Staff members recently took part in a mindfulness session run by experienced coach, Jo Bentley, as part of Shepherds Friendly Society’s ‘Putting You First’ staff development programme.
The ‘Putting You First’ development programme is an initiative designed to support the health and wellbeing of employees, here at Shepherds Friendly Society.
We take the health of our employees very seriously and that is we offer regular workshops to encourage our staff to stay fit and healthy, both physically and mentally.
With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year  and given the fact an individual’s health is affected by the conditions and environment in which they live, we recognise how important it is to address mindfulness in the workplace.
The workshop was held by coach Jo Bentley. She introduced activities to the team such as the ‘Body Scan’, which saw staff focus the mind to move heat from the brain to different parts of the body. Jo, also introduced our staff to the ‘7-11 breathing exercise’ which teaches breathing techniques that will help to relax busy minds.
Staff also learnt that the mindfulness involves paying more attention to the present moment and not focussing on what has happened in the past or what may happen in the future.
Mindfulness has been proven to help improve people’s mental well-being. A range of practices have shown to be able to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, increase focus, and help people to manage demands on their time.
Incorporating mindfulness into the workplace can result in a more positive working environment for all. Research has found that organisations that promote health and wellbeing at work can benefit from highly engaged employees, who are less likely to report workplace stress, take fewer sick days and make the most productive and happiest employees. 
Nasrin Hossain, Chief Culture Officer commented: “The session was really beneficial in helping understand how mindfulness works and the benefits that it can bring. The exercises were really good in focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the past and future, and a lot of staff signed up to receive further information on Jo’s mindfulness sessions”.
 Improving Lives; The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper.