At times I catch myself worrying, feeling anxious and fearful about my future. I would bet that I am not alone in experiencing these mental states as anxiety is a normal part of daily life – there is always something to worry about, dread, agonize over, or be stressed by. Anxiety researcher David Barlow points out that without anxiety, the performance of athletes, entertainers, executives, artisans, and students would suffer; creativity would diminish; crops might not be planted (Barlow, 2002). It is when anxiety excesses in frequency, intensity, and duration that it can become maladaptive....
We are guilty of it too…. Using our smart phone all day, everyday! Over 55% of the Canadian population has a smart phone - but are we really that smart? What are the implications of smart phones? How do they impact our overall health and our workplace productivity?
Consider how much time you are spending on your smart phone every day. I know that I use it both at home and at work, and am always connected....
According to the Workplace Stress & Anxiety Disorders Survey from the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (2015), 72% of people who have daily stress and anxiety say it interferes with their lives at least moderately. Within workplaces, anxiety impacts work performances, relationships with coworkers and peers, and quality of work. The work-related causes of anxiety were due to deadlines (55%), interpersonal relationships (53 %), staff management (50%) and dealing with issues/problems that arise (49%).
Yoga, a simple physical activity, has been found to have tremendous impacts on mental and physical health. Research has found it to be effective in reducing anxiety and depression. Could this be part of the solution for workplaces?
Since I started practicing mindfulness last year, I have always wished there was a way to know if I was doing it right. When practicing in a group setting, I would always look at everyone around me to see if there eyes were really closed, how they were sitting, and I would wonder what they were thinking about. In attempts to incorporate mindfulness into my own life, I tried various apps, videos, guided meditations and tried setting practice times at specific times of day. When I would try in the evening, I would sometimes fall asleep – is that what is supposed to happen? “I was relaxed”, I would tell myself! Recently I came across this interesting new product called Muse that might be able to help answer some of my questions!
Mindfulness meditation is gaining popularity for many types of people. People are using this non-secular type of meditation focused on being present in the moment for many reasons: to reduce stress, increase concentration, become more productive, relax and take time for themselves. There is ample research supporting the benefits of mindfulness and countless individuals who use mindfulness and have had positive experiences with it. We are two of them!
Mindfulness is generally regarded as a positive thing, which is why this article recently published in the New York Times was interesting to us. This article shares a critical view on the broad use of the word “mindful” and of the techniques of mindfulness.