Meditating the Modern Way for Corporate Wellness
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Some of us may think of meditation as an ancient pastime of yogis. True, it is a spiritual practice that has helped people find inner peace for centuries, but it’s not that sort of meditation anymore.
The practice is being adapted and adopted by people around the world, from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to celebrities and business leaders, to cope with the stresses of today. From studios to popular apps such as Calm and Headspace, meditation is coming center stage.
What is behind the trend? The answer lies squarely with declining mental wellness due to the demands of society, particularly technology and work-related transformations.
According to the 2019 World Economic Forum Global Risks Report, 700 million people are estimated to suffer from mental disorders, a sobering 10% of the world population. Inevitably it carries through to a huge loss in productivity for businesses.
The reality is that more people around us – relatives, friends, employees or perhaps us – are experiencing mental health issues, even if many choose to sweep it under the carpet due to the continuing stigma that positions the conditions as “weakness”. In this nation, the government reported in 2015 that 15.8% families have at least one member with
mental health issues.
The workplace is somewhere people try to be professional, but it’s also a place where stresses can actually rise to the surface. When leaders are stressed, their anxiety can be felt across the entire organization and bear a negative impact on everything from employee engagement to the bottom line, a 2017 study by Life Meets Work consulting firm revealed. When leaders are unable to manage stress, disenchanted employees
may head to calmer shores.
Big business is answering the call for change for the better. Google, Apple, Yahoo, Nike and Linked-In have initiated a Mindful Revolution in this digitally addicted, stressed-out, distracted and lonely modern society.
Meditation is at its core. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of meditation on the brain: it helps gain focus and awareness, reduces anxiety and also lowers the heart rate and blood pressure.
Here in Indonesia, employing meditation as a solution for modern life challenges and corporate wellness is still in its early stages. There have been misunderstandings about meditation “emptying the mind” or that it ventures into religious practice.
As with yoga, this modern meditation is a universal practice with no religious affiliation. Put simply, it helps us gain control over ourselves and attain calmness.
Bob Roth, CEO of David Lynch Foundation and one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation leaders, categories meditation into three categories:
Attention Focus Meditation, Open Monitoring Meditation, including mindful meditation, and Self-Transcending Meditation.
Meditation as a universal practice helps us to focus our attention only to our breath. This type of meditation is effective to help us to reduce anxiety and depression, gain a sense of calm and experience better sleep.
Instead of emptying our mind, mindfulness meditation helps us become present from moment to moment by observing all thoughts, emotions or feelings without judgment. This is beneficial to help us in decision making, in taking action and reacting to any particular situation.
Self-transcending meditation focuses on quiet, flowing and relaxing thought akin to daydreaming. According to Roth, the benefits include allowing innovative thoughts and creativity to arise in the mind.
The good news is that these different types of meditation are available for business leaders and corporations in Indonesia to use as a “toolbox” to align team energy, to improve employee wellness, as a life hack for productivity and to accelerate creativity and innovation. The practice also enables business leaders to reach their highest level of self-realization and self-actualization so that they can live a purposeful and happy life.
It’s about time to take a deep breath and make meditation work for you, your business and your employees.
Helena has experienced life transformation through meditation and is Corporate
Director of The Golden Space Indonesia. This article was published in Forbes
Indonesia October 2019 Edition.