Benefits Of Meditation Classes At Work
Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Workplace meditation and mindfulness classes are increasingly popular among employers because they are scientifically proven to reduce the number 1 reason for work days lost - STRESS. But while doctors are now prescribing meditation as an alternative to medication, when companies try to introduce corporate meditation, the reaction from some people is ‘it’s not for me’ or ‘it’s too hard to do’ or ‘I tried it once and it didn’t work.’ So office meditation is better described by highlighting the benefits: ‘proven to help you enjoy more energy, less stress and greater mental clarity’.
Years of scientific research, alongside evaluation by companies that support their staff by offering meditation classes, have shown that meditation benefits go a lot further than just stress reduction. Here are a few highlights:
Enhanced cognitive function
Breath meditation and other techniques have been shown to increase grey matter and alter brain structure in a way that improves learning, memory and the ability to sustain concentration. Higher levels of creativity and decision making have also been identified as workplace meditation benefits. As meditation has been shown to offset cognitive decline – typical of the ageing process – it is being recommended for older adults as a way to stay more alert and vibrant, to keep the brain working efficiently. Certain meditations have even been shown to help Alzheimer’s patients
Greater energy and resilience
A typical workplace meditation session will include some gentle movement, to release tension and relax the body so the mind can follow. Regular sessions will improve heart rate and enhance the immune function, lower blood sugar and cholesterol rates and reduce blood pressure. Participants regularly report that they feel more focused and less sluggish, particularly in the afternoon, better able to juggle multiple tasks calmly and effectively
As many as half of all adults regularly experience sleep problems. Stress is often at the root of the problem because there is a direct correlation between stress and sleep: the more stressed you are, the less you sleep…the less you sleep, the morning stressed you become – it’s a vicious cycle. Meditation just before bed helps people achieve a sense of calm, leading to healthier sleep patterns. Meditation increases production of melatonin, known as the sleep hormone. It can also improve control of the autonomic nervous system, which affects the depth of sleep you experience, therefore waking less easily
Stress, anxiety and even depression have been shown to be positively affected through regular meditation sessions, improving an overall sense of balance and wellbeing. Meditation has been shown to be almost as effective at treating people with depression as using medication. Very simply, meditation makes you mentally stronger, able to manage challenges. Regular meditation can result in fewer negative thoughts and can lighten a dark mood
Team building and staff satisfaction
Particularly in 2020, with so many people working remotely, group meditation sessions have been successful in connecting colleagues, promoting greater camaraderie, support and compassion. Staff feel appreciated in an environment that supports good mental health. Meditation can help us become calmer in situations of potential conflict, to become more open and accepting of others, which in turn supports more productive working relationships
There is a wide range of workplace meditation techniques available, including breath work, visualisation, yoga exercises and sound, including the gong. Yoga benefits both the body and mind, whereas the sound of the gong benefits the mind more. Even just a three minute meditation can achieve real benefits that will be felt not just in the workplace, but at home too.