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Neuroplasticity Training For Safety & Resilience


  • Can we rewire our brain to improve focus and awareness?
  • And in doing so what impact can this have on injuries and safety outcomes?
  • What are some ways we can practice mindfulness to boost resilience and workplace mental health?


In this episode of the FitForWork Podcast I chat with Sally McMahon about the benefits of rewiring our brain to improve our focus, awareness and psychological resilience. Here is the link to the the episode if you missed it.

Key takeaways from the episode:

  • Mindfulness research is robust not fluff: The benefits of mindfulness training attention are well researched and it makes for a compelling case for organisations to invest in programs that teach employees the tools for greater self-awareness and self-regulation.
  • Mindfulness improves leadership to supports harmonious workplace relationships: We know that if employees learn to train attention and concentration they are more focused, calmer, have greater clarity, make better decisions and can self- regulate more effectively. This is also key to effective leadership and effective communication.
  • Mindfulness is simply a way of living and a way of being: The art of embracing being a human BEING not a human DOING. The art of noticing when our mind is distracted and bringing it back to the present as the only moment we really have is the now moment. The key with mindfulness practice is non-judgmental awareness. This helps us have greater composure and balance through life’s turbulence and ups and downs – both inside and outside of the workplace.

The Fit for Work Podcast is the place to be if you’re a health, safety or HR professional and leader wanting to take YOUR workplace from GOOD to GREAT. The Fit for Work Podcast will serve you up a weekly FEAST of thought leadership, business resources and real-world examples of what’s working and not working in workplaces. Eavesdrop on conversations with professionals in the Workplace Health, Safety and Leadership spaces along with researchers, educators and front-line staff from both white and blue collar, private and public workplaces. Learn the latest trends and practical tools to boost health, happiness, safety, engagement and productivity in your workplace. Be part of the solution in taking your workplace from good to GREAT!

The New Integrative Approach For Improving Mental Health & Resilience in the Workplace

As an organisation we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve staff wellness, reduce psychological distress and prevent injuries. We have set ourselves ambitious targets to increase the number of Victorians reporting high levels of resilience, and of course the workplace is a key setting for this.

We needed to find an effective formula that produced beneficial results for staff, as well as tangible business outcomes.

Creating a program that was embedded within a context of both Mind/Body and Integrative Medicine, was the winning formula. We combined themes from both our corporate mindfulness program, ‘Wise’, as well as our injury prevention program, ‘Engage’, to create the ‘Wise Worker’ program. For the first time in my career I was inspired to create a program that could draw on both qualifications as an exercise physiologist and a mindfulness practitioner. Teaching evidence-based injury prevention practices as well as well-researched mindfulness interventions meant we could achieve the holistic results we were looking for.

Over the last few months we trialled this exciting new program at the Department of Health and Human Services with the Disability Support Carers. Eight houses were selected throughout Victoria and we have now completed all eight departments. We are absolutely thrilled with the results, the testimonials and the self-reported feedback. The core purpose of the program was to inspire staff members to create personal health goals to see how good they could feel in four weeks. The goal setting and individual health screening was a key component that led to the cultivation of positive health behaviours.

Over the course of four weeks participants were taught how to integrate and apply mindfulness into their everyday lives, as well as how they can protect themselves from pain and injuries at home and at work.

Through combined mindfulness training and body awareness practices, staff learnt how to illicit the relaxation response. This was a key component of the program, not only for reducing injury risk but also for reducing pain, tension and muscle tightness. Suppression of the sympathetic nervous system and physiological stress response was also effective in improving digestion, increasing energy levels, and improving flexibility, blood flow and circulation. Mindful movement and guided injury prevention exercises were tailored specifically to assist in the prevention of wear and tear injuries due to postural dysfunction. Staff were encouraged to perform manual handling tasks with mindful awareness so they could slow down and perform the tasks correctly with proper posture and ergonomic equipment.

Disability support workers have a difficult and constant role. Work in helping professions can be incredibly rewarding, but also very challenging. Usually there is a focus on looking after others before themselves. For many support workers the idea of self-regulation and self-nourishment is a new concept, so this was a vital component of the program. Through mindfulness and breath work, staff were able to bring some calmness, clarity and appreciation back into their day. Teaching staff how to anchor themselves amidst the pull of turbulence in their lives helps them build the capacity to accept, tolerate and transform painful mind and body states without reacting so intensely to them.

