What do Bill Gates, Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Jeff Weiner, and Ariana Huffington all have in common?
The practice of meditation.
For many, meditation conjures up thoughts of religion or some new age fad where you’re sitting cross legged for long periods of time. Others can see mindfulness, or, mediation as being just too hard, “I just can’t calm my mind!”
Employee and Customer focused employers know that performing mindfulness meditation at the workplace will help employees focus on immediate tasks, manage stress and anxiety levels, control anger, and remain thoughtful throughout the day. It will also reduce burnout, increase leadership trust, and boost employee engagement according to Forbes Councils Member Laura Sage. Six Proven Benefits Of Meditation In The Workplace.
“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”
A few days away from Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s fair to say this is a topic that should not be put on the shelf until next May. Stating that “Our workplaces play a significant role in our lives.” Workplace well-being is one of the U.S. Surgeon General’s current priorities. New guidance was issued based on recent statistics showing that 76% of U.S. workers reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition and 84% of respondents said their workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge. The American Psychological Association reported in 2022 that 81% of workers said that they will be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future. APA’s 2022 Work and Well-being Survey results.
In the past year, more than a third of our candidates have brought up their ability to maintain balance and their mental health as a priority and asking how the company they are considering interviewing with or joining will support them. It is a topic candidates are both comfortable discussing and listing as a deal-breaker if they are not supported.
More people are now recognizing that regular practice and cultivation of mindfulness can lead to transformative changes in one’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being, contributing to a more fulfilling and balanced life. The process has also been effective at treating anxiety, stress and depression.
“Meditation is not trying to go anywhere or do anything, meditation and being present is just seeing what’s there and letting it speak to you. The goal is to be present to what is.” George Mumford Sports Psychologist and Mindful Meditation Teacher.
Meditation is a process and one which brings several benefits. The key is to learn to enjoy the process. Practice letting go of self-criticism, comparison, and expectations as soon as they arise. It doesn’t matter how much skill we have or how much we’ve practiced meditation; if we go into it without strong expectations or an attachment to rigid goals and timeframes, then meditation can be a success. Mindful meditation is more about noticing thoughts when they enter the head and noticing again when they pass, without getting too attached or drawn into them,
Courtney Ackerman, MA, shares in Positive Psychology that there are 10 common responses people give when asked, “Have you tried meditation?” She shares responses to these objections. There’s even a link for three free Mindfulness Exercises to get you started!
If the benefits are not enough to consider the process, how about a younger brain age? There is a growing pile of evidence “that meditative practice may be associated with slowed biological aging,” Neurocase.
A second similar result found that meditation has been shown to induce increases in brain tissue, even after relatively short periods of time, such as weeks or months, as documented in this research paper in NeuroImage. They observed that, at age fifty, brains of meditators were estimated to be 7.5 years younger.
Want to know more, there are lots of free resources online but here is a link to a one-minute guided meditation from Headspace to help you get started.
What do you think, have you seen the benefits of more mindfulness or meditation, or might you consider the process for your team?
“In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.”
Eckhart Tolle, Spiritual Teacher and Author