World Meditation Day: The Importance of Taking Time Out

18th May 2022

May 21st is World Meditation Day — and a perfect reminder that deep breathing and meditation are excellent techniques for dealing with stress in the workplace.

Meditation aims to connect the mind and the body. Its purpose is to help increase physical and mental peace and calm, which also helps people learn how to live more fully and remain present in the moment.

Encouraging mindfulness in the workplace can reduce employees’ stress levels while boosting creativity, focus and productivity. So organisations should consider how they might use World Meditation Day to educate their teams on the struggles of stress and introduce ways to help them deal with it more effectively.

3 benefits of practising meditation and mindfulness at work

When organisations promote employee wellbeing and mindfulness, it can enhance engagement, leading to better work lives and productivity. Let’s look at a few ways to incorporate it into the workplace.

1. Improve focus

Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that a regular meditation practice led to positive changes in learning and working memory capacity. The study’s participants experienced greater awareness and observation capabilities. In other words, meditation can help employees better focus on their workload.

The mind is usually lost in thought 47% of the time. Research shows that meditation sessions reduce mind-wandering, allowing employees to focus on the task at hand.

More focused and attentive employees do more than improve the overall productivity of an organisation. Stronger concentration levels streamline the work process, improving employee satisfaction and wellbeing.

2. Unlock creativity

Stress can kill creativity by clouding people’s minds and reducing brain power, leading to a higher risk of burnout. But, research has found a positive link between mindfulness and creativity, showing that it increases problem-solving skills and reduces cognitive rigidity.

By using meditation for creativity, employees can calm their minds to create a stillness that allows them to access creative inspiration. As a result, your people will likely increase their engagement within the team and be better able to provide innovative workplace solutions.

3. Manage stress and anxiety

Meditation is also a great tactic for helping people handle stress. Although meditation may not actively reduce stressors, it can help rewire a person’s brain and increase resilience in the face of high-stress situations or anxiety triggers.

MRI scans show that after an 8-week mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” centre, the amygdala, appears to shrink. So, as people commit time to mindfulness, dealing with stress will become more manageable, lowering the risk of health problems caused by extensive stress.

Trickle can help teams provide resources for employees to manage their stress and anxiety. The MoodSense and How Was Your Day? features allow managers to check in with their employee’s feelings on a day-to-day basis. Leadership can use employee feedback to tackle the issues that their people may be facing, helping them feel valued and heard at work.

To learn more about stress management, check out our article on How to Reduce Stress at Work.

How to meditate on World Meditation Day and beyond

The practice of meditation may seem straightforward, but turning your mind off isn’t always easy. It’s therefore critical to establish a continuous exercise in mindfulness, so you can train your brain to become an oasis of calm.

Continue reading for our step-by-step guide to meditating at work — the perfect resource to share with employees.

1. Find a comfortable place to sit

The first step to meditation is finding a comfortable place, such as a cosy spot on the floor or a chair. You may want a private room or quiet corner away from the distractions of life or work. To make the meditation space work for you, consider silencing devices, grabbing a pillow or blanket and turning on peaceful sounds or meditation music.

2. Set a time limit

After getting comfortable, be sure to set a time limit for the meditation so you can focus on the task and return to your day refreshed and ready to go.

Employees may attempt a 15-minute meditation during their workday or establish an hour-long practice in the morning to prepare for the day.

3. Take time to be aware of your body

As you sit, consider how your body feels. Try scanning yourself from toes to head, focusing on each part individually. Take a moment to pause and think about spots that feel tense or sore compared to those that feel more energised or relaxed. Acknowledge tenseness and let it go.

4. Focus on your breath

Next, focus on the movement of your breath and try to lengthen the time between inhales and exhales. If you feel comfortable doing so, hold your breath after inhaling and pause for a moment before letting out the air.

5. Notice when your mind wanders

People often worry about a wandering mind when meditating. But, instead of looking at distraction as a failure, notice what your mind is wandering to and why. Be patient with yourself and attempt to bring your attention back to your breathing.

6. Gently open your eyes and recognise how you feel

When your meditation timer goes off, slowly open your eyes and return to your surroundings. Take in your environment, thinking about how you feel and what you see or hear.

Incorporating mindfulness at work

Prioritising the wellbeing of employees can help organisations build a positive workplace culture. Encouraging employees to practise mindfulness can improve their employee experience.

Here are a few ways organisations can incorporate mindfulness at work:

Hold guided meditation sessions: Both remote and in-office employees can benefit from a guided meditation class with an expert.

Offer a company-wide subscription to a cloud-based meditation app: An app with easy-to-follow mindfulness exercises gives employees the tools they need to put meditation into action.

Introduce a quiet space or “recharge space”: A place where employees can switch off and decompress in moments of heightened stress.

Give employees a voice: This will ensure that they have access to the mindfulness resources they need when stress begins to mount at work.

How Trickle can help with mindfulness at work

Trickle is designed for people. HR teams can use our platform to promote wellbeing on World Meditation Day and beyond. Check out our case study to learn how we helped one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country improve employee satisfaction and productivity.

Why not try Trickle FREE for 28-days? No obligation to commit and instant access.

Stay in the know!

We produce a monthly Newsletter about all things HR and People Engagement.

To subscribe to our Newsletter, simply fill out your information.