When our body and our mind are working efficiently we feel great. Mood and workplace morale is improved and performance is enhanced. Educating staff using this combined approach to both mind and body training is one that we are pleased to say has been incredibly effective. We look forward to continuing this exciting new work with other professions in the near future.

Discover Proven Strategies to Reduce Stress & Increase Resilience (With FREE Corporate Massage)

Discover Proven Strategies to Reduce Stress & Increase Resilience (With FREE Corporate Massage!)

Introducing a workplace stress resilience program like no other… A program for both the mind and body that combines neuroplasticity training with massage.

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Healthify and to celebrate we are offering our Wise mindfulness 8 Week program with the inclusion of FREE corporate massage for all participants!

Why are we doing this? We are passionate about inspiring employees, executives and senior management teams to be calmer, happier and more mindful because we’ve seen the results of burnout.

What is the Wise program? The Wise program is an 8 week mindfulness-based stress resilience program specifically tailored for the workplace. With mindfulness-based interventions and themes derived from the popular and well-researched Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, it is the only program of its kind to be available in the workplace.

Having completed a recent pilot study, the Wise program has been proven to increase both physical and psychological well-being, focus and productivity. This holistic program teaches proven easy-to-implement strategies and tools to improve communication, cope with stress, deal with challenges and be more psychologically resilient.

5 reasons to run the Wise program at your workplace:

1.      Enhanced mental performance. Improved focus, memory, concentration, learning ability and creativity.

2.      Improve resilience and how employees cope with stress, change and challenges. Our recent pilot study of 120 staff resulted in 93% of participants coping better with difficult or stressful situations.

3.      Increased business productivity. After participating in our course executives and employees are better able to deal with challenges with grace, and learn how to be fully present and happy with a stable mind.

4.      Improved health. Reduce anxiety, high blood pressure, migraines, depression, heart conditions, and diabetes. Noticeable improvements were also seen in sleep.

5.      Increased confidence. Mindfulness practice has been shown to enhance resilience, emotional intelligence and inner wisdom, resulting in improved confidence.

To book the Wise Program with free massage call us on 0401358309 or email 

We look forward to helping you reduce stress and increase performance at your workplace.

Mindfulness for Schools

Introducing WISE Teacher: Psychological Resilience Training for all Victorian teachers and “Overcoming Stress & Anxiety” training for Year 10-12 students.


We are delighted to have commenced facilitation of our WISE Teacher professional development training in schools. This is the first stress resilience program of its kind to become available for staff in the Education sector. Drawing on perspectives from science and themes from our eight week Wise mindfulness program, teachers learn evidence-based tools and practices they can integrate into the classroom. The original Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, developed at the University of Massachusetts in 1979, has been well-researched and has appeared in over 2000 medical journals. Research suggests the mindfulness-based interventions in the MBSR program alleviate a wide range of physical and psychological difficulties such as stress, anxiety, depression, aggression, high blood pressure and insomnia.

The workshop provides an enjoyable and in-depth exploration into mindfulness practice and stress physiology where teachers can learn effective MBSR tools for stress management, emotional regulation and psychological resilience. It has been designed to help teachers cope with the stress of everyday life and inspire them to create mentally healthy, mindful workplaces.

Alarming statistics show in each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness. Of even greater concern is the increasing number of students experiencing mental illness. 1 in 7 Australian children and adolescents aged 4-17 have mental health or behavioural problems. Mindfulness and attention training develops the ability to purposefully direct attention and behaviour. This correlates with greater resilience and ability to bounce back and persevere in the midst of stressful situations. It has been shown to foster emotional intelligence, gratitude, positivity and self-esteem which gives kids a head start for life. A little mindfulness goes a long way, even in adults, but the earlier teachers can introduce the practice of mindfulness to their students, the better.

From development of understanding on the principles of mindfulness a variety of applications can be made for both teaching practice but also occupational health and wellbeing. Mindfulness is an internal process, a particular way of relating to one’s experience. To communicate this successfully to students, teachers need to embody this process themselves. The term ’embodiment’ essentially describes how this interior work of mindfulness practice is implicitly reflected in the teacher’s presence and behaviour, which in turn influences the atmosphere of the classroom.

Work-related stress has a negative impact on teachers that is wide-ranging. As well as psychological health problems, stress has been associated with impaired performance, reduced productivity, physical illness, high staff turnover and sickness absence. Learning resilience and self-regulation skills are invaluable for staff in the teaching profession for not only managing stress but also for effective student management, dealing with high workload and other organisational demands. Without the appropriate understanding, tools and mechanisms in place, individuals are at an increased risk of exhaustion, burnout and mental illness.

