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How meditation makes for a healthier workplace

Canadian Living
Health

How meditation makes for a healthier workplace

Meditation in office Do you ever feel stressed, overwhelmed or burnt out at the office? Workplace meditation might just be the answer. Some offices are following the lead of cutting-edge companies like Apple and Google, introducing meditation into the workplace in order to relieve stress among employees and boost productivity. Diane Yeo is one person who’s helping to make it happen. She had a high-stress career in marketing before she left her job and became a mindfulness meditation instructor. Today she goes into workplaces and teaches eight-week courses, one hour a week, to help people develop a habit of incorporating mindfulness into their workdays. After the eight weeks, she says some employees choose to continue a regular group meditation practice at work, while others use the mindfulness tools and exercises—such as focusing on your breath—throughout the day during moments of stress. “A lot of people are overwhelmed,” says Yeo. “The mind is going non-stop from morning to night.” When that happens, she explains, it’s hard to find clarity or focus. Starting a mindfulness meditation practice trains the mind to be present. Consequently, Yeo says, it helps employees deal with anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed, and helps with efficiency and positive attitudes around the office. “The big thing is they’re not reacting anymore; they’re able to let things go,” she explains. “You can make a culture of employees that are really self-aware.” And the benefits extend to the company’s bottom line, by preventing absenteeism from stress-related illness and improving productivity. When Yeo feels overwhelmed, she’ll close her eyes for a minute at her desk, bringing her focus to her breath. “Every time you observe the breath, you’re teaching the mind to be present,” she says. If you’re feeling stressed at work, get your coworkers on board for starting a meditation practice at your office, or set up a reminder at your computer to prompt you to stop and breathe throughout the day. When your mind is present, both your mental health and your productivity will benefit. (Photography: Thinkstock) 
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How meditation makes for a healthier workplace

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