mindfulness at work

The Magic Formula to Well-Being

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Business and private life have become much faster, more complex, and fully global over the last few years. This puts high pressure on individual work–life balance and well-being as the amount of available information and the fast pace of change creates an environment of permanent stress, which can lead to health problems ranging from small issues to serious diseases. Studies clearly prove that sickness from stress has accelerated tremendously over the last several years. Hence, organizations and individuals need new strategies to cope with stress and to ensure continuous balance, health, and well-being as the basis for everything in life.

With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if there were a magic formula to cope with stress, optimize balance, and finally improve well-being? For sure! However, there is not an objective general state of well-being (or stress experience), since it is highly individual and triggered by people’s values, beliefs, and experiences as well as preferences and resources. Consequently, strategies that are effective for better stress-resilience for one person might not work at all for others. One person might be able to bring their stress level down by doing intense sports activities, while somebody else might meditate to relax.

So, are we stuck without a solution and just need to accept that the human body, brain, and soul is much more under pressure in today’s modern world? Probably not, since there are commonalities and certain patterns or aspects that usually need to be considered when talking about improved balance and well-being. How these aspects are being turned into action is highly individual, as noted above. And the good news is that even with so much automated reactions and behavior, human beings are able to unlearn aspects of behavior that appear to be unhealthy and learn new ways of dealing with stress triggers as well as supporting their own balance.


The one shared aspect of managing stress is learning to turn off the autopilot. In other words, they key is increased self-awareness—having better and deeper knowledge and understanding of yourself, your drivers, your reactions, and your emotions. The next step is developing a new way of self-management by taking back control of yourself and putting yourself in the position to take thoughtful and emotional decisions instead of being driven by automatic reactions.

My session at ATD 2018 International Conference & Expo will provide simple tools for better self-awareness as well as insights and examples into the typical areas and aspects that need to be considered when talking about stress-resilience, balance, and improved well-being—such as relaxation approaches, the social environment, and internal factors of mind-states and perception.

The goal is to raise awareness toward work–life balance and provide participants with their own practical actions and tools to work on their own resilience—for conference day, for their jobs, and also for their personal lives.

About the Author
Claus Breede is the global vice president for virtual and digital learning at SAP. He has been in the learning and training business since more than 10 years, after assuming several other roles in IT, consulting, process and change management, and organizational development. His learning programs have been recognized as impactful, innovative learning throughout the whole company and have won several industry learning awards, including the ATD Excellence in Practice awards and citations. Claus holds ATD certificates as Master Trainer and Master Performance Consultant, as well as certificates in Virtual Training Design and Facilitation from Insync. In addition, Claus is a business coach with focus on mindfulness and work-life balance as well as a professional Kitesurfing instructor.
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