Workshop Benefits:

Teachers who participate in this workshop benefit from: 

  • Improved self- awareness, self-management and self-regulation
  • Less habitual reactivity
  • Heightened emotional intelligence
  • Improved sense of wellbeing, happiness and job satisfaction
  • Improved leadership and communication skills
  • Improved relationships, ability to listen more attentively and be present with their students
  • Increased confidence teaching mindfulness exercises in the classroom
  • More effective student management

Noticeable improvements in students who practice mindfulness include:

  • Improved cognitive function- greater focus, concentration, memory, learning ability and creativity.
  • Improved self-esteem.
  • Better behaviour and grades.
  • Improved attention and attendance.
  • Better habits.
  • Increased positivity, optimism and mood.
  • Improved immune function.
  • Reduced risk of mental illness and poor mental health.

For more information please visit the website or contact us at

From ‘Auto-Pilot’ to ‘Present’ in 8 Weeks… Our Corporate Mindfulness Results 


Here are the results of our 2016 Pilot Study…

We understand the challenges of being time-poor but needing to function at optimum level 24/7.  In fact, it can be frustrating being an effective leader without having the right tools.  

Maybe your staff are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed because they constantly need to perform.  This can be difficult if your team is not as engaged as you’d like them to be.

Not a day goes by when a new valued client tells us they’ve tried other approaches to reduce stress and improve workplace relationships and productivity, without success.

If you’ve been searching for ways to be a more effective leader or you want to improve the health and well-being of your team, then the Wise 8 week program may be the right solution for you. We have included a special offer for you below.

Pilot Study: The Effectiveness of an Eight Week Attention Training Program in the Workplace…

Work-related stress has a negative impact on employees that is wide-ranging. As well as psychological health problems, stress has been associated with impaired performance, reduced productivity, physical illness, turnover and sickness absence.

Evidence is emerging from a range of professional contexts that mindfulness training can help employees manage work-related stress.

We put this to the test..

Objective: The purpose of this Pilot Study was to assess whether our eight week Wise mindfulness program would improve resilience, health and psychological outcomes (stress, depression and anxiety) for employees, in particular Child Protection Practitioners, at the Department of Health and Human Services in Melbourne, Victoria.

Methods: We explored the impact of mindfulness training on levels of mindfulness, psychological well-being, depression, anxiety, tension/stress, sleep, resilience and coping ability. In addition, the study attempted to determine the impact of eight weeks of mindfulness meditation on blood pressure scores. Data was collected from 107 participants pre and post-intervention, as well as one month post-intervention.

This is what we discovered…

Results: The Pilot showed improvement in all levels of mindfulness, psychological well-being measures and stress, as well as in resting blood pressure scores. The findings suggest that an eight week mindfulness-based stress resilience program enhances psychological well-being, sleep and coping ability. Anxiety and depression scores, as well as perceived stress and muscle tension, decreased in all locations. Negative correlations between mindfulness behaviour and depression scores were found, illustrating that as mindfulness behaviour increased, psychological distress decreased. Higher correlations post intervention were also found indicating a clear association between low mindfulness behaviour and high depression, anxiety and stress scores (and vice versa). We found higher levels of self-acceptance, mindfulness, social connectedness, happiness, and life satisfaction post-intervention. A wide range of physical difficulties such as anxiety, insomnia and migraines were also alleviated.

Perceived stress

96% reported feeling calmer and more relaxed.

81% stated they were less ‘reactive’ and more able to recognise when they were in default mode.

58% of participants are still performing regular relaxation, mindfulness meditation or other stress reduction activities. This has increased from 20%.

Psychological distress

93% stated they had coped better with difficult or stressful situations.

An overall reduction in DASS scores (Depression, Anxiety, Stress) post intervention.

A negative correlation coefficient found between mindfulness and DASS Scores. (As mindfulness behaviour increases, psychological distress decreases).

Mindful awareness

94% of participants had increases in their MAAS Score.

90% found their concentration and focus had improved.

83% reported they were better able to listen attentively and communicate effectively.


66% reported improvements in sleep post-intervention.

Blood pressure

Normal healthy range increased from 19.7% to 65.8%

Isolated Hypertension (high blood pressure) decreased from 21% to 9.8%

Conclusion: The Pilot Study has proven an eight week corporate mindfulness program effectively reduces stress and improves health and psychological well-being (depression, anxiety and stress) scores. The data collected provides encouraging results that suggest further application of mindfulness is extremely beneficial for improving resilience in employees in the workplace.