The Positive Contributions of Meditation at Work, as Told by Dipanshu Sharma, and Why to Implement Regular Meditation
When it comes to meditation, many people think of a practice that must be done alone, in total silence, at the most tranquil and calm point in the day, said Dipanshu Sharma, founder and CEO of Meditation.Live. However, meditation in the workplace can be done in groups and may have more benefits and a positive contribution to individuals, work culture and productivity. Here are five reasons you should consider implementing yoga in your place of work.
1. Meditation decreases stress and anxiety in the workplace
40% of working americans suffer Loneliness, Stress and Depression. A literature review conducted in 2014 assessed 47 mindfulness meditation trials that involved around 3,515 participants. The review concluded that meditation is a useful tool that helps relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. And not only do meditators feel less stressed, their levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol decrease measurably.
Stress has been linked to a wide range of medical problems, including hypertension, heart disease, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. A study done at Stanford University School of Medicine shows that those who practice mindfulness meditation display a reduction in stress-related symptoms, and report increases in their sense of control in their lives. For instance, mindfulness meditation can produce a 30% reduction in symptoms of stress among those with a serious illness.
Whether there are conflicts with coworkers or pressing deadlines, stress is not beneficial to a work environment. Stress is also linked to many health problems, including heart disease, depression and hypertension. By employing meditation techniques, employees will have clearer minds and be able to think more freely and creatively, making more positive contributions at work, said Dipanshu Sharma.
2. Meditation in the workplace helps foster relationships between coworkers
“So many coworkers go about their day only seeing each other, but never interacting or bothering to learn about each other,” said Dipanshu Sharma. “Meditation provides a means for them to work together toward bettering themselves.” Coworker relationships contribute to a more happy and productive work environment. When people are able to unite over a common task, especially something they may be unfamiliar with, like meditation, they bond and will be able to solve problems at work together more efficiently because of the experience. A popular meditation called “loving kindness” is a perfect meditation to help co-workers understand each other’s perspective and appreciate where their counterparts may be coming from, without judgement.
Learning to be more mindful has a positive impact on yourself and those around you. Increased mindfulness leads to significant improvements in work relationships and friendships, due to communication and expression of emotions. After becoming more emotionally intelligent through meditation, relationships become easier and natural. In fact, people who meditate tend to show more acceptance towards each other and can create a more welcoming and holistic work environment.
3. Meditation brings more creativity into the workplace
Mindfulness and meditation are two keys to improving creativity and problem solving. Opening the mind allows it to work in less rigid ways, making people more open to creative ideas. “Creative thinking and creative problem solving skills are vital for all employees to possess, even if you think you do not need creative workers,” said Dipanshu Sharma. “At meditation.live, we do visualization meditations that allow users to be more creative that helps them to come up with ideas they were not thinking of”
Research done at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands has found a link between mindfulness and creativity including increased insight problem-solving and reduced cognitive rigidity. The more a person continues to practice mindfulness meditation regularly, the more open they are to bold and creative ideas.
4. Productivity will increase when meditation is implemented at work
Meditation is an exercise that promotes focus, concentration and a distraction-free headspace, said Dipanshu Sharma. This carries over into almost every aspect of an employee’s job. Meditation can improve memory, time management skills and concentration. Meditation practice helps the body learn to relax, a benefit that continues when it’s time to hit the hay. It also trains the mind to settle the attention on an object such as the breath and allow other thoughts and emotions to float by like clouds on a pleasant day.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation has been shown repeatedly to improve our ability to sustain attention and decrease external and internal distractions. Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that a meditation program led to changes in brain regions involving learning and working memory capacity.
5. Meditation improves Happiness And Health
A study conducted at the University of Utah suggested that “mindfulness may be linked to self-regulation throughout the day, and that this may be an important way that mindfulness contributes to better emotional and physical well-being.”
One study conducted at Ohio State University showed that regular mindfulness-based muscle relaxation exercises lowered the risk of breast cancer recurring. A different study at Ohio State monitoring meditation’s effects on elderly patients concluded that mindfulness and relaxation exercises practiced over the period of one month helped boost patients’ lymphocytes, those natural killer cells that improve the immune system. Consequently, the subjects demonstrated better resistance to viruses and tumors.
Another benefit for people who practice meditation for health reasons is that mindfulness meditation has been shown to help control blood pressure. According to a study reported in the British Medical Journal, patients who practiced meditation-based exercises had considerably lower blood pressure than those in the control group. Experts believe that meditation reduces the body’s responsiveness to cortisol and other stress hormones, which is similar to how blood pressure reducing medications work. It’s one of meditation’s great health blessings.