While stress has become a part of the workplace, it is time that it should not be taken for granted. Stress is causing many health issues such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and poor mental health – which is eventually leading to conditions that is killing more than 120,000 people per year.
Work related stress is a major cause of concern in many organisations due to the ever increasing pressures on people to perform; increasing demands on the mind and emotions, which is overwhelming for all. In fact, World Health Organisation has termed stress as a worldwide epidemic. Having said that, stress also has an antidote which many researchers and medical practitioners vouch for and that is meditation.
Meditation is a very helpful tool in strengthening people at the workplace emotionally and mentally. Its benefits have been backed by many studies and one of the prominent ones is where Harvard Scientists have found in their research that meditation conclusively and positively changes one’s brain structure.
Meditation at the workplace is also gaining interest amongst many corporate giants. According to research findings, organisations that have instituted a meditation programme in their work environment, have seen a significant fall in employee stress resulting in substantial increase in productivity and decrease in employee absenteeism.
Some of the prominent Fortune 500 companies that have launched meditation programmes are Procter & Gamble, Google, Nike, General Mills, Comcast.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of practicing meditation at the workplace and see how it can create a positive impact on all the people at the workplace.
When stress is left untreated, it can lead to many issues such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, anxiety or even depression. Meditation when done regularly creates inner calmness and reduces irritability helping in lowering stress levels. It also helps in increasing the sense of control in one’s life.
Practicing meditation consistently increases our ability to sustain attention and decreases distractions- external or internal. Researchers from Harvard medical school found that while meditation led to changes in the brain structure, it also brought some positive changes in the brain regions of learning and working memory capacity.
This is very significant as working memory is responsible for reasoning and crucial in guiding our behavior at workplace. In fact those who work in high stress work environments and practice meditation could remain attentive and stay on a task longer, manage their time effectively and perform in the task efficiently.
Better decision making
Mental clarity is very crucial for everyone but it is even more essential for those who are entrusted with making difficult strategic decisions that can impact the organisations. Research done at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found that there is a link between regular meditation and creativity which results in increasing the ability of problem solving. Practicing meditation teaches the brain to attain clarity and look at situations with less cognitive rigidity which in turn helps in making more rational decisions.
Social interaction and work relationships are important aspects in creating a work environment which is positive, healthy and lively. Meditation helps in making people more emotionally intelligent, which makes relationships more positive, natural and easier. In fact, meditation tends to make people make more acceptable towards each other and creates friendly and cordial work environment.
Many of world’s most successful and inspiring leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Ford, Marc Benioff, Rupert Murdoch, Russell Simmons, meditate every morning before they start their day. Meditation helps leaders to feel relaxed, have better coping mechanisms when faced with stressful situation, and are likely to interact better and perform more effectively in their role.
As a closing thought, it is imperative for organisations to implement a meditation programme at the workplace to facilitate people to experience the benefits of meditation and how it helps people individually but when done collectively it adds ups to achieving collective goals.
Wellness techniques like meditation are being accepted by organisations to help executives cope with stress of transformation, explains international meditation expert, Ektaa Sibal.
- It is imperative for organisations to implement a meditation programme at the workplace.
- Mental clarity is crucial for everyone but more essential for those with difficult strategic decisions.
- Meditation helps leaders feel relaxed, have better coping mechanisms when faced with stressful situation.
- Organisations that have a meditation programme in their work environment, have seen a fall in employee stress.
- Stress is causing health issues leading to conditions killing 120,000+ people every year.
- Work stress is a major cause of concern in organisations due to increasing pressures on people to perform.