Stress Reduction & Workplace Wellness Program

by Timothy R. Walker, Ph.D.

The Stress Reduction and Workplace Wellness Program has the power to cultivate a transformation in the culture of your business or workplace. When employees and managers learn to deal with stress effectively there are many long-term benefits in reducing costs and improving productivity. Beyond reducing stress, mindfulness and awareness training also cultivates mental clarity, resiliency, flexibility, creativity, initiative and intuition, within individuals, their work-teams, and within the organization as a whole. Mindfulness training has proved in clinical research to be a highly effective antidote to the negative effects of stress.

Mindfulness is:

  • Being fully present in each moment, (not entangled in the past or worried about the future)
  • Training attention
  • Experiencing life without judgment
  • Living life fully whatever the stressors or challenges may be
  • Learning to observe how mind works
  • Inner calm, relaxed and confident (despite external chaos)

Like a powerful microscope, mindfulness allows us to look at ourselves, our relationships and our organizational structures in new ways.

The Program

The Stress-Reduction & Workplace Wellness Program is a nine week training program in mindfulness based stress reduction, personal empowerment, and healthy communication. Participants will attend one 3-hour class per week for nine weeks, and practice mindfulness techniques throughout each week at home and at work.

Bottom line Benefits

Workplace stress-reduction programs along this model have been researched extensively. Herbert Benson M.D., the best-selling author and reknowned stress expert, who coined the term “the relaxation response”, conducted two studies with his associates in 1990 and 1992 and found that such programs decreased employees’ visits to the doctor’s office by 35% to 50%. “The programs paid for themselves in less than one year,” Benson notes, “after which all savings went directly toward the company’s bottom line.” And those savings were from reduced office visits alone. Stress-reduction programs have also been shown to decrease the need for medications, cut down on absenteeism and accidents, improve job performance, and alleviate stress-related problems such as insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure. As Benson points out, “Stress-hardy employees may be a company’s best defense against escalating medical costs.”

Human Resource Development

“If an organization is to change the way its people think, act and relate, then people must internalize a set of principles or disciplines that shape their reactions and govern their behaviour. Disciplines of this kind might also be called enduring social patterns, but they are a good deal more than unconscious habits. Habits are automatic and therefore mindless. Disciplines are mindful.”

Mindfulness training in the Workplace Wellness Program can help the employees in your organization to:

  • Transform stress and anxiety into inspiration, wisdom, and energy
  • Thrive on constant change
  • Manage information overload with wisdom and skill, to leverage information for direct results
  • Prioritize work from a more vast vision and higher meaning
  • Nurture creativity, innovation, and initiative
  • Cultivate teamwork and shared vision
  • Release the full power of human potential
  • Transform conflict into creativity
  • Instill mental disciplines such as courage, curiosity, integrity, empathy, focus, persistence, and vision

Through the discipline of mindfulness one examines the ways in which one limits and deceives oneself. By relentlessly challenging our assumptions, we create the space for new paradigms to arise. With mindfulness and awareness, reactive patterns of thought, speech and behaviour yield to a fresh perspective. Limiting beliefs and rigid concepts melt away, allowing work teams to become dynamic and creative. When growing and learning as a team becomes the priority, innovation and productivity soar. “Research has shown that even a small increase in employee morale and commitment can lead to a measurable increase in customer satisfaction and overall profitability.” The Workplace Wellness program can be tailor-made to fit the needs of your organization. Whether working with managers at any level, or staff and line employees, the group training sessions have three components. One is mindfulness-based stress reduction and awareness training. The second is personal empowerment and the third is the practice of honest and fearless communication.