Mindfulness Matters: How to Stay Steady during Storms

October 28, 2022
The Wellness Tribe Team

During these times of wars, illnesses, crimes, economic turmoil, and all the bad things happening around the world, it can be hard to regulate our worry and stop dwelling on worst-case scenarios.

This is where mindfulness meditation may be most beneficial. What is mindfulness, what are its advantages, and how can we incorporate it into our everyday lives?

Mindfulness: What Does It Mean?

Mindfulness Matters: Holding Steady in the Storm
Photo by Kyson Dana on Unsplash

Mindfulness refers to focusing on the current moment without judgement. Our innate human capacity to be completely present without being overreactive or overwhelmed is known as mindfulness. When we practise mindfulness, we return our attention back to the present moment, enabling us to regulate our thoughts rather than the other way around.

Mindfulness is also the polar opposite of spending life on autopilot, which most do without even recognising. How can you know if you're in autopilot mode?

Do you find yourself ticking off task after task without taking a break? Do you often contemplate when doing something as simple as assisting your kid with homework? 

If you answered yes, it's time to embrace mindfulness. Pause for a minute. Take note of your child's giggles.

Find Your Peace in the Midst of the Turmoil and Enjoy Benefits Such As:

Mindfulness Matters: Holding Steady in the Storm
Photo by M Venter

Improved Emotional Stability

Studies, as well as our experts, suggest that attentive people manage stress better and avoid harmful coping mechanisms. They are aware of their own feelings as well as the emotions of others. Therefore, they approach events calmly and cope effectively with unexpected circumstances, ultimately leading a happy healthy life than those who don’t practice mindfulness.

According to research, those who practise mindfulness better manage anxiety caused by diseases, making it more relevant in our daily lives.

Better Professional Performance

Mindful meditation enables us to concentrate on one task at a time, reducing our tendency to get distracted. It also increases creativity by removing negative thoughts that stifle creative thinking.

Practising mindfulness helps us concentrate on the present and allows for better ideation, clear communication, and active listening —- all of which are valuable qualities to have a perfect work life balance.

Better Interpersonal Relationships

Mindfulness practice helps us create better ways of interacting with others. It teaches us to avoid emotional responses and approach every interaction with empathy and patience – something we could all use right now.

Overall, mindfulness is related to increased regard for people and their feelings, making it simpler for us to change our actions to better our relationships. This is especially true when it comes to having wellbeing at workplace as we start to deal with every situation mindfully. 

In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity." - Albert Einstein

Here’s How to Get Started With a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness Matters: Holding Steady in the Storm
Photo by RF._.studio

Set Your Intention for the Day:

Mornings are ideal for this, but if you can't, choose a time that works best for you throughout the day. Simply take these few steps:

  • Sit up straight with your spine relaxed, not stiff.
  • Take three slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Consider your day's schedule and ask yourself what your purpose is.
  • Respond to the question and state your objective, which may include being kinder to yourself, eating well, getting certain tasks done, and so on.
  • Check-in with yourself throughout the day to make sure you're on track.

It is important to take frequent breaks while working since sitting continuously can be harmful to your health.

Pay Attention to the Sound:

When you are feeling nervous or upset, focusing your attention on the noises around you may be relaxing and centering practice. You just need to complete the following activities:

  • For a minute, sit comfortably with your eyes closed.
  • Focus on the sounds around you and identify them. For example, the clock ticking, the fan whirring, and the leaves rustling. 

After one minute, take some time to notice how relaxed and present you feel. Do this every day to enhance your general mental health.

Get Some Stretches In:

Need a quick boost when working from home? You may do the following as long as your chair has a back:

  • Put your left hand on your right knee.
  • Place your right arm on the chair's back.
  • Stretch gently.
  • Take note of the stretch; after 60 seconds, return your body to its original position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Eat Mindfully:

Eat what you really want to eat, and don't rush through your lunch breaks. Take your time enjoying it. Be sure to pay attention to:

  • The different textures in your food
  • The time and effort put into putting it together
  • The explosion of flavours in your mouth

Dive Deep Inside Your Body:

It's easier than it seems. Close your eyes and:

  • Take note of any areas of your body where you experience tension; it might manifest as an ache or a tightness.
  • Bring your focus to a point in your body where you are not stressed.
  • Concentrate on the lack of tension as well as body sensations such as a steady pulse and a relaxed jaw.
  • Keep your attention on this for 10 seconds.
  • Consider that feeling extending throughout your body for another 10 seconds.
  • Return your focus to the initial source of tension in your body.
  • Focus on the difference if it feels different.
  • Repeat this practice many times, noting where and when the tension has eased so that the sensation might extend to the rest of your body.

