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Mindful, or Mind Full?

Posted By Monica Engel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Is your mind full of thoughts about work, home, family, health and friends? Or are you mindful and focused on the present moment? It can be challenging to remain in the moment when life hands us countless balls to juggle; however, there are many positive benefits of practicing a life that is more mindful.

We all know daily life can get hectic.
There’s laundry to deal with, date nights with your spouse, early morning and evening work meetings, kids who need rides to activities, friends to catch up with on social media and in real life, and aging parents to stay connected with. Maybe you try to multi-task on the way to work by listening to an audiobook or podcast. Or you watch your favorite show on Netflix while also keeping an eye on Facebook. Or you check your work emails while having dinner at home. We lose the present moment when we do or think about things outside of that connection. Having a hand in different activities and thoughts all at once keeps us in chaos, rather than calm. We think we can decrease stress if we can just get it all done; however, it often leads to an increase in stress.

Enter mindfulness.
You are being mindful when you focus your attention on the present. Practicing mindfulness has been researched and found to reduce stress and increase happiness. We can be fully engaged when we’re mindful and “in-the-moment.” This allows us to be completely present and focused on those we’re with at that time. Not planning the grocery list. Not responding to the work email. Not checking our phones.

Mindfulness is tied closely with health and well-being. Those who practice mindfulness — really focusing on the present moment — tend to worry less about the past or future, and they’re able to form deeper connections with others. And it’s easy to see how mindfulness can help relieve stress, which can in turn reduce anxiety, improve sleep, lower blood pressure and aid other health conditions.

The art of mindfulness can be especially beneficial at work as it can allow us to improve focus. Our work can suffer when we bounce endlessly from the task to task. When we train ourselves to be aware of what’s going on around us as well as our emotions in that moment we learn to become more focused in all we do — and are better able to see amazing opportunities around us.  

Now is a perfect time to create a well-being and mindfulness journey thanks to greater research and insights into the topic. That’s why the TRUST is excited to introduce our inaugural two-day event focused on the many facets of well-being, including mindfulness, movement and engagement. Your Journey to Well-Being: A TRUST Inaugural Retreat will be held Thursday, Oct. 3 and Friday, Oct. 4 at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska. We have many great sessions and experiences, and I know attendees will leave with several takeaways from the two days to aid their path toward being mindful rather than mind full.

Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN Council of Health Plans. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Tags:  mindfulness  TRUST Inaugural Retreat  well-being  Women's Health Leadership TRUST 

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