Mindfulness: The New Corporate Practice
As toxic stress of the capitalistic western world met the live-in-the-present nonjudgmental philosophy of the mystical eastern world, the mindfulness movement was born.
What is mindfulness?
Wikipedia defines mindfulness as “the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.” It occurs through the practice of meditation and other habits that develop self-knowledge and wisdom toward an enlightened state of mind and freedom from suffering.
But how recent is the movement?
Since the 1970s, clinical studies have recorded the mental and physical health benefits of mindfulness for patients. Principles of mindfulness have been widely adopted in prisons, hospitals, veteran’s centers and other venues needing suitable methodologies to reduce stress, mental illness or anxiety.
Mindfulness has also been incorporated into medicine and educational systems. For example, neuroscientific research evidenced brain-breaks help struggling students to learn better and achieve successful goals (though a brain-break may be an activity rather than meditation).
The mindfulness process
Catherine Albanese, author, A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion, says the theological underpinnings of mindfulness have been swept away for businesses. As it focuses on new thought rather than religion, the practice has now become a “business tool.”
Taking time out of each day to meditate is the cornerstone of the mindfulness process, and more corporations are instituting the practice of mindfulness into their employee incentives. For instance, Google has employee development courses entitled “neural self-hacking” and “managing your energy.”
Likewise, eBay offers meditation rooms equipped with pillows and flowers. Twitter and Facebook are vying to keep up with mindfulness movement practices. Additionally, General Mills, Aetna and Goldman Sachs offer training in meditation. A fund manager on Wall Street has his staff meditating during lunch breaks.
5 Proven benefits of meditation
It is said the practice of meditation:
- Motivates employees
- Improves productivity
- Heightens performance
- Improves focus and concentration
- Increases compassion, fulfillment, and joy
Why not test the process yourself?
Ready now? Sit comfortably; close your eyes and focus on the rhythm of your breathing for two minutes . . . Relaxed? Great, now what else can you achieve?
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