Is mindfulness effective in producing wellbeing outcomes?
In 2008, an experiment conducted at healthcare company Aetna involved teams trying out short mindfulness meditations. Some individuals liked it, others were doubtful.
Mindfulness scores increased as expected, but incredibly, on average, stress levels dropped by 28%, reported sleep quality improved 20%, and pain dropped by 19%. Aetna also calculated the savings to the company, finding that, on average, mindfulness participants gained 62 minutes of productivity a week, which is an estimated $3,000-per-employee increase in productivity for the company each year. Individuals in the top 20% of stress rankings have nearly $2,000 more in medical costs for the preceding year, so this intervention could create significant medical savings. Based on Aetna’s experience, that’s potentially a $5,000 average swing per employee, depending on the employee’s starting point. Source: https://hbr.org/2015/12/the-busier-you-are-the-more-you-need-mindfulness
An increasing number of businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and CEOs consider mindfulness essential to successful management, and business schools have started to teach students to use mindfulness techniques of meditation, mindful pauses, reflective listening, and other practices.
But why does mindfulness matter?
Let’s start off by understanding - what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means to pay attention in a particular way on purpose in the present moment and without judgement. All of us can practice mindfulness as a way to cultivate our own mental health and manage our own stress.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
To start off, Mindfulness reduces Healthcare costs. A 2016 study showed that Buddhist-based walking meditation practice had a positive effect on blood sugar levels and circulation in people with type 2 diabetes. Walking mindful meditation helps in improving your blood circulation and also increases your energy level thus leaving you feeling refreshed.
Next, Mindfulness Reduces Anxiety, Stress and Helps Fight Against Depression. A study conducted in 2014 by Susaree Prakhinkit, MASiriluck Suppapitiporn, Hirofumi Tanaka and Daroonwan Suksom proved that older people had fewer symptoms of depression after practicing mindful walking meditations 3 times a week for 12 weeks.
In addition, Mindfulness also improves Sleep Quality and Social Relationships.
Moreover, it improves Cognitive Capacity - benefits evident in an increase in creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills. Productivity improves, alongside memory, focus and attention.
If you're interested in mindfulness at your organization, Inspire2Aspire offers Mindfulness workshops and Training programs, with different focuses including Mindfulness to enhance creativity, mindfulness for better focus and mindfulness for stress relief. Check out our website for more information.
Check out this week's video about Mindfulness: