Stress & Impact On Business

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports stress to be the #1 health problem in the U.S., and businesses and organizations are currently losing billions of dollars annually resulting from:

  • Poor health in the form of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and psychological disorders.
  • Lower productivity from mental distractions and absenteeism.
  • Less cooperation and teamwork, leading to greater inefficiency.
  • Inability to focus on job tasks and the organization’s goals.
  • Higher health care costs

As an individual, do you know how much stress is costing you personally & professionally?  As a business owner, do you know how much stress is impacting your employees and subsequently the bottom line for your business?

workplace stress

While those costs are likely high, the good news is there is a clinically proven psychological concept called Mindfulness that can help people live healthier lives, thus reducing the astronomical costs that poor health and chronic stress can bring.  Mindfulness is a simple & effective treatment that if practiced regularly can, according to Harvard Business Review & Forbes Magazine, help in the following ways:  

  • Increased mental focus & clarity for better decision making and more proficient critical thinking skills
  • Amplified creativity for more innovative & creative thinking
  • Enhanced compassion & courage for more robust team work & leadership
  • Enhanced coping skills & emotional intelligence for improved problem solving in the face of challenges
  • Reduced stress for decreased depression & anxiety for less absenteeism due to illness

Big companies such as Google, Apple Computers, General Mills, Nike, Target, Procter & Gamble, Boeing and Facebook understand the high costs & negative impact an unhealthy workforce can bring, so they support workplace wellness programs that include mindfulness training…and with studies such showing that mindfulness training programs yield a return of 5 to 10 times their cost (Mindfulness Meditation Institute), the value of implementation can far outweigh the costs.

To learn more about Mindfulness  and how Mindfulness Training can help you, your business or organization contact Lori at Foundations Counseling at 847-497-0524 or Lori@FoundationsCounselingCenter.org.

Live Mindfully & Prosper!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude

Foundations Counseling would like to take the time to express gratitude for all that is this Thanksgiving holiday.  Weather we like it or not, we learn & grow from every single experience we have good, bad or indifferent.  It is not what happens to us in life, it is how we process what happens to us that creates the perceptions that become our reality.  Noting and expressing gratitude can be a powerful tool for life wellness, personal & professional fulfillment and general happiness and contentment in life.

Take a look at this great 9 minute video by amazing cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg @LouieFilms regarding nature, beauty and gratitude.  Enjoy & be well friends; we are grateful & thankful for you!

Live Mindfully & Prosper

Mindfulness-Prosper

Monday November 2, 2015

Good Mindful Monday all – welcome to Live Mindfully & Prosper!

Who? As a 20-year counseling professional and fellow human being who experiences ups and downs in life like all other humans, I understand the beauty and challenge life can bring.

What? One thing I know that works to help enrich daily life and manage stress is Mindfulness.  Mindfulness is a particular way of noticing and responding to life – noticing vs. judging; responding vs. reacting…think about it, big difference, right?  Mindful living is, in a nutshell, moment to moment awareness of life as it is happening – accepting life as it is happening, with an open mind and heart.  Not always easy to do, but worth the effort for sure with research showing that regular Mindfulness practice can have significant health benefits such as:

  • Enhanced emotional intelligence for improved coping and problem solving
  • Increased awareness for stronger interpersonal relationships
  • Reduced stress for decreased depression, anxiety & blood pressure
  • Improved focus and memory for more proficient critical thinking skills

How? Brain science:  Daily life requires us to interact with others, make decisions and respond to all kinds of things, and over time our brains become wired (grooved like a record) to those same responses or reactions we tend to have over and over.  Many times we are reacting emotionally (right brain response) instead of responding mindfully (balance of right brain emotion processing and left brain logical analyzing), but the good news is our brains have what is called neuroplasticity so we can recondition (re-groove) our automatic responses to life to become healthier over time and with practice.  All good things take time and the clinically proven benefits of Mindfulness are no different – to cultivate mindful living skills so they become a more automatic response to life (versus the reactions we have grooved our brings to do) we must practice them over & over again.

Why? If you start today with adding one element of Mindfulness to your daily life, possibly immediate, but more realistically over time you will likely notice a positive difference in the way you are living and feeling about life.  It may be that you are more relaxed day to day or that you find yourself responding better to things…maybe you are starting to enjoy healthier interactions with people, or you aren’t as easily agitated or maybe you feel life is perhaps brighter, more manageable or hopeful.

30-Day Mindfulness Challenge! It takes time to change a habit; repetition is key.  Start with one small thing, and build.  Give it a try, see what happens, what do you have to lose?  The possibilities are endless when we live with an open mind. 

Where/when? There are many components to Mindfulness and the benefits are many so this Live Mindfully & Prosper (LM&P) page is designed to be a resource for you in all things Mindfulness.  Visit us weekly for information, education, hands-on skills, inspiration, motivation, support & guidance regarding how Mindful Living can help you to live a healthier, happier, more balanced and fulfilled life.

Cheers to Living Mindfully & Prospering all!  Below are a few Mindful Living tips you can get started with right here, right now :).

Enjoy & be well always,

Lori

  • Slow down
  • Take a deep breath (Mindful Breathing)
  • Let go of judgment
  • Pay attention to your body
  • Use all five of your senses to notice things
  • Seek understanding
  • Express gratitude
  • Live life for today, not yesterday or tomorrow

Life is a choice

In honor of Thankful Thursday, here’s a short inspirational story that was emailed to us this week…

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly even though he is legally  blind, moved to a nursing home after his wife of 70 years passed away.  After many hours of waiting patiently to move into his new room in the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was finally ready.  As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.    

“I love it” he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new  puppy.  “Mr.  Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait”.  That doesn’t have anything to do with  it”, he replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.  Whether I like my room or not doesn’t  depend on how the furniture is arranged … it’s how I arrange my mind. I  already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I  wake up.  I have a choice & I choose happiness.  I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulties I have or I can get out of bed and be thankful for all of my blessings.  Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes are open I will focus on the beauty that each new day offers.  Life is like a bank account in that you withdraw from what you’ve put in. 

Moral of the story:  Life is a choice.  Choose happiness where you can & be sure to share the love with those around you to maximize the deposits in the bank account of life!

 

The Happiness Trap

http://http://thehappinesstrap.com/mindfulness

At Foundations we are reading ‘The Happiness Trap’ by Dr. Russ Harris.  Dr. Harris is a proponent of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) which helps us to clarify our values and develop mindfulness skills to find true satisfaction, or happiness, in life.

We’ve only read the first couple of chapters of the book, but so far we think ‘The Happiness Trap’ is a good read that offers helpful information regarding happiness myths and vicious cycles we can get ourselves into in an effort to control or chase happiness.