From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, mindfulness and meditation is the newest secret to success. But this isn’t the search-for-enlightenment practice of the 1960s flower child. Instead, business leaders are reshaping it to fit the goal-oriented culture of their lives and with thought leaders like Arianna Huffington speaking publicly about her practice, the place to be is present.
Not surprisingly, Google leads the meditation parade with several in-house initiatives like Mindful Lunches, a silent lunch break aside from the sound of prayer bells and the Search Inside Yourself workshop, so popular with Googlers it has now become a program available to anyone- click here for more information. Embraced as the new caffeine, company meditation sessions are becoming as popular as the office ping pong table and don’t think for a second business owners aren’t getting a return on the investment.
“Everybody knows this EI thing is good for their career,” says Search Inside Yourself founder Chade-Meng Tan. “And every company knows that if their people have EI, they’re gonna make a shitload of money.” EI, as in Emotional Intelligence, is one of meditation’s many beneficial advantages for a productive work environment. A dysfunctional office can be detrimental for business with different personalities and failure to communicate leading to colleague friction and overall lack of creativity, efficiency and satisfaction. Emotional Intelligence teaches to not only recognize your own emotions, but to also understand your coworkers’ reasoning, creating a thriving office community with refined emotional skills guiding behavior.
You know a fad has proven its worth when it has its own dedicated conference and Wisdom 2.0 is just that, a series of events bringing the tech community together with yogis and mindfulness gurus. Their annual flagship conference held in San Francisco is a staggering collective of innovative minds, both data-driven and wellness-focused and one can’t help but notice that it is those who’ve made their money causing distraction who are now leading the revolution to keep it from swallowing us whole.
So how can you get on the balance bandwagon? Well, there’s an app for that! Just plug in and get mindful with the multitude of meditation apps available like Get Some Headspace, The Mindfulness App or Simply Being. Or just sit quietly and repeat a nonsensical word over and over until, before you know it, you snap out of a meditation you didn’t know were in with an overall sense of relaxation. If you’ve got the time, simply go back to repeating your ‘mantra’. Take notice of your stress levels throughout the day and perhaps a simple, stop and smell the roses approach to life that is new to you.