Check out Peter Bregman’s article in the Harvard Business Review in which he explains how meditation makes you more productive by increasing your capacity to resist distracting urges. Bregman sites research that shows if you can resist your urges, you can make better, more thoughtful decisions, thereby improving your performance. So, he explains, the next time an employee makes a mistake, rather than react with instinctive anger, which would demoralize the employee, you can respond rationally and determine what caused the error and how to fix it. Similarly, through the discipline of meditation you can cultivate the ability to resist the urge to talk over someone in a meeting when listening would be more productive. Daily meditation, he advises, will strengthen your will power, putting you more in control of your decisions– who can’t benefit from that?
For information about how to learn to meditate, click here.
It may not surprise you that California-based Google has a mindfulness meditation program called Search Inside Yourself. Perhaps more surprising though is that companies such as General Mills, Aetna and Target also offer workplace programs featuring yoga and meditation. In fact, General Mills’ longstanding program was championed by non other than their Deputy General Counsel, Janice Marturano, while she was the company’s lead liaison to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Check out this recent article in the Financial Times to read about the benefits companies are reaping from yoga and meditation programs, including how Aetna used yoga to reduce stress levels in employees and healthcare costs significantly and how Leadership Excellence Magazine ranked General Mills 1st in developing leaders in 2011.
From Yoga Journal Blogs, October 10, 2012
If you’ve ever considered asking your employer for permission to coordinate a lunchtime yoga class, here’s some information that might help you make your case. A study recently published in the journal Occupational Medicine found that yoga in the workplace reduced employee stress and eased back pain.
Study participants, who were employees of the British government, were asked to practice yoga for 50 minutes once a week for eight weeks. They were also allowed to practice up to twice a week for 20 minutes at home with a DVD. When compared with a group that did no yoga at all, the yoga practitioners reported lower levels of stress and sadness as well as less back pain. While this was a small study with 37 participants in each group, it adds to a growing body of research that confirms yoga’s many benefits.
“Integrating yoga into the workplace, at lunchtime or after work, may provide a time-effective, convenient and practical method for reducing the costly effects of stress and back pain,” the researchers wrote in the Sept. 25 issue of Occupational Medicine. That’s good news for employers who want to reduce the cost of health benefits for employers—and good news for stressed out workers, too.
Researchers said further study is necessary to see if yoga can reduce the number of sick days employers take.