and MPs have been practising mindfulness at work for themselves!
A report launched on 20th October by an all-party parliamentary group has strongly recommended extending mindfulness training programmes and conducting further research into the benefits of mindfulness practices.
The Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group was set up to review the scientific evidence for the benefits of mindfulness training and to develop policy recommendations for government. The Mindful Nation UK report is the result of a 12-month inquiry by the group and outlines how mindfulness could be applied in four policy areas:
In health, especially in preventing the reoccurrence of depression
In education, including improving children’s mental health and promoting child development and well-being
In the workplace, to combat stress and improve organisational effectiveness
In the criminal justice system, where the group is recommending pilot projects and further research into the techniques’ possibilities for reducing re-offending rates.
In the report’s preface, the group’s Co-chairs (Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for Worthing East and Shoreham, and Jess Morden, Labour MP for Newport East) write:
“We have been impressed by the quality and range of evidence for the benefits of mindfulness and believe it has the potential to help many people to better health and flourishing. On a number of issues ranging from improving mental health and boosting productivity and creativity in the economy through to helping people with long-term conditions such as diabetes and obesity, mindfulness appears to have an impact.”
Mindfulness in parliament
It seems that a good number of MPs and peers are already convinced about the benefits of mindfulness – over the last 24 months, 115 parliamentarians and 80 of their staff have attended mindfulness classes at Westminster. The Mindful Nation UK report quotes some of the feedback from parliamentarians who’ve attended the classes:
“Although initially sceptical… having completed the course, and attended every session, I am a convert. It’s just logical that we could all do with simple techniques to help us remember to live in and appreciate the present moment.”
“For anyone looking to find a way of balancing the often competing demands of home, work, and not least, ourselves, it’s worth their checking out an introduction to mindfulness. Too often we overlook the basics in our lives and need to find a way of connecting with what really matters.”
“I found the ethos, thinking and practice totally compelling and, additionally, free of ‘psycho-babble’, religion and spiritual allusions. A very, very enriching experience.”
You can download the full report here.
Jill Kerr says...
Find out more about the benefits of mindfulness on Gillian Duncan’s therapy page or call Therap-Ease on 0131 447 9990 to book a free 15-minute mindfulness consultation with Gillian during November.