Yoga, meditation, ‘mindfulness’ – why some of the west’s biggest companies are embracing eastern spirituality
Work can be a stressful place, and with companies trying to keep an eye on the bottom line while simultaneously improving productivity, many workers may find themselves with more responsibilities than ever before. While there is no way to totally eliminate stress from the workplace, some companies are doing what they can to help employees relax, and many, are doing that through on-site meditation.
Meditation and Mindfulness have infiltrated the upper echelons of some of the biggest companies on earth to cultivate key leadership excellence, to succeed, make a difference and build resilience with compelling research behind it.
It should come as no surprise to those who know a bit about the life of Steve Jobs that meditation has long been promoted at Apple. Jobs often took part in meditation retreats, was married in a Zen ceremony, and maintained lifelong friendships with many monks. Some speculate that the mental control he gained from meditation was what helped him become so successful in creating new, innovative products for Apple. Whatever it was, Jobs wanted to pass on his love of meditation to others in the workplace, allowing employees of the tech giant to take 30 minutes each day to meditate at work, providing classes on meditation and yoga on-site, and offering the use of a meditation room.
Nike’s motto “just do it” applies to meditation as well, it seems. The company is one of many big businesses incorporating meditation practice into their workplace. Employees of the athletic apparel giant have access to relaxation rooms, which they can use to take a nap, pray, or of course meditate. In addition to these quiet rooms, employees can also take part in meditation and yoga classes without ever having to leave the office.
Even when you’re working at a company that offers unbelievable benefits like Google, things can get a bit stressful on the job. On a regular basis, the company offers meditation space and meditation courses, believing that meditation can help improve not only employee mental health and well-being but the company’s bottom line as well.
Yahoo! is another tech company that is doing what it can to reduce employee stress while at work. Employees of Yahoo! can take advantage of meditation rooms or engage with others who share their interests in a more mindful work day by taking free classes offered on-site.
Meditation has been shown to produce a wide range of mental benefits when practiced on a daily basis. Studies have shown
that it can actually change how the brain processes information and manages the effects of stress, depression, and anxiety. Those who practice meditation, research has demonstrated, are happier and calmer than their counterparts who don’t, so it’s no surprise that many high-stress businesses are catching on and making meditation a part of their corporate mission.
It’s about training minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected. That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us – our colleagues, customers – that’s what the training of mindfulness is really about.
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