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Welcome to the Health Defence Blog - a blog about health, wellness and a healthier you. Brought to you by the Health Defence team at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, you'll find up-to-date information on a range of topics from what's in your food to the latest advice on e-cigarettes!

Dave Bertin

Guest blogger: Dave Bertin - CHSS Voices Scotland Lead

April 3, 2016

Mindfulness is a simple, effective and enjoyable way of taking some time out from the normal, but sometimes demanding, life we tend to live these days. It allows us to have a break from stress or focus on the important parts of our day and our life. Being more mindful in the workplace can boost productivity, improve memory and create a happier workforce.

It isn’t mystic or weird – it’s actually something you might be doing already without calling it that. And it doesn’t involve sitting on top of a mountain, cross legged and chanting! It is a kind of relaxation/meditation but it can be used sitting at your desk, walking or waiting at the bus stop!

It involves learning to focus on the here and now – but without trying to change things or judge them.

The basic idea is to learn to stop trying to do several things at once and focus on just one thing. Think how often you are talking, eating, watching the TV, checking emails or texting all at once. We may not notice at the time but what this means is we miss some of the pleasure in these activities because we are not fully experiencing them. We are also expecting our mind to process all these actions and data. Most of us can’t do that very easily so we become tense and stressed. This speeding up means our heart rate increases, our breathing rate increases and we fire off stress hormones around our whole system. This can lead to problems sleeping, relaxing, high blood pressure and a general pressure on our body/mind.

There is considerable evidence of Mindfulness being useful in:

  • Reducing stress
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Increasing productivity
  • Reducing mistakes
  • Easing physical pain and discomfort
  • Feeling more content

Mindfulness is not tricky to learn. There are various ways of doing that – online, local courses or apps or even old fashioned books and CDs! See and for ideas.

Slow down and enjoy life! Good luck!

***Disclaimer: always seek medical advice before starting a new diet, exercise regime or medication. The information in these articles is not a substitute for professional advice from a GP, registered dietitian or other health practitioner.

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