In today’s economy, the workplace has become more “dog eat dog” than ever. Competition for promotions and pay raises, vying to land big contracts, not to mention keeping up with industry competition have all lead to the creation of a more stressful work environment than we have ever seen before.
It is said that if you don’t take care of yourself you are no good to anyone else. Big businesses have been taking this to heart by incorporating ways for employees to effectively deal with their stress. Now we’re not talking about updated prescription plans or cost shares for therapy. The companies we are about to discuss have taken self-care one step further with the institution of on-site meditation rooms and yoga studios.
Take, for example, a woman by the name of Lindsay Van Driel, a business operations manager at Intel. Van Driel used meditation in her own life to manage stress and promote wellness and relaxation after a long day in the office. She was even taking classes to become a certified yoga and meditation instructor. There came a time when she looked around her office and noticed how stressed her coworkers looked. This prompted Lindsay to start an informal meditation group in her office that met over the lunch hour. Seeing how helpful the group was to the members that chose to come, Lindsay approached her higher-ups about creating a more formal program. Her bosses were skeptical at first, but today Van Driel successfully runs her program called “Awake@Intel”. Her program has spread to 4 other Intel offices across the country as well.
Intel is not the only big corporation taking its employee’s well-being into account. Check out this impressive list of companies who also offer meditation and/or yoga to their employees. One side note: all of the companies listed below except for three are Fortune 500 companies!
Not to be outdone by big businesses, airports are starting to offer meditation and yoga rooms to their travelers as well. Imagine if you had a long layover and had the opportunity to do some yoga or meditate to de-stress before your next flight. These airports offer travelers a place to do just that.
I think that human beings are finally coming to grips with what the Universe has been trying to tell us for oh, so very long. We need to unplug and unwind every now and again. It’s time to rid our minds of the clutter of social media overload and work place stress and take a Pause to rejuvenate our minds. There are numerous studies that show how meditation helps to not only reduce stress but, when practiced on a regular basis, can also have a profound effect on how the brain processes stressful situations, depression, as well as anxiety.
So just how effective is the addition of meditation and/or yoga to the workplace? An article on the website http://www.whil.com stated that, “Stress has been coined the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health organization, and is costing American businesses up to $300 billion a year. A chemical plant based in Detroit found that after just three years of implementing meditation: Productivity rose by 120%, profits by 52%, and absenteeism dropped by 70%.” I would have to say that is a pretty profound effect! The fact is, when individuals are given time to Pause…time to let go of the stresses and strains of their lives and just be at peace, consciously breathing and relaxing…they become more creative. They get that “second wind” so to speak where everything is alive and new again. They become more inspired and have better attitudes towards their assignments as well as their coworkers.
So, while there is no way to completely eliminate stress within the workplace, we now know that there certainly is a way to manage it. The Pause has never been so important as it is today. Long ago it was thought that only old people hidden way up in the mountains of some distant Asian country were the ones who believed in and regularly practiced meditation and yoga. Now it seems the secret is out, and everyone is starting to realize the extraordinary benefits meditation and yoga have to offer. If large corporations are seeing vast improvements in the well-being of their employees who choose to incorporate meditation and yoga into their daily routines, imagine what it can do for you. Is it time for you to invest in The Pause in your life?
Richa Badami is a transformation leader, meditation teacher, spiritual coach and mentor. She inspires her clients and students to create lasting transformation and success by leveraging their inner power. Her private and group programs have helped hundreds heal, transform and powerfully create lives that they love! To receive Richa’s podcast, videos and blogs delivered right to your mailbox, subscribe to her bi-weekly newsletter “The Pause”. For media inquiries send email to support@RichaBadami.com