We often have to deal with work-related stress. Are we actually fully aware of the consequences of stress? According to the Harvard business school mayor health issues like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and poor mental health, arise from workplace stress. At one point it's not possible anymore to deal with the increasing amount of stress.
Today employees and managers are overloaded with a remarkable amount of information and distraction. Emails, instant messaging, social media platforms, co-workers, phone-calls, constantly changing demands, updates, and deadlines. Where over 50% of worker's day is spent on “managing information”. This excess of information results in “a loss of ability to make decisions, process information, and prioritise tasks”.
This is exactly the reason why work-related stress is not solved by taking extra days off, going on a holiday or try get a good night sleep. Due to 100% connectivity it's even more challenging to create a healthy work-life balance as work is taken home and home is taken to work. Connectivity creates that our mind is constantly ON. Therefore our capability to truly relax has dramatically diminished. Our lives are online, connected, and updating information. When do we give our mind a true rest?
The mind is responsible for thoughts, feelings, happiness levels and work performance, it makes sense to take care of this most valuable resource.
Luckily there is an effective solution to reduce stress levels, enhance our predictive capabilities by allowing ourselves to truly rest.
For centuries meditation is known to work with both the body and mind. Current technological development enable us to actually follow the effects of meditation in the brain. With regular practice in meditation denser grey matter in the brain related to memory and emotional processing are changed and can drastically improve your attention span. A great added value in the age where our attention span is measured to be less than a goldfish. A meta-analysis of 47 trials with 3,515 participants found that people participating in mindfulness meditation programs experienced less anxiety, depression, and pain.
Furthermore practical evidence from corporations are reinforcing scientific evidence. For example results from Blackrock where Golbie Kamarei implemented meditation programs. Employee responses measure that 91% believes it positively adds to the culture, 88% would recommend it to a colleague 66% experiences less stress and better ability to manage stress, 63% are better able to manage themselves at work, and 60% experiences an increased focus, mental resilience and better decision making.
Therefore it's no surprise that big companies as Apple, Google, Yahoo, P&G, Nike, Salesforce, and HBO have implemented meditation programs in their corporate culture. Implementing mindfulness practices within your organisation is actually most effective way generate mutual benefit for business and staff. While wellbeing of staff is improved due to true relaxation of the mind and body, business performance is enhanced as it has more productive and better performing staff.
Meditation cultivates professionals that can actually deal with workplace stress in this increasingly demanding environment while being able to truly relax the body and mind. Furthermore the implementation of mindfulness practices encourages top performance as it enhances better decision making and productivity. Whether you are a small business or you work for a big corporate, now it is an ideal time to introduce this ancient practice to balancing work, life, and body by breathing and attention.
As every individual and corporation is unique the best evidence is to experience meditation and mindfulness practices yourself!