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.

What Does it Really Mean to be 'Mindful'?

You look both ways before crossing the street, hold the door open for the next person, and always remember to wish your best friend a happy birthday (riiiight?)

But is that what it really means to be ‘mindful’?

 To be mindful is to be present, open, and aware. In both head and heart. 

Have you ever been at a really great concert and felt like the only person there? Under the lights, amongst the crowd, immersed in the energy -- your senses are heightened, absorbing every sight, sound, and vibration; your head and heart are in communication, with one another and every other. This is what it means to be mindful. 

Your life is busy, filled with important commitments and tons of technology, all of which can make it can be hard for you to focus. Meditation provides you with an escape from everyday distractions -- it’s a way to feel calm even when things get crazy.

Jon Kabat Zinn has said that mindfulness is “Paying attention; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

So take time to stop and smell the roses (literally), chat up a new neighbor, or enjoy a good old-fashioned sunset while your Netflix account takes a power nap. Don’t worry, your busy life will still be there when you’re done.