last handful of years, taking on mindfulness techniques in the workplace has
been gaining steam for big and small business alike. This begs the question,
what exactly is mindfulness? And how can it help both employees and management
work toward healthier best practices across the industries?
Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder
of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in
Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical
School has defined mindfulness meditation
as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present
moment and non-judgmentally.”
wrote a piece for Observer entitled,
“Neuroscience of Mindfulness: What Happens to Your Brain When You Meditate.” When
considering mindfulness, Zapletal acknowledges, “If
we embrace the idea that our well-being is a skill that can be cultivated, then
it’s obvious that meditation is simply
a form of exercise tailored for our brain.”
In this same
article, Zapletal references neuroscientist Lara
Boyd, a professor for the Department
of Physical Therapy at University of British Columbia. Boyd points out that the
human brain actually changes to support learning over time.
“Repeat those behaviors that are healthy for your brain and break those
behaviors and habits that are not,” Boyd states. “Practice… and build the brain
the field of neurobiology continue to put out evidence that the brain does in
fact change based on our daily practices. Good news for us. And yet, in order
to reap the vast benefits of mindfulness, we must do just that: practice.
New York Times, author a book entitled, Mindful
Work: How Meditation is Changing Business from the Inside Out, sheds more
light on the subject of benefits of mindfulness technique for business in his
Times’ article, “How to Be More Mindful at Work.”
the strides forwardhealthcare giant Aetna has made pertaining to training its
employees in mindfulness practices. In Gelles’s article, we learn that Aetna
employees, led by CEO Mark Bertolini, reported in a survey that engaging in
regular mindfulness routines led to a reduction inself-reported stress levels,
a noticeable shift in sleep quality, and a reduction in overall pain.
Sandy Abrams, author
of Huffington Post’s “Mindfulness
is Aetna CEO’s Prescription for Success” is also interested in highlighting
advantages Aetna has observed due to its mindfulness investments.
Abrams captures Bertolini’s
statements onAetna’s wellness program: “It’s critical to invest in the human machine
in trying to eliminate stressors to build resiliency.”
Bertolini continues his
statement by adding that in “our world, the only thing that’s going to happen
with change is that it’s going to get faster and the organizations that have
capable people need to have them be resilient in order to be able to make it
and change, adapt and move forward. Part of creating change in an organization
is creating this resiliency.”
Let it be noted that Aetna
has invested a great deal on resources to build a Mindfulness Center on site in
It’s interesting that
Bertolini suggests the power of resiliency for the wellbeing of Aetna’s
employees. Other scholars working toward the mindfulness movement seem to
What Davidson seems to be
referencing here is what we may refer to as Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which
is also being more widely discussed in business.
In an article
written for BCG by Christian Greiser and Jan-Philipp Martini entitled,
“Unleashing the Power of Mindfulness in Corporations,” software company SAP links
the emotional intelligence idea to a sense of being engaged at work.
Martini reference Peter Bostelmann, director of SAP’s global mindfulness
practice, who states, “For many [SAP] managers, it has become the new normal to
open meetings with short meditations.”
Martini make clearerBostelmann’s findings when they write, “participants in the
mindfulness program at SAP report increased well-being and higher creativity.
What’s more, mindfulness has promoted significant measurable improvements in
employee engagement and leadership trust indices.”
impact of mindfulness technique, when applied to the lifestyles of business
professionals, continues to filter down the publishing pipeline to ring out a
unanimous message: mindfulness for the business world is working.