Rose runs mindfulness courses in the University http://wsh.leeds.ac.uk/info/134/staff_counselling_and_psychological_support - please contact her if you're interested. Otherwise, there are lots of resources available, too.
By Andy ConnellyPosted in: Technicians' network