Date posted: 26/04/2017 2 min read

Six reasons why business leaders should meditate

Why a number of large organisations are now offering meditation classes as a fringe benefit to remain competitive.

In brief

  • Business leaders are increasingly taking note of the benefits of meditation.
  • Being mindful and meditating for ten minutes before you start your working day can improve your overall wellbeing.
  • Meditation can help with stress and anxiety and improve concentration.

More and more, business leaders have been taking note of the benefits of meditation.  

Today, a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Google, AOL, Apple and Aetna, offer meditation and mindfulness classes for employees. And the top executives of many major corporations say that meditation makes them better leaders.  

President and Editor in Chief of Huffington Post Media Group Arianna Huffington offers weekly meditation classes for AOL and Huffington Post employees.  

Writing about meditation and mindfulness in 2015, Huffington noted that “…stress-reduction and mindfulness don’t just make us happier and healthier, they’re a proven competitive advantage for any business that wants one”.  

Chairwoman and CEO of Harpo Productions Oprah Winfrey also organises meditation classes for her team. Describing the effect of meditation on work, Winfrey says, “Only from that space [of stillness] can you create your best work and your best life”.  

Tupperware Brands CEO Rick Goings meditates daily to refocus and regroup. Goings makes it a habit to meditate for at least 20 minutes every afternoon. He treats his meditation practice as a way of burning off stress, finding clarity in his thinking and gaining perspective.  

The benefits of meditating

So, what are the benefits of daily meditation? It’s been proven that meditation helps to lower stress levels, improves cognitive functioning, creative thinking and productivity, and even improves physical health. Here are six reasons to take up meditation, especially if you are a leader in business.  

1. Meditation helps manage stress and anxiety

Stress not only affects your body, it affects the way you feel, think and act. Meditating for as little as ten minutes each day can help you control stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health and even achieve a greater capacity for relaxation.  

Meditation allows the mind and body to rest, easing stress and anxiety and helping to bring the body back into a balanced state. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body can also be reduced through meditation.  

2. Meditation can boost your immunity

Multiple studies have concluded that immune health is boosted through regular meditation. Meditation can increase the activity of natural killer cells in the body that kill bacteria. Therefore meditation may reduce the risk of illness and some chronic diseases.  

3. Meditation can help you sleep better

The practical and physical benefits of meditation are well documented. Correct breathing, good posture and deep relaxation encourage the body to function more efficiently and can help relieve problems such as insomnia, high blood pressure and low energy levels.  

4. Meditation can improve your concentration

People who regularly practice meditation may improve their mental focus by altering brain function. Compared to non-meditators, they may be better equipped to quiet brain activity related to a wandering mind.  

5. Meditation can lift your mood

Meditation causes you to enjoy everything more, including material things. But your happiness no longer depends on these material things as meditation can boost your serotonin levels.  

6. Meditation can help your confidence and self-esteem

Developing a positive self-image builds confidence and allows you to feel comfortable with who you are and what you’re doing with your life.

This positive sense of self helps to reduce reactive behaviour and negative thinking patterns stored in your subconscious mind. Through practicing and repeating mantras and affirmations, you can increase your self worth, confidence and self-esteem. This is a powerful method of shifting your focus and attitude.  

This article is part of an ongoing Balance column, offering tips for juggling work and life while also managing your mental and physical wellbeing. Have something you’d like this column to cover? Email the Acuity team now.