How to recognize and relieve workplace stress

Mindfulness will be the topic of discussion and exploration during Wilton Library’s “Enhancing Focus and Wellness at Work Through Mindfulness” workshop with mindfulness business consultant Andy Lee on Wednesday, Jan. 7.

“A lot of research tells us that work can be very stressful and that stress is not good for us. A lot of times, that stress spills over into the rest of our lives and it’s also not good for our performance,” said Mr. Lee.

“This workshop will help people be more effective at work and develop a greater sense of well-being.”

During his workshop, Mr. Lee said, people will “learn about what mindfulness is and how to do a mindfulness practice.”

Both mindfulness and meditation are often misunderstood. The exercise is not about emptying the mind of thoughts, but rather quieting the mind to enable the practitioner to examine thoughts and emotions. This gives people the opportunity to observe their reactions to stress triggers and become more aware of their behavior.

“People will learn how to meditate and learn about drives, effectiveness, well-being and working, and what gets in the way of that, like our crazy work environments,” said Mr. Lee, who refers to such environments as “PAID” (Pressured, Always on, Information overload, Distracted) work environments.

“We’re constantly pressured, we’re always on — there’s no downtime. There’s information overload with all the devices and all the distractions, and then finally, we’re distracted.”

Mr. Lee started his mindfulness and meditation practice in 1999 and said he found it really helpful for him personally.

“I’ve worked in human resources for corporations for many years, helping executives become more effective in training and coaching,” said Mr. Lee. “I found that what I found on my own was very helpful for others.”

Mr. Lee said he also holds “mindfulness-based stress reduction” workshops in workplaces and communities.

“I’m trying to bring mindfulness into the community, at work and people’s private lives,” he said.

At his upcoming workshop at the library, Mr. Lee said, he will provide resources and recommend books to people who are interested in continuing in the direction of mindfulness.

The hour-and-a-half-long workshop will begin at 7 p.m. It is free, but registration is highly recommended. Information and registration: wiltonlibrary.org or 203-762-3950.