The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and research team at INSEAD have concluded that 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation help individuals, teams, management, and executives make better decisions throughout the day. The art of focus is continued more with the concept of mindful meditation. The art of mindfulness has grown outside of the yoga and meditation clinics, and into the hearts of individuals and organizations. Companies, like Google, Aetna Health Care, General Mills, and McKinsey & Co., Coca-Cola, Yahoo, Zappos provide structured trainings to aid employees with mindfulness development through meditation.
- Meditation. Meditation is simply the activity of being engaged, aligned, and in the present moment. There are hundreds of different types of meditation practices, however, the objective of meditation is to be still, aware, calm, and in-tune. It requires the unique ability to be still and to concentrate. To prevent distractions from taking you out of the moment. This ability to focus carries an abundance of value to your mind, body, spirit and your productivity and creativity within the workplace. Meditation is the type can be misunderstood or overcomplicated. It simply is a practice of focus, clarity, and refocus.
- Need. There are hundreds of types of meditation practices, but for simplicity purposes, lets aim this art to fit the beginner. The person who has never done or only tried meditation a couple of times. Relax, you don’t need much to get started, a timer and something comfy to sit on (but, you really don’t even need that). You just need to be able to sit in an upright, comfortable position. A chair, pillow, or meditation cushion would work just fine. In terms of a timer, it can be a simple stopwatch to a Meditation timer app, such as Meditate.
- How. Sit with your back straight, hands in a comfortable position, your eyes can be closed or open (that’s up to you – do what feels good), legs crossed or pretzel (sit in a way that you’re comfortable and upright), and start your guided meditation. Your guided meditation may vary depending on what you’re trying to achieve. You can research a ton of different visuals and guides online and find a few that fit your needs. You can also start with meditation of simply focusing on your breath and still your wandering mind. To do this, sit and focus on your breath. Paying particular attention to how the air flows, fills your lungs, and the release of your exhale. If your mind wanders, recognize that, and move your focus back to your breathe. Continue this until your timer goes off – try 10-15 minutes. Once you’ve completed your session, give yourself 5 minutes to adjust back into your day. Embrace the peace and stillness of your mind, and apply that rejuvenation to the remainder of your day.
- When. When it works best for you. This could be in the morning, afternoon, or evening. The frequency of your meditation is another guiding factor up to you. Research suggests at least 20 minutes a day.
- Where. A calm place, free distractions. This means turn off the cell phone, notifications, or other interruptions. This could be an office or at home. You may even want to check to see if your firm offer’s a session for employees already. If so, try that out. If not, the suggestion above will work just fine.
- Why. Decrease stress, increase focus, increase self-awareness, emotional intelligence, increase compassion and empathy, lowers depression, helps you sleep better, more in-tune leadership, dis-attachment / forgiveness of negative experiences, and more informed decision making practices. All of which will contribute to a healthier, more productive, and aligned actions to support your day to day and strategic business objectives.
Great Mindfulness Reads…
Chan, A. (2014). Mindfulness Meditation Benefits: 20 Reasons Why it is Good for your Mental and Psychical Health. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/mindfulness-meditation-benefits-health_n_3016045.html.
INSEAD (2014). How Meditation can Make You a Better Leader. Forbes. Retrieved http://www.forbes.com/sites/insead/2014/01/28/how-meditation-can-make-you-a-better-leader/.
Tabaka, M. (2014). How to Make Smarter Decisions in Just 15 Minutes a Day. Inc. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/how-to-make-smarter-decisions-in-just-15-minutes-a-day.html.
Copyright Viral Solutions llc © 2014. All Rights Reserved.
by Katie Doseck, Ph.D.
Chief Visionary | Viral Solutions LLC