Benefits of workplace meditation are becoming increasingly clear. Participants feel less depressed and less emotionally exhausted, and above all, less stressed. We have figured out every possible way to exercise our physical body … the next frontier is our mind – to get the most out of our brains so we can handle the mega-pressures of the information era. Today, meditation is being used by a large cross section of society – from the United States Marines to large corporations. The benefit of stress reduction is slashing corporate healthcare costs, building emotional resilience, happiness and an overall more positive outlook on life.
Research shows that constant information overload sends the brain into the fight-or-flight stress response, originally designed to protect us from man-eating tigers and other threats. Studies showed that 50% of a knowledge worker’s day is spent ‘managing information’ and that constant information overload sends the brain into the fight-or-flight stress response. In a high stress level state we lose our ability to make decisions, process information, and prioritize tasks.
Meditation has been found to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and decrease the size of the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with sensing threats and triggering the fight-or-flight stress response. Meditation has also been found to trigger physiological changes of relaxation, such as lower heart and respiratory rates, lower blood pressure, and lower oxygen consumption. There is an increase in activity in the left prefrontal cortex which is associated with positive emotions, thus increasing one’s ability for focus and concentration, empathy, decision making, self awareness, and for more adaptive responses to negative or stressful events.
If you are not reaping the benefits of meditation in today’s pandemic-driven, chaotic and stress-filled world, your performance as an individual, as a leader, and as an organization will undoubtedly suffer negative consequences.