Mindfulness Deserves Your Attention
Today’s blog recaps highlights from a recent webinar, co-branded by DHS Group and WHIL, a B2B digital wellbeing, resilience and mindfulness training platform. Through a partnership, DHS Group offers WHIL’s training software as part of the HealthSpective’s platform – a key component of HealthSpective’s “full-circle” employee wellbeing offering that includes employee engagement, financial wellbeing and health alongside mental health.
“The big thing in the HR world is that the industry is sort of re-branding, if you will, from wellness to well-being,” Sarah Sardella, Sr. Director for Global Benefits at Akamai Technologies, said. “There was this initial focus on health and fitness – physical health. Now everyone is saying, ‘What about financial wellness, emotional well-being and mindfulness?’”
So… what about it? Is there a reason to pay attention to this “mindfulness?”
A recent survey quoted in the Huffington Post shares that “eight in 10 employed Americans are stressed out by at least one of their jobs.”
Stress does things to the human body like raises blood pressure and increases cortisol levels; all things that are contributing to poor physical health and it’s one of the reasons that healthcare costs continue to rise despite the vast amounts of money that companies are pouring into their wellness programs. Why? Because stress is continuing to affect the physical health of their employees – and stress is something that needs more pinpointed attention than a step challenge or healthy eating plan (which are both important in their own right) can’t target.
“Mental health conditions are rapidly spreading,” Laura Guerra, Sales Director at WHIL, said. “People are more anxious, more depressed, they’re worrying more … You can’t afford to not do something.”
That something is mindfulness.
“Mindfulness is basically brain training,” Guerra said. “On average, we spend half of our time with our mind wandering, on everything from what will happen at work to what we’ll eat for dinner. Another good amount of our time is considered ‘distracted awareness.’ But we spend the least amount of time in sustained attention – the healthiest for our minds and bodies, and the most productive.”
Just like a person lifts weights to improve the strength of their arms, mindfulness training is a practice that, when you spend time on it, helps strengthen your mind’s ability to operate in this sustained attention window and your ability to handle difficult or stressful situations; leading to happier, healthier and more engaged people (and employees!).
- According to research, mindfulness training has resulted in the following:
- 94 percent of employees said mindfulness helped improve their overall wellbeing
- 52 minutes more of sleep for insomniacs practicing mindfulness
- 83 percent of mindfulness training participants saw improved cardiovascular health
- Participants in the mindfulness training saw a 50 percent decrease in cold and flu symptoms
- Participants in mindfulness training saw a 30 percent reduction of aging at the cellular level
While incredible, these statistics don’t even begin to touch on the more general changes employees practicing mindfulness have seen – including feeling calmer, focused and kind, feeling more collaborative and creative, more empowered, proactive, energized and situationally aware and safe.
Integrating a wellbeing program that focuses on physical health and fitness into your benefits program is a start… a really good start, but it’s not the end.
“Give people the tools and techniques to manage their stress,” Guerra said. “Because stress isn’t going away.”
Looking for more, including more detailed information about both the benefits of mindfulness and what it can do for your company and your employees? Stay tuned to our social media pages for a full version of the co-branded webinar where WHIL and DHS Group answer these questions and more.
To learn more about integrating mindfulness training into the rest of your benefit and wellbeing programming, fill out this quick form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.