Meditation isn’t just for monks anymore. The more popular it’s become, the more giant corporations have discovered just how beneficial meditation can be. Not just for their employees, but for their bottom line. That’s why Google and Nike offer corporate meditation to their employees.
Meditation is like the OG of microdosing in that it’s a mind hack similar to the one Silicon Valley has recently discovered. Except meditation is free and there is no danger of overdoing it. Furthermore, the benefits of meditation last forever, not just during the few hours of a microdose.
In this article, I’ll talk about what corporate meditation is. Second, why companies have implemented corporate meditation. Third, what improvements they’ve seen. And fourth, how your company can start getting the same benefits as Google and Nike.
So, What is Corporate Meditation?
Corporate Mindfulness and Meditation programs like the ones at Google and Nike help employees reach their fullest potential. They teach secular, science-backed techniques that improve creativity, productivity and focus. Simultaneously, they decrease stress, reduce turnover rates, and lead to fewer sick days.
A speaker will come in semi-regularly to teach a combination of mindfulness and meditation geared for the corporate world. They tend to either give a one or two-hour keynote, or lead a half or full day workshop. These may be done in person or remotely via Zoom.
Alternatively, corporate meditation may be taught during a weekend or a week-long retreat off campus.
Many corporations, like Nike and Google, tend to have annual retreats. They’ll also have monthly or bi-monthly keynote speakers and/or workshops. And they’ll also provide weekly meditation classes.
In these events, employees learn how to meditate as well as simple techniques for managing emotions. Through this combination of instruction and meditation practice, employees can get more done, in less time, with less stress.
Why Have Companies Like Google and Nike Implemented Corporate Meditation?
Despite being well-known, even Google and Nike are not immune from the high turnover rates in the U.S. Burnout and turnover cost large companies trillions of dollars a year.
Additionally, Google and Nike wish to attract the best talent. So, making their offices the happiest places to work is the best way to do it.
Game rooms, extra time off and bean bag chairs have all been tried. But, they fail to address the true source of joy and fulfillment — the mind. Complaining, negativity, and taking on stress all remain, no matter how many bean bag chairs there are.
When we’re stressed, we make costly mistakes. If employees are worried, innovation is stifled. And if you’re alive today in the 21st century, technology has made it harder to focus and pay attention.
The Effects of Workplace Stress
It isn’t just psychological either. 43% of all adults suffer physically from stress. Up to 90% of all doctor visits are related to stress. Stress can lead to headaches, diabetes, asthma, skin disorders, arthritis, depression and anxiety. It even leads to heart disease, increased blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and death. OSHA estimates that stress costs companies $300 billion in the U.S. alone!
These coping and stress-reduction skills don’t just stop when an employee leaves the office. They are important skills that stay with them when they get home and for the rest of their lives.
Companies like Google and Nike are investing handsomely into corporate meditation. They do it for profits, for their employees’ well-being, and for their employees’ friends and families.
What Happens After Companies Implement Corporate Meditation?
Innovation is what drives business today. It’s the only thing that ensures any company will be around tomorrow.
When we meditate, our whole brain lights up with activity. Different regions of the brain that don’t normally communicate with each other start talking. In this heightened state of awareness, we can see solutions we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. We gain a new perspective on a problem. Furthermore, we create the space in our mind for new ideas to enter.
Creativity is about focusing on a problem for a long time, and then clearing the mind. Einstein played violin or rode a bike to do this. Sir Issac Newton sat under a tree – essentially meditating.
It is vitally important for creativity and innovation to practice the art of meditating. To calm the body and mind. To slow down, clear our head, and enter a deeply relaxed state of being.
Meditation: The Greatest Tool for Creativity
While violin and bike riding are great, nothing boosts creativity and performance quite like meditation. When we’re biking or playing violin, we’re still using a great deal of brain power to not fall off or to move our fingers in the right way. Only by sitting still with our eyes closed can we completely free our mind from the normal constraints of the day.
By being in a heightened state of concentration as we repeatedly focus on our breath or a mantra in meditation, we develop greater powers of concentration and focus.
As we observe our thoughts and emotions without distraction, we become conscious of unconscious thought patterns. We become our own therapist and we can tap into our habitual thinking and rewire our brain consciously. Rising stress can be easily be observed and released. Tension in our body can easily be recognized and relaxed.
The more we meditate, the more being aware and at peace becomes second nature. Our mental and physical health improve. Our relationships become better. Stress, nervousness, worry, doubts and fear become diminished as we become more focused on the present moment.
Every single employee becomes a better speaker and a more engaged worker. They become more positive, more creative, happier and healthier. That is why companies like Google and Nike have implemented corporate meditation and continue to do so.
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