Love Life Love You works in connection with Mental Health Awareness Week
On Friday 13 May, Love Life Love You held three workshops at GE Aviation Limited in Nant Garw on the topic of mindfulness. We were invited to hold these workshops in connection with Mental Health Awareness Week and were delighted to have the opportunity to bring mindfulness to the workplace.
As many of you may know, Steve had a long career at GE Aviation before he followed his dreams and established LLLY. In this respect, it was a huge step for LLLY as we now had the chance to reconnect with Steve’s colleagues and demonstrate the importance of the work we do. Not only were we able to promote Mental Health Awareness Week, we were also able to inspire people and bring them practical tools to help them in relation to mindfulness.
The workshops were really well attended, with people cramming themselves into the room for some of the sessions to be able to hear Steve. He began the workshop by introducing everyone to the idea of mindlessness rather than mindfulness. This really resonated with lots of people, and perhaps it will do with you. Have you ever driven and forgotten how you’ve arrived at your destination? Did you just get there by autopilot? Have you ever made a plate of food for yourself and then not realised that you’d eaten it all? That is LLLY’s definition of mindlessness – focusing on everything else other than what you’re doing in the present. Losing yourself in thoughts rather than connecting with yourself.
Steve then moved onto the findings of Dr Sara Lazar, a researcher at Harvard University in Boston, USA. Dr Lazar used MRI scans and other brain-imaging techniques to observe changes in the brains of those who meditated and those who did not. An area of the brain called the pre-frontal cortex is known to decrease in size with age. However Dr Lazar found that the size of the pre-frontal cortex in a 50 year old meditator was the same size as that of a 25 year old! So, meditation actually slows down the aging process! There were a number of other observations that Dr Lazar made from studying the brain, all of which showed that meditation has a positive effect on all those who practise it.
We then discussed the importance of exercising the brain. It is important to view the brain as a muscle, just as you would the rest of the body. If you’re trying to get big biceps you know that you have to do certain exercises to make them bigger. This is the same for the brain – you need to exercise it to get the most out of it. This is all to do with neuroplasticity – this is the brains’ ability to create new neural pathways, which mean you can change your brain just as you can change your muscles. Amazing!
The highlight of the workshops was the guided meditations. Steve’s soothing voice calmed the whole room, and every person seemed to enjoy taking time to connect to their breath and having 15 minutes to themselves. This was Steve demonstrating the importance of being present – having a moment to look inward and to concentrate on breathing rather than on the million of thoughts swimming around in our brains.
We received fantastic feedback from the workshops and are excited to bring the presentation to as many people as possible. If you think that your workplace could benefit from something similar, get in touch with us on our contact page.