5 Scientific Reasons to Use Meditation at Work
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Do you know why most people choose to meditate?
Many people use meditation as part of their spiritual or religious practice. In the U.S.A, however, most people practice meditation because of its therapeutic effect.
According to Dr. Robin Miller, only one of the many doctors who recommend meditation to their patients, regular practice of meditation can “boost the immune system, improve the body’s response to insulin, reduce blood pressure, and improve the quality of life for patients with congestive heart failure and cancer. Meditation can also reduce anxiety, help with insomnia and improve longevity.”
Blood pressure, heart issues, anxiety, and insomnia – those are conditions that we can easily relate to job-related stress. Some of the major indicators of such stress include:
- Racing heartbeat and raised blood pressure;
- Chronic fatigue and snappy behavior;
- Insomnia and difficulties to focus when awake, and
- Frequent colds (weak immune system).
Meditation improves those precise symptoms. Moreover, it helps alleviate the cause of those symptoms - stress itself.
This fact should be enough for most employers to introduce meditation program at the workplace. But some managers and employers might need more convincing. No problem; we’ll list more reasons because there are plenty of them.
5 Strong Reasons to Introduce Meditation Practice at Work
#1. Meditation Improves Mental Health
A research study from 2004 showed that mindfulness meditation alleviated suffering related to physical, psychiatric, and psychosomatic disorders. The program was entirely non-esoteric and non-religious. It was focused on helping the participants to become more aware of the mental processes.
We all face our problems outside of work. The job itself is a source of stress that can grow into anxiety or impulsiveness. With regular meditation practice, your employees will become mentally and emotionally stronger, so they can face the challenges of the day without allowing their minds to stand on the way.
#2. Meditation Improves Focus
Is there any business owner or manager who doesn’t want their workers to be more focused on the tasks at hand?
Meditation makes people more focused, and it doesn’t even take too much time for the practitioners to feel that effect. Researchers proved that even short-term meditation training improved one’s attention and self-regulation.
An experimental group of forty Chinese students were getting twenty minutes of integrative training over five days. These students showed higher vigor and a great improvement on test scores, but also lower levels of fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
#3. Meditation Helps People Manage Their Emotions
Emotions are a natural thing to occur. We all feel the need to cry, shout, laugh, and simply be emotional from time to time. At work, however, we have to be professional even in the most triggering situations.
The problem is: the work environment is a trigger of an emotional rollercoaster. One team member says something to another one, and the discussion gets heated. Others decide to take sides and you’re in the middle of a chaos before you know it.
When your employees practice meditation, they will avoid such situations. They will be able to gain control over their emotions, so they won’t snap on the first trigger.
Do you want the science behind this? Sure!
Researchers proved that people who practiced mindfulness meditation had prolonged reactivity to emotional stimuli. They were more mindful and reported greater psychological well-being. They also showed reduced emotional interference from unpleasant pictures.
How about some personal experience in addition to science? Meghan Richards, a writer for Careers Booster, explains: “I used to heat up every single time when my editor asked for revisions on my work. I was very attentive to details and always did my best, so the requirement for revisions didn’t do good things for my fragile ego. I used to get in lengthy discussions, explaining why her requirements were not reasonable. Meditation changed that. It taught me to control my emotions and actually pay attention to the criticism and benefit from it. I don’t know how that happened. I just know that through the practice, I started seeing my emotions from a more realistic point of view.”
#4. Meditation Helps People Overcome Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is a huge problem for many people. It affects nearly 15 million American adults.
This condition is described as intense fear of being judged, rejected, or negatively evaluated. People who’ve never faced such fear don’t understand it. They don’t get why someone is so disturbed when asked to speak up. They don’t get why their hands start shaking, their voice breaks and they are completely unable to express themselves.
In most cases, people who suffer from social anxiety choose to stay silent even when they have great ideas to share.
Most team leaders, business owners, and managers don’t understand social anxiety as a condition. They assume they are passive because they lack the skills, creativity, and ideas to contribute towards good results.
Instead of thinking about getting rid of them, you should do something better: encourage them to meditate.
Researchers showed that meditation and breathing exercises resulted in the reduction of anxiety and depression symptoms and improvement of self-esteem levels. In addition, the practitioners showed decreased negative emotion experience. Since meditation helps people regulate their emotions, it can clearly reduce the exaggerated emotional reactivity in people with social anxiety. But it takes a lot of effort and persistence from their part.
#5. Meditation Has a Calming Effect
Finally, the most important benefit the entire workplace gets is the reduced level of stress.
“The data indicated that the meditation group exhibited significantly higher hope and lower stress than the comparison group.” That’s what you’ll read in a research study examining the connection between meditation and stress reduction.
Stress is something we face on a daily basis, especially at work. Meditation won’t eliminate it. We’ll still encounter stressful situations and we’ll have to react in one way or another. The practice, however, changes the way we react. It makes people calmer and more put-together. With time and effort, they start recognizing minor stress triggers and they are able to stay calm in such situations.
Wouldn’t you love to see your employees staying calm under pressure?
The Good News: Meditation Doesn’t Cost Much
Instead of the usual team-building session, why don’t you book a yearly yoga resort for the team? You’ll spend the same amount of money while getting benefits you never dreamed of.
From there on, meditation in the office doesn’t have to cost anything. You’ll simply adjust an area in the offices, so those who want to take a 10-minute meditation break can do it at any time.
Interested in learning the proper way to meditate and how to integrate the habit in day to day life? A yoga and meditation retreat is exactly what you need, and it will be a welcome break from stress, too.