A brief history of mindfulness
The origins of Mindfulness are often debated although Mindfulness is a practice involved in various religious and secular traditions, from Hinduism and Buddhism to yoga and, more recently, non-religious meditation. People have been practising mindfulness for thousands of years, whether by itself or as part of a larger tradition.
The origins of the world mindfulness are said to come from the Pali language and the word ‘vipassana’ meaning ‘clear seeing’.
Mindfulness for wellbeing Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better. Mindfulness can reduce perceived stress and strengthen individual and organisational resilience. Watch the video below to learn more about ‘why Mindfulness’.
Neuroscience and mindfulness
Mindfulness is a simple approach to training our minds and strengthening concentration, emotional awareness and resilience. It is used to support wellbeing as well as to promote creativity and performance.
When practising mindfulness, you start by settling your attention on the breath. In doing this, your mind relaxes and different areas of your nervous system and brain become active.
Our nervous system has two distinct parts. The sympathetic system is responsible for physical action, and the parasympathetic for relaxation and recovery.
Mindfulness practice enables people to learn to activate their parasympathetic nervous system which lowers stress, brings health benefits such as reducing blood pressure and strengthening the immune system, and lifting your mood.
Regular mindfulness practice promotes the parasympathetic nervous system by:
- Reducing stress
- Lowering blood pressure
- Boosting immune system
- Improving mood
It helps balance emotions and actions, and encourages you to pause before acting.
Regular mindfulness practice helps control the sympathetic nervous system by:
- Prepares response to danger
- Increases heartrate
- Increases adrenaline
- Lowers perception
Controlling this system promotes your ability to reduce your ‘fight or flight’ response
Mindfulness at work
There has been an enormous growth in research on the benefits of regular mindfulness practice, which has become established in schools and universities, the police force, in the UK parliament and many international companies.
Paying more attention promotes divergent thinking to generate new ideas and spark creativity. Mindfulness enhances awareness and your ability to set aside mental clutter thus strengthening the ability to remain focused under pressure and enhancing the ability to remain open minded for new ideas and challenges.
Clearer focus and improved concentration supports you to remain calm in stressful situations leading to a reduction in error rates, improved decision making and avoiding inefficiencies.
Collaboration and communication and greater relationship satisfaction can boost compassion and self-reflection. This can significantly improve team relationships, increased job satisfaction and engagement.
Mindfulness at Jaguar Land Rover
At Jaguar Land Rover we have developed our own in-house Mindfulness guided practice as an e-learning course. This resource offers an introduction to Mindfulness, with some short guided practices to try. This e-learning is a prerequisite for the Mindfulness workshop.
The Mindfulness course has been developed in partnership with Kalapa Academy and is available via SuccessFactors.
Single-sign on is required to access these resources.