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Mindfulness en beter presteren op het werk (Mindfulness and better performance at work) (Vacature 10/2007)

“The effect of Mindfulness is increased attention to the things you are doing”, says Dr. David Dewulf. “Compare it to a PC. If there are several programs running on your PC, it doesn’t function as well. The training will help you to turn off superfluous programs, giving you more mental space to think more clearly.

During the training you learn to see negative thoughts without concurring with them or attaching emotions to them”, explains Dr. Dewulf. “You cultivate a certain gentleness towards your own experiences. You allow yourself to ‘be the way you are’ – without constantly having to ‘do’ a whole pile of things. Switching from ‘doing’ to ‘being' helps prevent stressful feelings from arising.”
The training starts with focusing attention on breathing. People discover just how quickly they lose their attention. The course participants become more aware of their train of thought, as it continuously flits between the past and the future. “We are constantly steeped in unconscious streams of information processing”, says Dewulf. “These thought processes can induce stress and fear. They are responsible for negative spirals and lead to depression. If we recognise the unconscious flows of thought, we can let them go. You also learn to see emotions and briefly let them go so that they don't take you down into a negative thought spiral."

When you have properly mastered the basic techniques, then the moment has come to learn to look at situations with an open mind, so as to determine from this vantage point how best to handle things using this new insight. The course participants build up inner confidence and stability to act from the here and now, with the power and wisdom that they now possess. “The clearer insight in the here and now helps people to have an openly critical mind, without being naïve. People learn to look at the world through scientific spectacles. People become happier when they let go of their worries. Promoting coping behaviour helps people in business to deal with everyday frustrations.

The learned mental skills encourage creativity. Tunnel thinking is reduced. By looking at things from a distance people can see the overall picture much quicker before taking action. As a result they make better decisions.
People don’t just react less impulsively. They also take themselves and their own opinions less seriously. After all, opinions are just opinions. By learning to see things more clearly, people discover that there is something to be said from every point of view. This makes communication less domineering or passive. People communicate in a more balanced way.