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Meditation Cultivates Happiness at Work

Meditation Cultivates Happiness at Work

“True happiness is…to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence on the future.”
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The average American spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. Cultivating happiness in the workplace is that much more important, given we spend so many waking hours there.

But it is not always easy to do. Many challenges can arise for employees, especially in high-stress environments. Time can go by, with no reprieve, feeling as though the days blend into weeks, and weeks into months. Dwelling on past mistakes takes us out of the present, as does worries about our future at the company. Meditation is a tool we use to learn how to be more mindful and present, focusing on the here and now, which leads to more happiness.

Happiness within Stressful Workplaces

Happiness within Stressful Workplaces

Americans spend more time at work than many industrialized nations (including Japan), which means that our coworkers outrank our partners and families for hours spent together. Unless you’re a cyborg, that will inevitably mean that frustrations will arise. How can we cultivate happiness—especially when work gets stressful? Here are some quick tips to help tilt the needle in the right direction.

3 Tips for a Mindful Workspace

Did you know you can optimize your workspace for productivity and wellbeing? Whether it’s your home office, cubicle, or just a space to get things done, there’s something nourishing about a workspace you actually enjoy working in.

We’ve compiled a list of 3 easy (and enjoyable) ways to set up a mindful workspace.

1. Keep It Clean

Did you know the cleanliness of your chair, computer, and desk clean is essential to mindfulness practice? While you work, your mind is exerting energy by focusing on the task at hand. However, when you have a dirty workspace, your mind expands a portion of this finite energy each time you notice any smudges on your screen, crumbs on your desk, or dust on your shelves. By keeping the area clean, it actually reduces distraction.

Quick tip: Keeping a box of eco-friendly disinfecting wipes at your desk makes it easy to keep your workspace clean.

2. Declutter Your Space

A decluttered space equals a decluttered mind. Go through your items to recycle any receipts, papers, empty pens, or dried out highlighters. If you come across things you no longer use, donate or throw them away. Once you’re left with only the necessities, organize those items according to their purpose. Opening a drawer and finding exactly what you were looking for will save you time, energy, and frustration. You can experience this joy by taking the time to get organized.

3. Decorate Your Space

A visually pleasing desk can make work more enjoyable. This is a great opportunity to express yourself. Choose objects and pictures that make you happy, but keep it simple. Too much visual clutter can actually make it more difficult to focus. If you are working on your own business or working towards a goal, you can set up visual cues. A photo or momento that represents your intention or goal is a great reminder to stay focused.

A workspace is there for you to actualize your intentions and goals, which is a very positive thing! By keeping your work environment clean and organized, you are building a space where you can feel safe and comfortable. When the mind and body are calm, you can perform with ease.

 

Make Your Team Feel Appreciated With 3 Tiny Gestures

Using your skills and experience to help guide a group towards a common goal is what every mindful boss wants. Rallying meetings, organizing task lists, and keeping your team on track are all parts of being a great leader.

Did you know that making your team feel appreciated is just as important?

When working on a project, everyone on the team brings their own unique skill set to the table. Here are 3 tiny, yet fun gestures you can do to make each team member feel appreciated:

Grab Some Coffee

Ah, the nectar of the gods. A coffee machine or shop can be found at almost every workplace, and we all know how good that first sip feels. What’s even better than getting a coffee? When someone else grabs one for you. If you’re heading down to get a cup for yourself, try thinking about someone who might be tired, has been working really hard, or is a well-known coffee fanatic. Getting a team member a coffee can really make their day, and is a humble act that makes them feel cared for.

Talk About More Than Just Work

When it’s lunchtime, break time or there’s some down time, try striking up a conversation with someone you work with. If you’ve been with that team for a while, chances are you know the interests of a few people. If not, taking the time chat about non-work related interests can really humanize the work environment. Maybe they have an Avengers frame at their desk, or a picture of their fluffy dog. Maybe there is a great podcast that just came out, or a recent news story you could ask their opinion on. Whatever it may be, a quick chat between work periods helps people feel appreciated and interesting.

Send Them A Birthday Card

So many people underplay their birthdays. They come to work, don’t say a thing, and work just as if it were any other day. Giving someone a card on their birthday is a small gesture that really means a lot. If you’re better at writing your thoughts than saying them aloud, a card is also a great chance to write down a note of appreciation. A lot of workplaces keep birthdays on file, so you can always check there for the right date.

A team that feels appreciated does good work and is so much happier while doing so. Even the smallest gesture can have a huge impact on workplace morale and productivity - plus you’ll feel great too.

