Updated: Jan 30, 2020
The Wainwright House is leading the charge to help beat workplace stressors. Its half-day Mindfulness at Work Summit on October 22, 2019, is designed to help employees relieve stress, sharpen focus, rekindle creativity and engagement and strengthen connection with themselves, co-workers and their workplaces, whether they work in traditional or non-traditional work environments.
The idea of workplace stress is not new. The World Health Organization recently added “burnout” to its International Classification of Diseases, defining it as an occupational phenomenon “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
A recent online survey conducted by the Wainwright House reflected the need for this type of summit in Westchester County. 62% of the survey participants agreed that their organization would benefit from implementing mindfulness practices. Further, a number of survey participants expressed confusion about what mindfulness is and how it would be employed in a workplace.
“The goal of the Summit is to meet people right where they are in terms of what they know, or wish they knew about mindfulness and how it can make their work lives better,” says Laurie Jordan, Wainwright’s program coordinator.
Through mini-workshops, attendees will come away with simple mindfulness strategies they can use during their work day, practices that help them break through habitual ways of thinking in order to make positive and informed choices and effective communication methods that foster authentic connection. Breakout sessions include gentle yoga, Qi Gong, Meditation, Mindful Parenting for Working Parents, Tai Chi and NIA.
“The most effective way to understand mindfulness and its benefits is by actually experiencing it,” says Jackie Frederick-Berner, Mindfulness at Work presenter and mindfulness meditation instructor. “Everyone has this innate ability to shift how they relate to the constant demands and distractions of work. We’re going to show people how to tap into that.”
Research has shown that daily mindful practices reduce anxiety, improve attention and increase gray matter in the brain regions involved in memory and learning, emotional regulation, mind wandering and keeping things in perspective. All of these benefits can pave the way toward a happier, more productive and fulfilling work life.
Mindfulness goes hand-in-hand with developing leadership capabilities. “Our definition of leadership is evolving in today’s organization. We want leaders who are compassionate and nurturing” says Joyce Schroeder, summit presenter and founder of Flourishing Culture Consultants. “Since our actions spring from the inside out, it is important for leaders to do a lot of internal work and we will get the chance to explore that process of looking inward in my session.”
The Wainwright House, which is dedicated to the development of human potential, is a fitting place for a summit on fostering a healthy work life. It is dedicated to the development of human potential, and is the oldest, non-profit, non-sectarian, holistic learning center in the country. In the 1940s, it was home to the Layman’s Movement, an early encourager of spiritual values in the workplace.
“Spiritual values are human values,” attests Bob Manheimer, president of Wainwright’s board of trustees. “Making the Mindfulness at Work Summit available to our community is a direct reflection of The Wainwright House’s mission to inspire purpose and personal growth.”
The Mindfulness at Work Summit takes place at The Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Avenue, Rye, NY on October 22 from 7:30 – 12 noon. This event is free. Registrants can RSVP online at wainwright.org or by calling The Wainwright House at 914-967-6080.