Let’s be honest. If we’re working in a corporate office, we’re probably not getting enough sleep. The constant use of technology and a competitive environment often make it hard for us to cope with stress, and when you’re working with some of the best and brightest, getting ahead seems more important than sleeping enough.
In a McKinsey & Co article on wellness and work, we see that the right combination of sleep and meditation can turn us into the best employees. When we bring work home with us, we allow for distractions to enter our homes and interfere with our family time and sleep. In a study conducted by Els van der Helm, it was found that 80% of her subjects sleep with their phones in their room and over 50% check their emails in bed. We tend to not allocate time for ourselves to “take a break, have some self-reflection, and take it easy.”
Although modern science has made it exponentially easier for us to know what is good to put into our bodies, van der Helm says that, “mindfulness and sleep are the next things to focus on,” and Manish Chopra – healthcare strategist and meditation expert – couldn’t agree more! He states that people have a tendency to use wellness and well-being interchangeably, when in actuality, one is associated with physical health and the other, mental stability, insight, and awareness. Chopra says,
So meditation, which, interestingly, grew more out of the Eastern cultures and is focused more on liberating one’s self from suffering, has found a very interesting audience in the professional world, where it has a lot of other side benefits, which are a value to the time-strapped executive—whether it’s stress levels, managing attention, speed of decision making, resilience, and so on and so forth.
Used to reduce the effects of PTSD in the army, meditation is capable of generating change. Done enough, it leads to increased productivity in the workplace and manifests as an investment in ourselves. Caroline Webb, CEO of Sevenshift, believes that a mind-set shift occurs when people start to take meditating seriously. When we begin to see the investment of time in sleep, exercise, and mindfulness as an investment rather than a cost, we are better able to notice its immediate effects rather than long-term.
It is important to note that one must be wholeheartedly open to the experience of meditation and want it to work. We must have both time and belief in the potential for mindfulness and meditation to incite change.
Meditation is not something that necessarily gets us ahead in the workplace. People become “closet meditators” – according to Webb and Chopra – as they hide their practice from work colleagues and employers due to a lurking “uneasiness about being open.” Why do they do this? Because without the approval of a senior person in the company, they cling to the shreds of skepticism that formed even before the beginning of their journey.
However, meditation can completely change our effectiveness at work. Practicing meditation for even a few minutes a day allows us to be increasingly present at work and manage stress. When we learn to use stress to our advantage, we can be not only the most productive versions of ourselves, but also the happiest. Meditation is now being provided to employees at the top companies of the corporate world.
Corporate meditation inspires a healthy work environment and reduces tension between individuals. The DEN assists people in finding their most effective sources of productivity and focus within our world’s always-on work culture. DEN Corporate gives companies the opportunity to bring meditation to the workplace and customize a class suitable for your company.
Find more info here at: DEN Corporate
McKinsey & Co., Feb. 2016: “The art and science of well-being at work”