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

6 Companies Using Meditation for a Productive and Happier Workplace

How does your company empower a more productive and happier workplace? Many thriving companies are using meditation to empower a community of happy and healthy employees.

Research suggests that meditation has many in-office health benefits - both mental and physical. Meditation has the power to reduce blood pressure, while easing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It reduces stress, improves listening skills, decision-making skills, and even boosts employee engagement.

Companies Embracing Meditation

Here are 6 NYC companies that are using meditation for a more productive and happier workplace:

1. Nike

Photo credit:    o+a

Photo credit: o+a

When it comes to meditation, employees at Nike are encouraged to “just do it”. The company is very familiar with the fast pace of modern life. To help employees stay clear, focused, and calm in the workplace, in-office meditation and yoga classes are provided for free. In Nike’s New York office, you will find rooms dedicated to napping, praying, and of course, meditating.
 

2. Google

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Google is known for its social conscious efforts and pioneering the in-office meditation movement. The company has offered meditation courses to its teams since early 2007. These “Search Inside Yourself” sessions still continue to evolve over time. Today, Google offers seven different types of meditation classes to choose from. This includes attention training, self-knowledge and self-mastery, and building mindful mental habits.
 

3. CBRE

Photo credit:  Perkins + Will

Photo credit: Perkins + Will

CBRE believes that wellness in the workplace is more than a trend, it’s an evolution. All of their offices are being redesigned to be more natural and liveable. The layout includes stretching and relaxation areas, fresh vegetable juice stations, and access to personalized wellness coaching. According to their 2016 report, Wellness In the Workplace, “the idea is to give people an environment where they want to be every day, can focus and where they can be productive.”

4. Sony

Photo credit: Eric Laignel

Photo credit: Eric Laignel

Sony first implemented it’s wellness program in 1992. Since then, the program has continued to help employees as well as their domestic partners live healthier, more active lives. By offering free health assessments, Sony is able to provide personalized help in and out of office. At their New York facility, you’ll find an onsite fitness center, a health-focused cafeteria, and weekly farmers market.

5. Hospital for Special Surgery NYC

Photo credit:  Hospital News

Photo credit: Hospital News

 The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York has the firm belief that healing patients quickly and thoroughly is the most productive thing they can do. With that in mind, the hospital has integrated meditation and mindfulness in patient healing programs that staff can join too. When people can be aware of their pain with a certain amount of detachment, it removes fear. This allows faster healing and more personal power. 

6. Facebook

The work environment at Facebook is designed to encourage calmness and creativity. Through weekly in-house meditation sessions and “No Meeting Wednesdays”, the company aims to boost employee morale. Facebook recognizes that happier employees are healthier, more collaborative, and produce better ideas.

Many of the world’s top companies are using to meditation to inspire a happy and healthy workplace. Wishing yours would do the same? Bring the idea to your employer - a healthy company starts with healthy employees.

How Can A Company Cultivate Positive Employee Health? Enter: Meditation

Consider how much your company spends on health care and insurance every year. What if you could minimize those costs while deepening your commitment to every member of your team?

The benefits of meditation are multilayered, ranging from increased focus and elevated levels of productivity to positive emotions and a greater sense of well-being.

And they extend to nutrition. A literature review from UCLA found that people who meditate are more apt to make healthier, life-supporting decisions surrounding nutrition and eating. What that means for your employees is that meditation makes healthy living easier. What that means for your bottom line is that meditation helps to minimize health care and insurance costs. A win-win if we’ve ever seen one.

Maybe you already give your employees a gym membership or free training sessions, but how good are those physical interventions if the mind still needs adjustment? Research from the University of Paris Descartes states that the benefits of physical activity and exercise are enhanced with a meditation practice. There is a direct correlation between what’s happening in the mind and what’s going on in the body, and the sooner people can see and foster that connection, the happier and healthier (and more productive) they’ll be. 

Research also shows that meditation has a positive effect on our daily health behaviors. A study from UCLA shows that individuals who meditate sleep better at night. And what does longer, stronger sleep lead to? A happier, healthier person, someone excited by and committed to making the most of their everyday. (Don’t believe us? See what HuffPo wonder woman Arianna Huffington had to say about sleep in her latest book, The Sleep Revolution.)

This insight and research helps us understand the physiological benefits of meditation, both during and after. Cultivating good employee health starts by creating a trusted space for reflection and the calming aspects of mindfulness. Meditation is the path to guide you and your employees there.