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Handling stress in an effective manner is a challenge for many employers and employees alike. Over the last several years meditation and mindfulness have become well respected business practices for creating stress resilience. It is no coincidence that the United States Army has seen mindfulness as a means of improving the cognitive functioning and military resilience of soldiers.

ACAS offer a one-day appreciation of the concept but the true benefits come from regular training and full engagement with the practice.

Mindfulness is effective because, as neuroscience now confirms, our brains are capable of recognising habits and changing old patterns of thinking. Inevitably this takes time and commitment on the part of individuals. There can be substantial scepticism. But the benefits of the practice are a sense of calmness and awareness. These enable individuals to become strong enough to respond in a balanced imaginative way when stressed.

Anyone who has seen the film “Bridge of Spies” is likely to be impressed by the serenity of Colonel Abel (a KGB spy) while on death row in America. His barrister asks the Colonel why the he does not seemed concerned about the prospect. Abel’s calm, quizzical response is “Would it help?” Emotional resilience at its peak!

The benefits of mindfulness training for stress reduction are now well established. Stress creates dysfunctionality in individuals and teams, so the potential benefits for businesses are significant, if not huge.

Courses enabling individuals to develop the practice, often labelled as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), are increasingly available, including a free online course.