Eileen: I have always been curious about why people practice mediation or mindfulness, since they always share the many positive outcomes and benefits from their practice. By chance I read about the MBSR program and went for the preview session, which led me to signing up for the program with the SkillsFuture credits available. I attended the MBSR program with an open mind and hoped to learn how the practice could help me improve both my daily and work life.
MiMo: Tell us about your experience in the MBSR program.
Eileen: It was an amazing 8-week journey, especially with the interesting sharing sessions among the participants. Everyone had somewhat similar and yet different outcomes from the weekly practices. I also enjoyed the mindfulness practices as there was no need to have a particular outcome from the practices. We simply practiced to explore how we could integrate both formal and informal mindfulness into our daily life.
MiMo: How has mindfulness contributed to your personal well-being?
Eileen: My biggest takeaway from the program is that it has helped me to become more aware of things around me and to learn to appreciate them. Instead of always having the need to engage with thoughts or physical sensations, I am learning to rest with them from moment to moment. I find the teachings on Stress Reactivity and Stress Response very beneficial as we learned that we have choices other than reacting negatively out of habit.
MiMo: How has mindfulness supported you in your professional work?
Eileen: I have found that I am always too quick to react and make judgements; and having learned and practiced mindfulness, I will now do my best to take a mindful pause before reacting and try not to be unnecessarily judgmental.
MiMo: How have you incorporated mindfulness into your daily life?
Eileen: Mindfulness in MBSR includes practicing in various postures in both stillness and movement, and hence it supports me in many aspects of my life. The movements practice has encouraged me to sign up for yoga classes for my long-term wellbeing, and I plan to incorporate mindful awareness during yoga practice.
MiMo: Any words of advice for people who are thinking about learning mindfulness?
Eileen: Go in with an open mind, learn the different practices and apply what works best for you. You will learn to appreciate things and people more and to not be too judgmental. You will learn how you are able to manage stress better and how to bring a mindful pause to break our reactive patterns, as well as change our relationship with stress.
Being a HR Practitioner with an MNC in retail requires me to work with both internal and external clients from different parts of the world. We need to be aware of the different work and personal cultures so as to build trusting and good relationships. I always do things with an open mind by accepting changes as part of life's process, and I believe that change is always for the better. My personal interests have evolved over time and I am now more focused on developing my personal wellbeing both physically and mentally; I believe that having a healthy mind is just as important as having a healthy body. Traveling is my biggest love and I am now exploring more off-track places as well as challenging activities during my travels, such as caving, water rafting and trekking. My belief in life is to have inner peace that will lead to happiness as well as a healthy mind and body.