Welcome to creative live this is manage stress through mindfulness with rich fernandez my name is chris jennings and I'm going to be your host for the class a rich is the co founder of wisdom labs and he's also brought his organizational thinking to companies like google, ebay and bank of america and he's here today to give us some tips on how to manage our stress so without further ado take it away rich hello everybody welcome so happy you could join us and welcome here in the studio as well to everybody so I'm here today to really talk about what I think is one of the fundamental challenges that we all face I could be wrong about that but let's see because I think that stress is something that we pretty much all experience on I think that it's really important to figure out why we get so stressed why we get so overwhelmed and what we can do about it so I'm very familiar with this myself full disclosure I have and do experience stress often this is something I think that is just a fea...
ture of what we all live and work with these days but what's really been helpful for me and that I really hope to share with you are some of these techniques around mindfulness some of these tools really these capacities to relate to stress differently in many ways what we're really talking about is building skills and tools toe work with stress, because if I told you that we could eliminate stress completely, I would be lying, right? I don't believe that that's possible, but I do believe that we can build the capacity to relate to stress differently, to manage it effectively, and then to move through it skillfully. And so hopefully with some of the tools I get to share with you today will be able to do that and what's been really need for me, is this thing that we call mindfulness because mindfulness has been a part of my life. Pretty much since I was a young adult high school college, I just found it a really interesting thing, tio explore personally, starting with body centered practices like martial arts and tiki and yoga on then moving to things like contemplative practices like meditation. It's always been a way for me to navigate, to stay grounded, to stay connected, to stay calm in the face of anything that I could confront. And, you know, I kind of trained as a psychologist. I did my phd at a prestigious institution and had a long career for about fifteen years in some awesome companies that were really hard charging and high performing, but these tools of mindfulness were always central to allow me to kind of get where I needed to get and again, this is what I hope to share with you today. It's interesting though you know, you see, these days that mindfulness is kind of popping up everywhere some of you are maybe intimately familiar with mindfulness, but what's really cool for me is to see that it's showing up even in the mainstream media, for example, you have the cover of time magazine, they've had a couple of covers on mindfulness. Actually, there was a segment on sixty minutes about mindfulness and increasingly in the scientific literature, what we're seeing is ah, big focus on mindfulness and in neuroscience behind it and studies about the efficacy short and long term. So what I hope to do is dive a little bit deeper into this with you today on dh it also begs the question, right? So why? Why mindfulness now, why is this something that we are so kind of taken with at the moment? I love this quote from business journal mckinsey quarterly, where it talks about being always on the multi tasking environments that we all kind of live and work in and that they tend to kill productivity, make us unhappy on dh just it's make it difficult for us, I think in life, so I want to ask you about that is this true for you? So let me pose it is a question on my my friend tony schwartz who's written a really cool book called the power of alignment likes to frame this question is about capacity so how many of you would say that the demands and challenges in your life are increasing raise your hand okay so that's everybody here and online I don't know what that's like for you but you know certainly it seems like these demands and challenges increasing now here's the second question holding that first one in mind how many of you would say that your capacity to meet those challenges and demands are is increasing at the same rate raise your hand ah hey not so many right not so certain um and usually when I do this and I've done this in rooms of sometimes thousands of people what we see is that very few people raise their hand because the ability to have a capacity that addresses these challenges this hyper connected reality we all live in it is often very limited eso another way to stay they say this is that stress is everywhere eso I've experienced this like I said personally s o I'm trained as a psychologist you know I also taught at columbia university where I studied did my phd andi I was really interested when I was doing my graduate studies to see what the difference was between re mediating problems and potentially ating individuals and their capacities and that's where my focus was so what I did was I decided to start to work with business is first is a freelancer so I'm intimately familiar with what it means to be a freelancer because I was consulting as a freelancer for quite a while while I was in graduate school and shortly afterwards on dh then I started working in mid sized companies and then large companies and I even as of late I started a company wisdom labs that chris mentioned and so what I found in every single one of those environments was that stress was a part of it it was a big part of bit. I like to say that stress is a feature, not a bug of contemporary work in life right now. Do you have that experience? Is this something that is sounding familiar too? I see some heads nodding right so they would have a different experience anyone not too busy, very relaxed all the time not doing very much know right? Oh, you are good. Jennifer that's great tell tell us about that a little bit. I was recently working with a client about two months and it was like, go go, go, go, go, go, go and then there was a drop of point and yeah, I that drop off in stress I realized I was thriving in that stress. What it was a good stress. Yes, thank you for raising that so on, but we're going to talk about the distinction between good stress and bad stress, right? Because not all stresses equal s oh, there is a possibility to experience stress in this positive way and what's the distinction between the two and that very in many ways, that's exactly what we're going to talking about because that's what we use mindfulness for to know the difference. Okay, so what I hope you'll learn from today is the tool of mindfulness as a skill, so mindfulness is skill and you could develop that skill. And specifically, how do you apply mindfulness to then navigate stress? How do you be responsive towards really challenging situations rather than reactive and being triggered right there's a big difference so we'll dive into that, and my aim is to make this really simple and really practical. I don't I'm not suggesting you need to go away on a retreat or bend your legs in any funny way or sit on a cushion unless you want to to practice mindfulness. My aim is to allow you to do this where you are every day, wherever you show up for work. Or in your life, really it's a life skill and the last thing you see, there is no wool on dso, you know, wisdom labs, we like this hey, that we focus on the art and science it's of thriving and mindfulness is one of those activities that we have as human beings that though it has a long standing tradition and there's a lot of spiritual aspects to it in those traditions, what we'll be talking to about today is the science of mindfulness. We'll be talking about how this links to your neural anatomy on even the implications for some of your epigenetic, the way your body codes for stress and fight stress. So we really want to stay close to the science and the evidence base and that's the approach I'll be taking today who will benefit from this? I really think mindfulness as applied to stress is a life skill, and I hope that if you experience stress either at work or at home, this will be useful for you. Also, if you're somebody who may experience uncertainty on a regular, semi regular basis, right? And I know folks who work independently for those of you online that work independently, this is something that you confront like I said, I was a freelancer myself, so I know why. Well, that sometimes this is a huge challenge. Just the lack of predictability, the uncertainty of kind of making your own destiny as a freelancer. Or if you experience any type of uncertainty in any situation, if you feel overwhelmed and then if you just want to be awesome or I don't know if that's a word, I just put it up there. So if you just feel pretty good, but you just want to take it to the next level. Mindfulness and how it relates to stress those air to really key things toe to have in your tool kit on before you leave here today. I'm hoping that and if you're tuning in online, that you will have some new skills around mindfulness and stress that whether it's to manage physical tension as you see here, or to transform worry or anxiety or some of those kind of more difficult mind states, simply moving from negative, positive, even can be huge victory. So I'm hoping that you get some of these skills today.