A mindfulness consultancy has opened it doors in Cannon Workshops, West India Quay.
We chat to The BeingWell founder Dr Sherylin Thompson about getting a mental boost, how meditation can help Wharfers in their work and banishing myths about spiritual hippyism.
Taster sessions will run until September when the full course programme begins.
The first 20 Wharf readers to book any class or course at Cannon Workshops before the end of July get 20 per cent off when quoting THEWHARF20 when booking.
So tell us all about mindfulness
Mindfulness is mind fitness, it’s a way of keeping the mind flexible, healthy and resilient. Very often we put a lot of attention on our physical bodies but sometimes we don’t think about our brain – it’s like a massive muscle that needs to be worked at just as much as the body.
Why is it useful for Canary Wharfers?
People in Canary Wharf can work very long hours and often have challenging roles.
Being able to have a mind that can de-stress and bounce back, that can look at a situation from different angles, is very helpful.
You call it “stretching and toning for the mind”. How does it work?
Mindfulness is usually practised through meditation and that’s the process of repeatedly bringing your attention back to the present. We do that again, and again, and again.
It’s like going to the gym where you exercise a certain muscle. With the brain, it’s training to focus and bring attention back.
It’s being able to spot habits and train the mind to be flexible and step out of these patterns.
Why are these habits harmful?
Some people can get into automatic ways of thinking about themselves. In Canary Wharf there’s a lot of perfectionism and the feeling that, if people don’t get an A rating, they are failing. They find themselves overworking, or over pleasing.
They become exhausted and they don’t know how to get out of these habits. Mindfulness helps them step out of it.
It’s a rather tricky though, right?
If you’re used to writing with your right hand it’s like asking you to write with your left. It feels clunky and unnatural.
Isn’t it a little hippyish for Canary Wharf?
Meditation goes as far back a Buddhism so there may be scepticism around that whether it’s about incense, the ringing of bells and conjuring of spirits but people can come and make up their own mind.
You’re also hosting in-house classes for businesspeople. How will mindfulness benefit work?
It develops your self-awareness. When it’s clear you can manage life better you can make difficult choices and you become more confident. It almost gives a sense of authority – but not in an arrogant way.