Final Thoughts

You don't have to practise every single mindfulness method to feel better and more present. Experiment with various routines and strategies to see what works best for you and your schedule. After that, practise, practise, practise. We're going through a difficult period, but we'll emerge stronger.

Allow yourself to breathe, take a break, and be appreciative of the current moment in the meanwhile – it's the best any of us can do.

Occupational Wellbeing

The Ethics of Layoffs: The Impact of Email Notifications

March 29, 2023
The Wellness Tribe Team

Losing one's job is one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through. The impact of job loss is only compounded when the method of communication used is impersonal and insensitive. 

Recently, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) made headlines when CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to lay off 10,000 employees in a cost-cutting move. However, it wasn't just the number of layoffs that caught people's attention - it was the method used to notify affected employees. 

In a move that has been criticized as impersonal and dehumanizing, many employees learned of their job loss via email. This raises important questions about the ethics of layoffs and the responsibility of leaders to exhibit ethical behavior in the workplace. 

In this article, we will examine the impact of email notification on laid-off employees, the responsibility of leaders in handling layoffs, and alternative approaches to layoffs that prioritize compassion and transparency.

The Emotional Toll of Layoffs via Email

When it comes to layoffs, the way in which an employee is notified can have a significant impact on their emotional well-being. Learning that you've lost your job via email can be a particularly traumatic experience. 

It's a stark reminder that the company you have devoted your time and energy to sees you as nothing more than a number on a balance sheet. For many employees, receiving a layoff notice via email can trigger feelings of shock, anger, and betrayal.

Dehumanization in the Workplace

Employees who are laid off via email often feel dehumanized in addition to the emotional pain of losing their jobs. They may feel like mere objects or disposable commodities. The lack of personal interaction during the layoff process can exacerbate these feelings, leaving employees feeling isolated and alone during a time when they most need support.

To make matters worse, layoffs via email often provide very little information about the circumstances of the layoff, leaving employees with unanswered questions and uncertainty about their future. This lack of information can be particularly damaging to employees' mental health, as they are left to fill in the gaps themselves, often with worst-case scenarios.

The Human Element of Layoffs

It's clear that layoffs via email have a profound emotional impact on employees. As companies seek to become more efficient and cut costs, it's important that they don't forget the human element of the process. 

Companies should strive to communicate layoffs with compassion and transparency, providing support and resources to affected employees to help them through this difficult time.

The Responsibility of Leaders

Leaders have a responsibility to exhibit ethical behavior in the workplace, especially when it comes to handling layoffs. Ethical leadership is about treating employees with respect and dignity and making decisions that take into account the impact on all stakeholders. 

When leaders fail to communicate layoffs honestly, transparently, and humanely, it sends a message that employees are expendable and their contributions to the company are not valued. This can damage employee morale and create a toxic workplace culture. 

Leaders must take responsibility for the impact of layoffs on their employees and make decisions that prioritize the well-being of both affected and remaining employees. 

By exhibiting ethical leadership, leaders can foster a positive workplace culture that values employees as people, not just as cogs in a machine.

Alternative Approaches to Layoffs

Layoffs are often seen as a necessary evil in the business world. However, it's important to remember that there are alternative approaches that can mitigate the negative impact on employees and the company's culture. One such approach is to handle layoffs with compassion and transparency.

Voluntary Buyouts

Many companies have shown that taking a compassionate approach to layoffs can actually improve employee morale and retention in the long run. For example, instead of laying off employees without warning, some companies have opted to offer voluntary buyouts, giving employees more control over their own futures. 

Other companies have implemented "soft landings" programs, which provide laid-off employees with job search resources, training, and even financial support.

Involving Employees

Involving employees in the layoff process can also be beneficial. This can include giving employees advance notice of potential layoffs and providing opportunities for them to give input and feedback on the process. By involving employees in the process, companies can demonstrate that they value their contributions and care about their well-being, even during difficult times.

The potential long-term benefits of compassionate layoffs are significant. By treating employees with respect and dignity during the layoff process, companies can foster a positive workplace culture that values employees and promotes loyalty and commitment. This can lead to improved morale, higher productivity, and a more motivated workforce.

