Online mindfulness training reduces stress, improves resiliency: Study

A new study has found that participating in online mindfulness training for just five to 10 minutes per day can reduce stress, increase resilience and boost engagement at work.

The study of 178 Canadian first responders had them complete a 30-day mindfulness challenge this past March to see the impact of such training on their mental health. After participating in online mindfulness training for just five to 10 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days, the responders experienced less stress, greater resilience and increased engagement at work. The first responders serve in policing, fire, EMT, rescue, ER, 911 and the military. Vancouver-based MindWell-U donated the training.

“The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge is an evidence-based mental health tool that supports employees in the workplace. Because it’s just a few minutes a day and accessible from any device at any time, we thought it could really benefit first responders,” says Dr. Geoff Soloway, Co-Founder and Chief Training Officer at MindWell-U. “The Challenge also teaches something we call ‘mindfulness-in-action’ so participants learn how to be mindful in the middle of whatever they’re doing, whether that be delivering a lecture, closing a deal, operating heavy machinery or responding to an emergency.”

The first responders reported the following outcomes:

  • 95% feeling better about their health and wellbeing
  • 93% managing stress better
  • 92% practicing greater self-care
  • 92% focusing better on tasks
  • 91% engaging more with work
  • 91% managing conflict better
  • 89% treating others more kindly
  • 88% communicating better
  • 83% experiencing improved leadership skills
  • 81% collaborating better with others
  • 80% managing time better

In addition, 97% of participants were satisfied with the training, and almost everyone said they had integrated mindfulness into their life and plan to stick with it.

“The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge taught me to take a step back and look at things more clearly instead of getting caught up in the moment,” says one Toronto area paramedic.  “Learning to respond instead of react has lowered my stress and made me more effective at my job whether I’m driving an ambulance or administering first aid.”

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