In January of this year, MD Emma Pielen invited Ruth Worgan, a counsellor and mindfulness teacher, to come and talk to the staff about mindfulness and how it can help to alleviate stress. After the talk the staff expressed an interest in taking part in a four-week course to find out more.
The Balthasar management team were pleased to fund this course and allow training to take place during working hours, because as a company, we actively encourage our staff in many ways to pursue a good work-life balance. Mindfulness meditation has been proven to reduce feelings of stress and is increasingly being used in the workplace by many businesses. By focussing our awareness on the present moment, it is possible to stop the mind from dwelling on things beyond our control that may or may not happen, to stop reliving troublesome past events and to put an end to negative cyclical thought patterns.
Each session of the course included some simple guided meditation practice, a chance to provide feedback to the group as to how and where stress is felt in the body and how it is perceived by the mind. Each week Ruth also provided handouts with more information, ideas for further practice and a poem or thought-provoking piece of writing. The course also included a CD with guided meditations for practising at work or at home.
These sessions were so successful that the team asked for a follow-up course in July, which we have just completed, and are currently considering regular monthly sessions with Ruth.
In other efforts to help staff achieve a good work-life balance and prevent stress in the workplace, we encourage staff to take regular breaks during the working day and not to do overtime unless absolutely essential. We have created a quiet space in one of our spare offices and furnished it with various pieces of yoga equipment and information on relaxation techniques, where staff can go during breaks to move and stretch, and/or to practise mindfulness.
The company hopes that by these measures staff will remain motivated, engaged and enthusiastic about their work so that customers and suppliers alike will find working with Balthasar Ltd a truly rewarding and positive experience.
Some comments from those who took part in the course:
“Mindfulness helps you to become aware of what is going on in your mind so that you can begin to tackle problematic thoughts.”
“It has helped me immensely to reduce my stress levels.”
“Mindfulness meditation has helped sharpen my ability to focus on what’s going on in my body. During the meditations, I feel calm and relaxed and the exercises help me to accept things that are beyond my control.”
Ruth Worgan’s website: www.mindfulnesscounselling.co.uk