MindfulnessSeptember 15, 2020
MEET JEN, KEY ACCOUNTS COORDINATOR AND MINDFULNESS ENTHUSIAST.
Jen has been a member of the CBS team since October 2015. Recently she introduced to the wider team her passion for mindfulness and meditation, taking multiple teams within CBS through guided video call meditations, sharing techniques that help relieve stress and anxiety.
“Being able to bring that (mindfulness & meditation) in and help other people has been a great opportunity. ”
"Mindfulness for me is about taking a step back..."
Mindfulness is a psychological process, it’s all about being engaged with the moment. It isn’t anything new either – Mindfulness has a rich history, attached to many cultures and derives a lot of its techniques and thoughts particularly from Buddhist traditions like Sati and Zen.
“Mindfulness for me is about taking a step back, I think a lot of us can be quite caught up with the everyday. We go on autopilot; we don’t realise how stressed and maybe anxious we can feel sometimes. It’s about “appreciating what we’ve got, even if it’s a simple thing like making a cup of tea – just think about how it feels, the smell, the taste and the temperature. We can get lost in the day to day and not appreciate what we have. I used to find sometimes I’d eat a meal and it’s gone, and think, did I really even enjoy that? – You learn to slow down and enjoy what’s in front of you”
“It’s about acknowledging your emotions, if you feel stressed you can say, you feel stressed. Sometimes I’ll need to take a quick break and go and meditate, go for a walk or make a cup of tea.”
"About a year ago I started to meditate everyday..."
Jen, like many people has experienced stress and anxiety, and wanted to do something positive to confront these negative emotions. “I’ve always been interested in meditation, so I’ve got an app on my phone called calm, I listen to it every day, I also listen to a lot of YouTube videos.”
“About a year ago I was waking up every morning with an anxious feeling, I thought, this isn’t me, what is this? I was worrying about the past and future, and not being present. I thought, what can I do to help myself?” Anxiety can make it difficult for sufferers to really focus and concentrate on the present moment, in some cases this is caused by the mind focusing on worries . Worries are often categorized  into:
- These worries can relate to the past, present or future, but tend to be worries that cannot be immediately resolved, such as worrying about whether or not your school test results will be satisfactory after already taking the exam, or whether or not you made a good impression during a social interaction several weeks ago.
- Something you can potentially tackle in the present, such as concerning yourself with whether it is cold outside or not, this worry may prompt you to put on extra clothing or purchase a warmer jacket.
It’s important to remember what you can and cannot control, to dedicate time to all concerns but not at the detriment to your own well-being. Sometimes it can feel very constricting when you’re overwhelmed by hypothetical worries, but a common way of managing these and bringing attention away from them involves meditation. According to the NHS (National Health Service) “Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of the body, bringing your attention back whenever the mind starts to wander….” 
“I started to meditate everyday. – You can just feel it thorough your body, just doing a simple thing like concentrating on your breathing, if you’ve got loads of thoughts going on in your mind, bring it back to the breaths, you can feel so much calmer. It does take a while for you to try and switch off your mind, I would suggest that you try and persevere with it.”
"It's okay not to feel okay..."
“It’s great everyone is talking about mental health more – it’s been something that people think you can’t talk about, like it’s a bad thing to talk about. Especially for men, but it’s great you’ve got people like prince William talking about it, high profile people, saying it is okay not to feel okay, reach out, if you’re not coping, there is help out there. It’s so important.”
Back in 2016, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry came together to lead a new initiative called Heads Together, uniting 8 mental health charities. Celebrities like Stephen Fry have also been linked with the initiative, using their celebrity to get out the message that mental health is important.
"It is really important to first look after yourself, then you can look after other people..."
“It really has helped me day to day. Some days I do feel a bit more anxious, we can forget about ourselves and can be very unkind to ourselves, but we’ve got to appreciate that the modern world is very fast paced, we need to think about slowing down and living in the present moment even if it is just 10 or 15 minutes. It is really important to first look after yourself, then you can look after other people.”
“If I am feeling stressed or anxious, I take myself away, I got to my bedroom, I put on some headphones and meditate. I concentrate on my breathing, then I begin to feel more relaxed, it’s a really nice feeling that comes over me, I feel the difference. Before I started, the anxiety or worry might last the entire today, but now I have a toolkit to use to help me remember that these worries are temporary, they don’t have to stay with you.”
"I think, not having these tools before going into this situation, I would have found it tougher..."
“I think not having these tools before going into this situation, I would have found it tougher. I did find, when watching the news, I had it constantly on my phone – the media during this time, it can have a negative impact, you find yourself thinking are we ever going to come out of this? To have a way to be calm and become relaxed has helped so much, and then to share that with other people and to see them benefit has been so great.”
Earlier in the year Jenny was kind enough to take the entire CBS global team through a guided meditation over Microsoft Teams. The session was extremely popular, generating fantastic feedback within the team, and inspiring others to learn more about mindfulness.
“At the beginning of the lockdown it was suggested that we do something as a team, so I thought I could do some mindfulness and mediation with the team, I gave it a go and I got such great feedback from the team with people saying it made them feel really calm and relaxed.”
“To be able to share it with everyone else is a great feeling, it really helped me to focus on something. When it was suggested I should do it for the company meeting, I was a bit nervous, but I gave it a go, I got such great feedback it was a pleasure to share it with everyone.”
"We’re going to be having a weekly mindfulness session with the team every Friday "
“I recently had a discussion with my manager, we’re going to be having a weekly mindfulness session with the team every Friday and get a chance to have a catch-up afterwards. Everyone was so positive about it during the lockdown. I’d like to open it up to the entire company, making it a weekly session.”
Jenny is even interested in branching out and creating videos of her guided meditations to share with even larger audiences –“I have thought about doing me own little YouTube channel, it’d be great [haha] but yeah there’s lots of things to think about definitely. I want to carry on learning. I’m doing online courses. It’s a great way. A lot of companies are finding the benefits, using it for the staff because it’s a great way to combat stress. “
“I find people that are more mindful of their own worries can be mindful for others, reaching out and sharing their knowledge.” We’re very lucky to have such thoughtful individuals in our team, and on behalf of everyone at CBS, we want to thank Jenny for sharing her passion with the team during such a turbulent time.