I often hear how the workplace is much different now from what it used to be. I don’t know–I am young enough that I only know Today.
My generation grew up with computers and cell phones. Yet all our generations–Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and even our upcoming and coming Generation Z–have something in common: the workplace can be a stressful place.
Employees rarely have time in their day to reset, recharge, regenerate and the result is that employees go home exhausted and worn out without enough energy to make a healthy meal and exercise, play with their children or have meaningful relationships.
Not all stress is “bad,” however this type of stress–chronic stress–is particularly detrimental. Chronic stress weakens the immune system and sets the leadership and employees of an organization up for low productivity and missing work due to illness.
Many companies both large and small have been implementing Wellness Programs to support the health and wellbeing of their greatest assets–the workers. These programs are wonderful when they address how to deal with stress, anxiety, and workplace pressures.
Some offer guided meditations while others just offer a space for meditation or quiet reflection. The buzz is all around this “Mindfulness” movement.
So how does this work? When we take time during the day to just be rather than do, it helps create a stronger control of the mind’s function and productivity. By witnessing the senses and breath, it can be easier to release the attachment to thoughts and feelings of the past and future and to be in the present moment.
By giving the brain a single-task “workout,” we are training to be more focused and efficient. Training the mind is beneficial to productivity, especially since studies show (and sometimes we know firsthand!) that attention spans are shorter than 10 seconds. We know multi-tasking doesn’t work. So now that leadership and employees have a way of training their brains to be focused, performance improves.
Not only that, but studies show that regular meditation practice of 20 minutes per day reduces stress and anxiety in the brain.
A happy and calm employee is the best employee!