The scientific proof for the effectiveness of meditation is mounting. Previously seen as something rather wishy-washy and nebulous, this method of calming the mind and body has been gaining popularity in recent years
So What Is The Evidence?
Multiple studies have shown that mindfulness and meditation improve mental health through reducing the symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and even in treating substance use and eating disorders. Scientists have attempted to explain the reasons for their effectiveness, which include the fact it contributes to a more coherent and healthy sense of self and identity, as well as help strengthen character traits such as responsibility, authenticity, compassion and self-acceptance, but regardless, the hard facts are pointing in the right direction
Even brief periods of meditation and mindfulness training have been shown to increase the amount of grey matter in the brain, as well as bring about favourable changes to the actual structure of the brain itself, particularly the parts that deal with memory, emotional regulation, self awareness and perspective. One, study in particular found significant increases in cortical thickness following an 8-week MBSR training program, coupled with a significant reduction of several psychological indices related to worry, anxiety and depression. Another even found a link between an increase in certain parts of the brain and individuals’ happiness scores
Relevance To The Office?
Closer to the office setting, it has been found to improve attention, cognitive flexibility (aka the ability to multi-task), and emotional reactiveness. It also stimulates the relaxation response, which includes changes in metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain chemistry
With a growing ageing population in mind, research is also pointing towards meditation helping to delay the onset of brain degeneration, potentially protecting from Alzheimer's in later life
With all these benefits, it is easy to see how meditation practice can positively influence peoples’ lives. Urban Guru can help bring the benefits of meditation to your company and improve the effectiveness of your workforce as a result. Take a look at our Classic & Compact Corporate Yoga programmes and our DoJo Corporate Mindfulness Workshops for more details