Meditation at the Workplace
If you’re anything like me, life at work can sometimes be chaotic and stressful, and I never have enough time to get everything done! If someone told me I should add yet another item to my list and start a meditation program at work, I’d tell them that I don’t have time for anything else! But the truth is, I don’t have time to not meditate…and neither do you.
For many of us, meditation seems daunting, inaccessible, or just plain boring. What if I told you that, according to a plethora of research studies, the physical advantages of meditation include “left-to-right prefrontal activity, heart rate variability improvement, inflammation decrease and shortening of telomeres?” No, that very technical sentence full of medical jargon didn’t win you over?
Let’s try again.
Meditation is easy…
…and you get to define what works for you! You can meditate for one minute or 30 minutes, laying on your back with your feet up the wall or walking down a hall in your workplace, every day or only when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Your meditation practice should look like whatever works for you! Still unsure, check out our meditation cycle infographic below. ☺
Now we know that anyone can meditate, let’s talk about why you should meditate, and why your workplace should have a meditation program.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, workplace meditation programs benefit everyone! Meditation provides a multitude of positive outcomes, ranging from the individual level – reductions in stress and enhanced creativity – to the organizational level – increased employee engagement and loyalty. In fact, employees who meditate frequently can even feel more responsible to create work for themselves and exceed the expectation of employers! Five key benefits of workplace mediation programs are:
ENHANCED CLARITY AND ABILITY TO FOCUS
Fast-paced lifestyles fueled by the frenzy of technology means our attention is constantly pulled in a number of different directions at once. Short attention spans lower our ability to sustain focus and cause more stress about having too much work and not enough time! Meditation trains the mind to focus on the present and push away distractions resulting in the ability to maximize effectiveness and efficiency.
The inner calm and focus that meditation teaches fosters mental clarity and the ability to discard interesting but unrelated or unhelpful thoughts, and instead focus on goals and strategies critical to the success of any organization.
2. IMPROVED SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
Meditation encourages compassion, empathy, and reduces the level of negative emotional reactions the practitioner experiences. This means that people are able to take criticism or feedback without responding negatively, and higher levels of emotional control reduce reckless decision-making.
3. BUILDS BETTER LEADERS
In addition to gaining the ability to focus on long-term goals, employees who practice meditation are better at regulating emotions, sympathizing with other people, keeping composure, and cultivating an inclusive atmosphere for their colleagues as well as clients, all essential qualities of a good leader. The mental clarity that meditation creates allows for more clear, effective communication between managers and employees, an important part of the working relationship.
4. REDUCED HEALTH CARE COSTS AND LOST WORK DAYS
High-stress levels are a huge factor affecting our health and well-being. However, meditation provides a pathway to effectively deal with stress. Additionally, the mental calm and inner peace that results from a regular meditation practice has proven to be an effective method for treating clinical depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. The combination of these two factors improves overall health including reducing risk of heart disease and stroke, and can lower blood pressure, among many other benefits. This means less lost work days from absenteeism, and lower health care costs due to prevention!
5. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
The practice of meditation improves the overall productivity in organizations of any size. When you help employees effectively deal with stress and remove distractions, individual employees, teams, and the overall organization becomes more productive. Additionally, the creativity, resilience, and commitment that meditation fosters will result in innovative solutions, increased profits, and a healthy bottom line.
So what are you waiting for? Tell you HR department you want a meditation program, and ask for YogaHub!! Get started on your own personal meditation practice by following the Meditation Cycle infographic!