Moving Forward

Layoffs can have a profound impact on both employees and the company's culture. The way in which layoffs are handled can either exacerbate this impact or mitigate it. In this article, we have explored the emotional toll of layoffs via email, the responsibility of leaders to exhibit ethical behavior, and alternative approaches to layoffs that prioritize compassion and transparency.

In the end, ethical leadership and a commitment to employee well-being are essential for creating a workplace culture that values employees as people, not just as resources. By taking a compassionate approach to layoffs, companies can demonstrate that they truly care about their employees and prioritize their well-being, even during difficult times.

Emotional Wellness

The Mindful Journey: Exploring the Art of Meditation

November 4, 2022
The Wellness Tribe Team

You are here means you are ready to embark on this journey. The best way of experiencing meditation is actually to do it, not just talk about it. Meditation isn't always easy; some days, it's going to feel easy, while others might feel hard. But, no matter how uncomfortable it feels, you just need to stay with it every time. 

Your emotional wellbeing and overall health can benefit from meditation. It can bring you calm, peace, and balance. As a relaxation tool, you can refocus your attention on something calming when you're stressed. Mediation can also help you stay centred and find inner peace. Meditation might help you find the perfect work life balance if you work continuously. 

The most important thing is that you set yourself up in a place where you will be comfortable. You can either lie down or sit up. You definitely don't have to be sitting cross-legged on the floor. 

Let's Begin

The Mindful Journey: Exploring the Art of Meditation
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

We're going to open our eyes and keep their gaze soft, just aware of the space around us. Now that you have your eyes softly focused, take a few deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe in, notice how the lungs fill with air, and the body expands.

As you exhale, notice that your body softens. Inhale through your nose one more time. And this time, as you breathe out through the mouth, if you'd like to, just gently close the eyes. Let's just enjoy and appreciate the feeling that we've stopped and have nothing to do, nowhere to go.

Take a Moment to Feel Changes in Your Body

Notice the feeling of weight—the weight of the body pressing down against the seat or the floor beneath you. And take a moment as well just to notice your surroundings without looking around, just noticing the different sounds, not trying to shut them out. 

And use this opportunity as well just to notice how the body feels. We rarely pay attention to how our bodies feel. So is there a feeling of heaviness or lightness in the body? Is there a feeling of restlessness?

And as you bring your attention to the body, just starting to become more aware of that feeling, that movement of breath in the body. So, therefore, there is no need to breathe in any particular way.

Just allow the body to do its own thing. Some people feel the movement of breath in their chest, their shoulders. For some, it's in the diaphragm, and for some, it's in the stomach. Put your hand gently on your belly to feel that rising and falling sensation. Because you can't feel anything, you can't feel any movement.

"Meditation is not a way of making your mind peaceful. It is a way of seeing the peace that is already there." - Vimala Thakar

Put an End to Your Wanderings

The Mindful Journey: Exploring the Art of Meditation
Photo by Jens Johnsson

Again, thoughts are going to pop into your mind. The mind's going to wander. Just notice when the mind's wandered off, and just gently come back to the breath. To begin with, we're just noticing the breath in a very general way and perhaps starting to notice whether the breaths are long or short, deep or shallow. And we might find ourselves thinking either about the exercise or other things, just realising when that's happened, let those thoughts go, and come back to the breath again.

The body knows how to breathe—not getting involved in any thinking, just allowing the thoughts to come and go. If you notice your mind has wandered and you want to bring it back to the breath, gently bring it back.

So we'll stay with that feeling, a rising and falling sensation, for a few moments longer. And then, just for a moment now, let go of any focus, even of the breath now, and for a few seconds, let your mind wander.

Put Your Mind at Ease

The Mindful Journey: Exploring the Art of Meditation
Photo by Cup of  Couple

So your mind’s been wanting to think, you can let it think now. Just allow it to do whatever it wants to do. And now, just gently bring the attention back to the body. Just coming back now to that feeling of weight, that feeling of contact against the seat or the floor beneath you.

Perhaps noticing the sounds around you again. And whenever you feel ready, you can just gently open your eyes again. But before you move, just take a moment to notice how you feel in your mind body soul. The more often we do this after meditation, the more we're reminded of how much we need to pause in our life to take this time out for ourselves.

One Final Piece of Advice

If you can resist any temptation to analyse what's happened, the benefits, or anything else, just know that taking the time it's making a difference. But remember, before you get up, just remind yourself to take this satisfaction and sense of well-being with you into your life.

It is important to take time out, be still, and be silent to live a happy healthy life. And there are real benefits to that, but what really makes meditation valuable is how it influences our everyday life, relationships, and experiences.

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