The workplace can be a highly stressful, fast-paced environment. Employees can feel like they have a million different things to do and struggle to keep up with their tasks. They also may have to deal with difficult colleagues or bosses, all while making sure that they’re continuously improving so that they can progress in their career and enjoy more success.
The stress of working in conditions like this can take a heavy toll not only on employees’ mental health, but on their physical health as well, which already suffers due to the sedentary lifestyle associated with corporate work.
Thankfully, meditation can help to address these negative effects.
The importance of employee wellness
Employee wellness is paramount. Happier, healthier employees can find more joy in their work and perform their tasks better. When employees’ mental health is doing well, they can tackle obstacles and solve problems far more easily.
This not only means that they have the tools that they need to succeed, but that they are more productive as well, which is excellent for the company.
Meditation and mindfulness can take as little or as much time as the company and/or the employees like. There are many benefits that they can provide employees, both in the short term as well as the long term.
Benefits of meditation at work
Stress can cause disrupted sleep, promote depression and anxiety, contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking, and increase blood pressure.
Meditation has long been shown to decrease stress, both immediately and in the long-term. A study in 2013 showed that there was a connection between mindfulness and cortisol. Participants saw huge benefits after just a few weeks of meditation.
The best part is, these results don’t require subjects to meditate for long at all. In fact, the time commitment is minimal – perfect for a corporate setting.
Employees can enjoy developing a greater understanding of who they are and who they are in relation to those around them, and therefore be well-equipped to grow into their best selves. Self-inquiry meditation has been shown to have many positive effects, such as helping someone realize when their thoughts are self-harming or defeating, what patterns their thoughts follow, and even why they clash with certain people.
Increases calm, happiness, and satisfaction
Employees’ that enjoy the benefits of meditation and mindfulness will be less stressed and therefore happier and more satisfied with their work life. This leads them to do better, be better, and feel better generally.
Increases focus and memory
The American Psychological Association looked at the effects of meditation in the military and found that a group that had practiced meditation showed regularly superior performance when exhibiting working memory under stressful situations, compared to a group that hadn’t.
Meditation can help people be more creative by helping them be more aware of who they are, what they can contribute, and how best to approach a problem. When employees are less stressed, they can tackle problems with the desire to solve them in the best way possible rather than whatever gets it out of the way fastest.
Improves and encourages harmonious work relationships
Meditation enhances compassion and empathy because it allows people to strip away the things that cloud humanity such as stress, tension, judgement, and anger. Group meditation can increase compassion and awareness of others dramatically, and some research shows initial findings that meditation can even lead to reduced prejudice.
Helps with decision-making
When people are calmer, they can make better-informed and thought out decisions. They can think through their options and see what will suit the situation best, and then decide based on logic rather than strong feelings.
Helps with mindful leadership
The best leaders are those that are compassionate, understanding, supportive, and responsive rather than reactionary. Meditation has been shown to curb strong emotional reactions, which leaders must be able to do if they want to lead effectively.
There are many benefits of meditation at work, and it can take as little as five minutes a day for employees to enjoy them. In the current work climate where stress and anxiety can take over, employee wellness is paramount, and meditation might just do the trick.