How can mindfulness be used as a tool to reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism in SA?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention in the present moment. When you are mindful you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them as good or bad, right or wrong. Paying attention in this very particular way greatly increases our capacity to be less reactive and more accepting of our present experience, however distressing or upsetting that may be. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the pioneer of mindfulness, wrote a book called Full Catastrophe Living. A very apt title for the way people currently experience life. One thing after another. Stress is high and so is the rumination associated with trying to desperately search for a solution by "mulling the problem" over and over in the mind. This constant "autopilot mode" is also causing people to be habitually distracted and totally disconnected from their bodies and their innate capacity to be present and centered, in the moment. Mindfulness teaches very specific exercises to initially allow people to experience a settling of the many thoughts, feelings and emotions, which dominate our existence. We introduce the awareness of sensations in the body to allow participants to experience what it feels like to pay attention to the body in a very specific way. Delegates report that the mind settles down - it still drifts off and we normalize how this will happen, however, there is an opening to the fact that we do not need to live "lost in thought" and just accept that this is who we are. Thinking is not the highest form of intelligence. Awareness, which is panoramic, is in fact a far more creative and authentically powerful way of being in the world. From this place, we learn to be present in a non-judgemental and curious way which is open and creative.

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