As working adults, we lead full, busy lives. We manage work, family, personal and community obligations, all of which compete for our time and energy. Layer on political, societal and environmental disruptions and it’s no wonder stress and anxiety are weakening our collective physical, emotional and mental reserves.
Meditation is a simple, effective way to keep our metaphorical gas tank full to better manage challenging, demanding lives. It can give us the energy, resilience and ability to be our best selves and do our best work.
Personal Benefits of Meditation
The studies on meditation are many and the results around its benefits are all the same. Mindfulness and meditation consistently have been shown to: reduce stress, anxiety and depression; improve connections and relationships; improve focus; boost performance/productivity and creativity; improve sleep quality; and provide a deeper level of insights and self-awareness. Pretty powerful outcomes, right?
Business Benefits of Meditation
Research also tells us that workplace cultures rooted in well-being encourage self-awareness, trust and growth. We also know that employees with higher levels of well-being are more likely to be engaged in their work.
To tap into the many personal- and business-related benefits of meditation, Beehive began a wellness initiative earlier this month focused on mindfulness, meditation and reflection. For 30 business days, our team has committed to an “All In” group Mindfulness experience. Each day we set an intention, do at least 5 minutes of mindfulness or meditation, and practice written reflection.
Set an Intention: Setting an intention directs thoughts, words and actions toward the outcome you want to experience. Start by setting a positive intention for the day or week. Use a physical/visual cue or reminder to stay connected to your intention, then check in at the end of the day to see how you feel and how you did.
Meditate: My favorite maxim about meditation is that it’s simple but it’s not easy. It’s a practice, meaning you’ll see better results and feel more comfortable the more you do it. It also doesn’t have to be complicated or take much time. If you want to get started, here are three ideas that take just five minutes—shorter than it takes to check Facebook or Instagram. Try one now.
- Turn off all your notifications and click on this Five Minute Meditation. All you have to do is watch the screen for five minutes and follow the prompts.
- Listen to this 5-Minute Breathing Meditation for Beginners, courtesy of Mindful. Just listen to the audio and follow the prompts.
- Or try one of these short mindfulness exercises from Pocket Mindfulness.
Reflect: Daily reflection helps each of us examine our experiences, honestly, and with a desire to learn. Through reflection we’re able to, over time, become more aware of our strengths and weaknesses, to elevate our insights and creativity, set goals and see our progress.
If you’re looking for support in establishing or deepening a meditation practice, consider trying a meditation app. Reviews on the most popular apps (like Headspace, Insight Timer and 10% Happier) can be found at Mind Body Green, Mindful and Huffington Post. The Chopra Center also offers a great library of guided meditations and is a favorite at Beehive. Many local yoga and fitness studios also offer meditation and mindfulness classes and retreats. In the Twin Cities, I love Healing Elements.
As the research on its benefits become clearer and the available apps multiply, meditation and mindfulness have become more mainstream – even in the workplace. Businesses that understand the business value of wellness programs on employee engagement, happiness and retention, will continue to get onboard. In the meantime, start your own practice and reflect on how it’s helping you manage physical and mental health.