Do you know why meditation is preferred in businesses. Now a days many mobile apps are using for it. Long reserved for the private sphere, meditation now crosses the threshold of companies. So much the better because they have a lot to get out of it.
Is all this hype around meditation really justified ? What does science tell us about the benefits of “mindfulness ? In his latest book “Altered traits: science reveals how meditation changes your mind, brain, and body”, co-written with Daniel Goleman, American neuroscientist Richard Davidson reveals how meditation can have multiple effects, both on our mindset, our brain and our body. But beware, not all forms of meditation are created equal and have more or less lasting effects.
Provided you are practiced regularly, full awareness meditation can have five profound impacts on an individual.
Why Meditation appeal to businesses
1 – It improves our resilience to stress
According to the latest research by Professor Richard Davidson, regularly practicing meditation reduces the activity of our amygdala (the vigor of our emotions) and increases the links between it and the prefrontal cortex. We are becoming less receptive to stress and are able to get out of it faster. These changes appear from the start of the practice but last long term, which over time allows better understanding of stress, in a sustainable way.
2 – It increases our empathy towards others
Most of us are able to feel compassion, and even feel touched when we see other individuals suffering, which can lead to a state of paralysis or inhibition. Studies show that the practice of meditation known as “benevolent love” increases our will to act to relieve the suffering of others. It decreases the activity of the amygdala in the face of suffering, while activating circuits in the brain linked to good feelings. Cultivating a sincere interest in the well-being of others has an unexpected advantage: it certainly increases our empathy but also activates the neural circuit of our own happiness.
3 – It strengthens our capacity for concentration and attention
It is not surprising that meditation has a direct effect on attention because many exercises rightly appeal to this competence. Researchers have found that meditation helps to combat habituation in particular (tendency to stop paying attention to new information that is happening in our environment) and that the benefits that are derived of this practice can last up to five years after following a mindfulness program, which suggests that it may go as far as changing some of our character traits.
4 – It improves certain markers of our health
There is a lot of evidence about the benefits of meditation on our health – it can help reduce pain, for example. But it can also have a beneficial effect on certain physiological indicators. Thus, in the long term, it would reduce the inflammatory response in people under psychological stress. In addition, those who meditate would activate telomerase (an enzyme naturally present in the body, which has the role of repairing telomeres at the end of our chromosomes, whose shortening leads to the aging of our cells). In other words, meditating could help people age … more slowly.
5 – It finally helps us to feel more calm and to be less focused on ourselves
The activity of our “default network” (the part of the brain which, when not occupied by a targeted activity, leads to an anxiety reduction) calms down in experienced meditants, suggesting that we feel less about ourselves and our place in the world. In addition, individuals who meditate regularly seem to have smaller Accumbens nuclei (part of the brain associated with pleasure but also with addictions). These regions of the brain would probably be what traditional Buddhist texts consider to be the root causes of suffering: attachment and aversion, when the mind freezes to desire something or get rid of something unpleasant.
There are more and more companies, whatever their size, offering a fully conscious meditation program. If the primary reason for them remains the health of their employees (stress control), we are starting to evoke the virtues of this practice in particular to facilitate and accelerate the perpetual transformations that companies are experiencing. More than 3,000 SAP employees have followed a mindfulness program. Peter Bostelmann, the director in charge of these programs at SAP, must succeed in changing the culture of the company, so that it is more innovative, more oriented “services. Empathy seems to become a major socio-emotional competence in the success of organizational transformations, because it allows better understanding of new ways of thinking, to work and the emotions associated with it.
However, the practice of meditation in full consciousness would strengthen this capacity to enter into emotional resonance with others (also reads the chronicle: “Become altruistic and empathic leaders). Awake @ Intel is another example: 1,500 employees (out of the 17,000 working in Oregon state where the pilot program took place) followed a mindfulness program and said they had won, on average, two points (out of 10) in creativity and new ideas, two elements which obviously favor transformation. However, it remains to study precisely the cognitive and emotional mechanisms mobilized in the flexibility that the practice of mindfulness would bring by the collaborators and their leaders. It is one of the fields of future research of the French Institute for Positive Leadership.
Thanks to emotional intelligence, rely on your emotions and the different facets of your personality to develop a sincere and natural leadership.