Thought Leaders//

How Meditation Creates a Happier Workplace

Why CEO Suzy Batiz believes support for employees’ mental and spiritual health should be part of company benefits packages.

Getty Images
Getty Images

People often ask me about my morning routine, and while exercise, yoga and tea all play a vital role in getting my day started, my one non-negotiable is meditation. If for some (very rare!) reason I miss my morning meditation session, my day is thrown all out of whack.

Meditation keeps you centered. It helps you think more clearly and get less frazzled. If a situation arises where you’re feeling under pressure, meditation ensures you have a point to return to where you’re centered and can become clear again.

Adopting a daily meditation practice truly transformed my life: It’s made me a better leader, a better mother and frankly a better human. With all that being said, I’m sure it’s easy to understand why I want to share the transformative gift of meditation with everyone in my life — including my 70-plus employees at Poo~Pourri.

A few months back our director of business intelligence, Dan Barros, started an office meditation group that meets for sessions a couple times a week. “I started meditating in earnest in early 2019 and have seen a remarkable change in post-meditation attitudes at work,” Dan says, “so much so that I got inspired to start a weekly session at work and encourage others to sit down for even just 15 minutes a week and quietly center their minds away from stress, anxiety, and the typical demands of day-to-day work. I feel like through meditation I’ve been able to find that problems I thought were much larger and that would consume a lot of my mind previously I can actually tackle and make progress on. I find myself much more refreshed at the end of a long day by sitting in the quiet and being with my mind, for lack of a better term. It’s taught me to value that silence that allows you to really introspect and come out the other side happier and more productive.”

After witnessing people’s enthusiasm for the group meditation sessions, we decided to take a leap forward by offering my staff free Transcendental Meditation training. TM is a form of silent mantra meditation and is what I myself practice. Our second group of employees just finished TM training, which is completed during work hours, and the feedback has been incredible so far!

“I have an 8 month old baby who’s currently not sleeping very much, but I find myself feeling more rested than I normally would considering my lack of sleep,” says our director of people & culture, Amanda Harrison. “I attribute that to TM It gives your mind a safe place to process external stressors so you have more clarity with decision-making and you react from a more rational place than an emotional one. I feel like it takes the noise out of my head.”

Others note that meditation, and specifically TM, has helped them be more present, whether it’s at work or at home. “Practicing TM helps me listen better and be more efficient in my life because there is a set time, morning and night, where my brain is trained to know that ‘anything goes’ as far as thoughts are concerned,” says Poo~Pourri marketing director Madi Gericke. “All in all, TM helps with my productivity focus, clarity, mental well-being and energy.”

And because we wanted to ensure we’re supporting meditation for all our employees, no matter how busy or travel-packed their schedules may be, we also recently started providing free access to the Headspace app, which provides guided meditations that can be done in as little as three minutes.

I strongly believe that support for employees’ mental and spiritual health should be part of company benefits packages. It leads to happier, more productive employees that are less stressed, better equipped to make decisions and overall more balanced. Studies have shown that meditation lengthens attention spans (something we could all use in this smartphone era!), improves sleep, and even enhances self-awareness and self-esteem. It’s also been shown to lower blood pressure and help with anxiety and depression. I want to give my staff tools they can use even beyond their time at Poo~Pourri, and I believe that integrating a regular meditation practice will form the cornerstone for their health and happiness for the rest of their lives.

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