Who has time for mindfulness when deadlines are looming and our managers are breathing down our necks? Mindfulness might be good for monks living in the forest or folks who have retired from corporate life but unrealistic for busy, working individuals. Learning to pause, focusing on your thoughts and getting in touch with your emotions seems to be something you do at your local yoga studio and not relevant during the middle of the day, in a highly competitive job. But, this is exactly when meditation and mindfulness are most useful.
A recent video by Scientific American suggests "meditation can decrease stress, lower blood pressure, and lift one's mood." The article also informs us that meditation can "increase the volume and density of the Hippocampus, a portion of the brain that is crucial for memory." Generally, as we age, our focus and attention decrease, however "meditation counteracts this decay." The piece further suggests that meditating for as little as 12-20 minutes a day can "sharpen the mind."
Looking at the research, we can see that a bridge has been forming between what used to be a purely spiritual practice and the secular workplace. Of course, many might still feel wary about practicing meditation at work for fear of being ridiculed or judged. It is normal for people to fear and be cautious of things they don't understand. It might take several years before meditation becomes widely accepted. It also took years for yoga to be accepted as a reputable health practice.
As with any other practice, for meditation to lower stress and anxiety and improve focus, memory, and productivity, it needs to be practiced on a consistent basis. If you only go to the gym once a month, you will experience minimal benefit. The same is true for meditation. The more we practice, the stronger our mind will become, thus improving our ability to bring it back to the present moment. The less distracted we are, the more we'll get done. Relaxing the mind through breathing and focusing exercises, during the workday, will improve our clarity and even rejuvenate our energy.meditation ] [ mindfulness ]