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Mindfulness for a Happier You

22 February 2019

IOSH Caribbean Branch Meeting

The IOSH Caribbean Branch hosted its first branch meeting for this year on Friday, 22nd February 2019 at the Cara Suites Hotel and Conference Centre in Claxton Bay, Trinidad. The event was well attended with approximately 30 members being present at the venue for the session. Zoom was also available, allowing those unable to join in person to benefit from the engagement.

The members present began the evening with networking, giving attendees the opportunity to meet with other OSH practitioners, exchange ideas and discuss health and safety topics. The branch meeting was formally called to order by the Chair, Mr. Jason Maitland as he welcomed the members attending and invited a volunteer to share a safety moment to commence the evening’s proceedings.

IOSH member, Joanne Samsundar (left) quickly volunteered to deliver a safety moment around driving and fatigue, inspection of vehicles and mindfulness on the road as we approach the carnival season, highlighting that there has been a 153% increase in road fatalities for the same period last year.

Our Chair welcomed the feature speaker, Ms. Makeda McKenzie (right) to commence her presentation at approximately 6:15pm, introducing her to the members by providing an overview of her distinguished professional biography. Ms. McKenzie is the founder and principal consultant at the Caribbean Mindfulness Institute.

The speaker began by interacting with group to get an understanding of their present knowledge of mindfulness. After assessing the current level of familiarity with the term, Ms. Mckenzie provided a more in-depth definition, outlining that the science and practice of mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

The presenter provided practical insight into the ways in which mindfulness can be applied in our daily lives, the benefits of mindfulness in stress management and several simple techniques for practicing mindfulness. Ms. McKenzie shared her personal story of how practicing mindfulness techniques made a huge difference in bringing her stress levels under control and subsequently improving her overall health. As part of her presentation, Ms. McKenzie took the attendees through a practical 15-minute meditation session, going step by step, demonstrating the process of allowing yourself to clear the mind, relax and appreciate what is happening around you. This was highly appreciated and well received by the members.

At the end of the session, members expressed their gratitude for the information received, highlighting that the meeting gave them an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of mindfulness and how it can be applied at home and work. Participants agreed that practicing mindfulness can be beneficial in managing mental health.

At the end of the meeting, members took the opportunity to benefit from more networking time with their peers, connecting with fellow professionals in the field.