Mindset Training Portal - Phase 2

Welcome to your Pause at Work toolbox!

On this webpage, you will find all of the guided recordings, materials, weekly lessons, and mindful tools to help you develop and sustain your mindfulness practice at work.

Short Meditations for Stress Relief

Program Materials + Resources

Week 1

In "Doing Mode" we live on autopilot much of the time: we drive, walk, eat, and even speak without much awareness of what we're doing. Doing starts up automatically whenever there is a mismatch between where we are now and where we want to be. Focusing narrowly on our goals, we rarely stop and notice the wonder of what's happening around us as we move through our lives. We can end up missing much of our lives, forever postponing the time when life will be less hectic and we'll really notice things again. ​

 

Being Mode is intentional rather than automatic. This means we can choose what to do next, rather than run on old, worn-out habits. This allows us to see things as if for the very first time. We "reinhabit" the present moment and become conscious of our lives. Being brings a freshness to our perception. We become fully awake and aware again.

Waking Up to Autopilot: Doing vs. Being

THEME

MENTAL EXERCISE

When you find yourself transitioning between work activities, pause, take a deep breath, and allow your body to relax. Rest your mind in open awareness and allow sensations, thoughts, emotions, and sounds to move through the space of awareness. Sense your sky-like awareness (Big Mind) that recognizes all that's going on and engage your next activity with a more spacious awareness. ​

 

Pause tip! Use sticky notes to leave reminders like "Open Awareness" or "OA" or "Big Mind" wherever you will see them.

Rest in Open Awareness

WORK APPLICATION

MATERIALS

 
 

Week 2

The brain’s built-in negativity bias helped our ancestors survive in harsh, threatening conditions for millions of years. This “programming” of the brain propels us to continually look for, react to, store, and recall bad news. Consequently, we naturally pay a lot more attention to threats and losses than to the things that are going right. This bias unwittingly influences our expectations, feelings, and moods and left unchecked can easily lead to anxiety, irritation, exhaustion and burnout.

 

Our health, wellbeing, and happiness in the 21st century depend on intentional practices to balance out the neural programming we inherited from our ancestors. Taking intentional pauses to come home to presence, to allow ourselves to rest the mind, and soak in positive moments when they arise can over time rewire our brains for greater levels of wellbeing. We’re not ignoring the real world challenges that exist. Rather, we’re soaking in the good so that we’re better able to put challenges and difficulties into perspective and more equipped to effectively meet challenges without being overwhelmed.

Soak in the Good

THEME

MENTAL EXERCISE

Continue to pause throughout your day – resting in open awareness. After resting, look for good facts and turn them into good experiences:

  • Soften and rest your mind with the positive element, letting it fill your mind.

  • Hold it gently and let it affect you.

  • Notice how you feel in your body as you open yourself to the good that is around and within you.

  • Let it soak in for about 30 seconds.

Pause tip! Use sticky notes to leave reminders like "take in the good" wherever you will see them.

Pause to Take in the Good

WORK APPLICATION

MATERIALS

Week 3

When stress levels rise, it’s easy to be consumed by the negativity bias and feel overwhelmed by gloomy news and uncontrollable change. We may feel powerless and lose perspective. While it’s true that we may not often have control over our external circumstances, we do have a strong influence over our mind.

 

Getting through hard times requires strength. Strength comes in many forms – not just sheer force. Strength includes endurance, persistence, restraint and the willingness to sacrifice small wins for a bigger goal.

 

We’re often blind to our own strengths – it’s hard to see ourselves the way others do and many of our strengths are things we find easy and natural, so they may be quickly discounted as insignificant. Taking time to pause and appreciate our strengths can help us refuel, regain perspective, feel stronger in the face of adversity, and make good things happen.

Uncovering Strengths 

THEME

MENTAL EXERCISE

MENTAL EXERCISE

  • When you need a break in your day, pause to tap into the feeling of strength within.

  • Put your arms up like you’ve just crossed a finish line or defeated an opponent

  • Breathe deeply with awareness of your whole body in a power pose. Recognize your inner strength and capacity to endure. Let your body reflect that strength.

  • Power pause anytime you need to tap into your inner reserves of strength

Pause tip! Use sticky notes to leave reminders like "POWER pose" or "Strengths" wherever you will see them.

POWER Pause

WORK APPLICATION

MATERIALS

 
 

Week 4

THEME

Minding Your Info Diet

Our “diet” of information can have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. Each time we read or watch something that makes us feel challenged or threatened, the body tenses up to fight, flee, or freeze. Over time, this steady drip of tension can overload our mental and physical health – leading to poor digestion, body aches, headaches, anxiety, irritability, and depression.

 

Bringing awareness to when, where, and how often we consume media that activates tension is an important step in protecting our health. We can also restore our wellbeing by practicing the inner skill of consciously relaxing the body and learning to activate the parasympathetic nervous system at will (calming the autonomic stress reaction).

 

One such powerful practice that rebalances the nervous system is abdominal breathing (aka diaphragmatic or “belly” breathing). Breathing deeply through the belly activates receptors that send messages to the brain via the vagus nerve to lower your heart rate and shift your body out of "fight or flight" and into "rest and digest" mode. 

MENTAL EXERCISE

Each time you notice the impulse or urge to check the news or other potentially draining social media source, pause and take three deep belly-breaths:

  • PAUSE for one second and let yourself become still.

  • Relax your body and soften obvious areas of tension (eyes, jaw, shoulders, arms, hands, abdomen, legs).

  • Take 3 gentle deep breaths through your abdomen, fully aware of each inhale (the sense of expansion) and exhale (the return to center), bringing yourself back when your mind wanders.

  • Consider whether or not you really need to read the news and then make a conscious choice that’s right for you and your health.

Pause tip! Use sticky notes to leave reminders like "Pause" or "Breathe" wherever you will see them.

Pause for 3 Deep Breaths

WORK APPLICATION

MATERIALS

Mindful Tools for the Modern Workplace

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