The “M” word
The “M” word is commonly misunderstood and tends to carry various meanings. “Attention training” or “focused awareness” are probably better terms to describe what meditation actually is. A type of meditation called “mindfulness” is defined as “the mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment”. It is an active brain workout specifically for training your attention and increasing awareness. Did you know that practicing mindfulness can create new neural pathways? Essentially rewiring your brain!
The R.A.I.N method is a great tool to use any time but particularly when you begin to experience a strong emotion.
So, the next time you begin to feel some sort of way try these 4 steps:
1. R Recognize what is happening
2. A Allow it to be
3. I Investigate the inner experience
4. N Non-Identification or Nurture
For more information contact our Wellness Coordinator at DBHEmployeeWellness@dbh.sbcounty.gov.
Breathing is a natural process that happens without any thought or effort, it is an unconscious behavior. But, therein lays the problem, we are breathing unconsciously. Our breath holds so much power! If we inhale and exhale in controlled ways, we will have the ability to alter our feelings in the moment and consequently our behavior.
Try these and notice how it makes you feel.
4-7-8 breathing: Inhale through your nose to a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
Follow this breathing visual: https://www.calm.com/breathe.
Try blowing bubbles: Take a breath and blow out slowly as you would through a bubble wand. Or take a deep breath and blow out with your lips together, as if you were blowing bubbles under water.
Want more real-time tools? Ask your supervisor about having our Wellness Coordinator, Deana Kahle at your next staff meeting.
Warning Signs of Depression 1
Depression impacts 16% of adults during their lifetime
Warning Signs of Anxiety2
Anxiety impacts 30% of adults during their lifetime
If you see a co-worker's behavior or performance changing over time, ask if he or she is ok. The role is not to diagnose but to express care and concern for another person. By doing so, you can make a positive difference and checking in creates an organizational culture of caring. Consider using the NOTICE. TALK. ACT.™ approach in checking in.
NOTICE: the warning signs and changes in another person's behavior or performance. These noticeable changes persist for two or more weeks, not just once suggesting perhaps a bad day. If the change in behavior or performance is extreme enough to warrant an immediate response, make sure you understand your role within your organization's safety protocols.
TALK: find a quiet and private place to ask a co-worker are you ok? Expressions of concern contribute to a supportive work environment. Also, noticeable changes—like changes in appearance or behavior—suggest everything is not ok. When talking with a co-worker, provide examples of the behavior that is worrying you, be sure not to place judgement on the individual. It is best to assume that you do not know what is happening and want to learn more from that individual's perspective. Remind the person that we all have challenging times in life when we would benefit from extra support and guidance to get through those times. Be a good listener.
ACT: listening is a big help, but so is connecting a person you are concerned about with care. This can start by encouraging the person to consider connecting with a healthcare professional. Ask how you can help connect the person with support and care. If you are worried about the person's immediate safety, do not leave the person alone. Seek emergency assistance. If not, check back in with the person in a day or two to see how things are going.
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