Questioning whether meditation could make your day more peaceful, profitable, while performing at your best? If so, don’t spend too long pondering as research, celebrities, and famous business leaders have already confirmed its profound effects. Meditation, with its humble 5, 000+ year history, has been growing in popularity. According to Google trends, people are searching for “Mindfulness” 400 times more today than they did 5 years ago.
Meditation and Business
The truth is, meditation is so refreshing because it’s not the perpetual an act of doing or by living life on the hamster wheel, but simply an act of being. It is an opportunity to tune into the mind body spirit relationship and create space, connection, calm, clarity, confidence and more. These are personal and professional gifts that keep on giving and grows over time through daily practice. It also gifts organizations by being the most cost effective way to achieve strategic goals from lowering health care costs, stress in the workplace, employee engagement, innovation, talent retention, leadership succession, and culture.
Stress is becoming the number one killer from immune disorders, cardiovascular, mental health, and more which is costing U.S companies approximately $300 Billion in stress related illnesses-not including the additional $200 Billion for absenteeism. Take note, these numbers don’t account for employees of all levels who come to work fragmented and fatigued and unable to perform at their best. Improving the quality of life, relationships, health, effectiveness, success and more is not only critical, it’s a timely opportunity to transform the way we live and work.
This contemplative practice is positively changing those workplaces where leaders are committed to finding solutions to curb the ever rising mental, emotional, and physical threats employees feel. Many understand the value proposition- everyone benefits greatly when employees come to work feeling healthy, happy, focused, calm, and resilient. These qualities directly translate to higher levels of performance and ultimately that means greater peace, performance, and profitability in the workplace and beyond.
Brain Benefits to Consider
There has been a lot of debate, thousands of studies, articles and research papers in the science community as to how meditation impacts the brain. Regardless of the style of meditation, it all boils down to one thing-it’s ALL GOOD. Here are a few benefits if you’re new, you need a refresher, or you want to finish the article because your brain is focused on absorbing more data.
1. Individuals who meditate tend to have increased gray matter changes in their brain. The anterior cingulate cortex located behind the brain’s frontal lobe is associated with self-regulatory processes. This means that people who meditate tend to have a healthier ability to monitor attention struggles and allow for more cognitive flexibility.
2. Scientists have also found that individuals who meditate have increased gray matter density in their prefrontal lobe region of the brain. What this means is that they, in turn, have a better ability to carry out executive functions such as planning, problem resolving and are better at regulating their emotions.
3. Meditating individuals have been found to have increased thickness in the hippocampus which is the part of the brain that governs learning and memory.
4. Studies have also shown that amygdala or part of the brain responsible for our ‘fight or flight’ reactions, reduces in the brain after meditation. This would indicate that meditation helps make one more stable, calm and collected.
5. We all have a Default Mode Network (DMN) also known as ‘Monkey Minds.’ What this means is that our brains wonder every other time. Meditation, helps us become more aware, more tolerant, less disapproving, and less reactive. This ultimately enables us to become more stable, proactive human beings.
Meditation is not a cure-all, but there is a lot of scientific evidence which shows that it is good for those who practice it regularly. And almost everyone agrees that its benefits are felt almost instantaneously after each practice. It is therefore not a wonder that huge corporates such as Google, Anderson Cooper, Apple and Target would integrate it in their work schedules.
Ways to Develop a Meditation Program
- Leadership must be on board from the beginning. A thriving workplace culture is dependent on leadership understanding the ROI in a new way- it’s the VOI (Value On Return) that matters just as much.
- Engage your employees by asking who in the company already has a daily practice or certification in meditation and would be willing to lead formal and informal meditation sessions throughout the week.
- Reply on the employees to identify how they can practice greater mindfulness at work- in meetings, in conversation, correspondence, during breaks, and before and after work.
- Use a program as part of the onboarding process for new employees so they feel it’s part of the language and culture. Remember emotional intelligence is equally responsible for employee success and meditation feeds these capabilities.
- Seek outside professionals to teach workshops to get started and how integrated life work balance can be achieved.
We at Corporate Prana specialize in teaching meditation in the workplace and exclusively for executive teams. Reach out when you’re ready to discuss how you can create more peace, and proftability in your life and business.
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