How can we bring well-being into a place where the vast majority of us spend the most of our waking hours — at work?
A new program offered by Healthy Minds Innovations, the nonprofit affiliated with the Center for Healthy Minds, is bringing well-being skills to a variety of workplaces.
Primarily accessed through a smartphone app, the program focuses on core components of well-being inspired by decades of research at the Center for Healthy Minds and others in the field.
Drawing on core skills of awareness, connection, insight and purpose, the program gives users feedback on their well-being and includes embedded measures and surveys to assess different aspects of their minds.
“We think of the Healthy Minds Program as more than mindfulness,” says Kelly Gatzke, Chief Product Officer for Healthy Minds Innovations. “There’s a larger framework at play based on decades of science, and one of our goals is to learn more about what works in real-life settings to improve our scientific understanding of well-being.”
So far, the program has been piloted at five companies and organizations across the United States.
“We think of the Healthy Minds Program as more than mindfulness. There’s a larger framework at play based on decades of science, and one of our goals is to learn more about what works in real-life settings to improve our scientific understanding of well-being.”
A recent five-week pilot among educators at the Madison Metropolitan School District highlights how the program’s skill-based content may help people handle daily stress on the job.
“The program made me more open-minded about where people might be coming from,” says Amy Hefty, a support teacher for student services with the school district. “Sometimes I would be quick to judge, and through mindfulness, I would be more thoughtful about where people are coming from or how I can use mindful practices to stay calm in a situation that might normally get me a little ramped up.”
Another participant shared that “this course of practice brought me back to what I actually love about teaching.”
Researchers believe the program is helpful, though additional work is required before drawing firm conclusions.
Next steps for the program include tailoring it to different professions — exploring whether it’s helpful across age groups – and translating it into other languages so to scale these practices globally.