As remote working becomes more common in the business world, so does the need for ensuring the workforce's mindfulness. Plenty of employees believe that by working from home, they will be able to balance out their work-life and home responsibilities. While that is true to some extent, there are still challenges that need to be addressed when working remotely. Just because someone has managed to acquire a remote working position does not mean they are free of any problems. If anything, they need to adapt to these new changes more than you would when working in an office environment.
Balancing work and life is something that everyone strives for, and it is usually the primary attraction for people accepting a remote job. With the amount of work demanding a person's time, throwing away the need to commute and instead enjoy a flexible schedule seems like an excellent way for better mindfulness.
Although, stressful situations can still occur and overwhelm us regardless of where we are working, leading to anxiety and depression. If a person doesn’t take care of themselves while working from home, it could lead to new problems such as isolation and loneliness. While working from home may lead to a positive impact at first, it is not guaranteed to last for long. It is one reason why remote managers need to ensure mindfulness that can help their employees deal with stress and negative emotions they experience.
That is why you should encourage your remote workers to take up meditation. The benefits provided from meditation have proven to have several beneficial effects on a person's body and mental health. Let’s go over why practicing meditation is beneficial for remote workers.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice that has existed for thousands of years. The first written records that mention the practice of meditation come from the Hindu scriptures of Vendantism around 1,500 B.C. Meditation is known as the practice of giving your attention to only a single thing, which is becoming calm and relaxed. The practice expanded throughout the East and slowly began getting traction in the Western world. However, with people needing a way to improve their mental health, the practice has grown swiftly in recent years. Meditation is becoming a way for people to support themselves during times of transition to balance out their lives more effectively.
The benefits of practicing meditation
Meditation can benefit every factor of your life, from physical, mental, and emotional. The practice has several forms, but the most common one used is concentrative meditations, which is when you tune out your surroundings and focus on a single object. The other is mindfulness meditation which is when you are in the present moment and make yours more aware of what is, not what’s passed or to come in the future. Practitioners state that making meditation a daily routine in your life will significantly improve your quality of life. Meditation has even gone through plenty of peer-reviewed research that has led to positive results. Here are the benefits you receive from practicing meditation.
Stress tends to be a common issue among remote workers, whether it’s from the daily grind of working or dealing with home responsibilities. One of the many reasons why someone would practice meditation is to reduce the level of stress they are under. Studies have shown that meditation is a proven way to lower a person's stress level.
Usually, physical and mental stress leads to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. That generates the harmful effects of stress, such as releasing inflammatory chemicals known as Cytokines. The negative effects of stress can cause a person to have their sleep disrupted, anxiety and depression, increase blood pressure, and contribute to fatigue and mental fog. Studies have shown that meditation could potentially improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, such as PTSD, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Improves focus and reduces distraction
Practicing meditation has been shown to improve a person's ability to focus and reduce external and internal distractions. Harvard Medical School started a meditation program to look into the effects of meditation. During this research, they discovered that meditation caused changes to the brain regions involving learning and memory.
Those particular benefits are essential since having a healthy working memory guides our decisions and behaviors, especially when it involves a working environment. As a matter of fact, people who worked in high-stress circumstances and practiced meditation daily were able to remain on task for longer, manage their schedule better, and received excellent results after task performance.
As stated before, meditation is capable of helping reduce stress levels, which can lead to less anxiety. One particular study that included almost 1,300 discovered that meditation reduces anxiety. Above all, this effect was the most impactful for people who were experiencing high levels of anxiety. Furthermore, another study discovered that eight weeks of meditation eased anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder and increased positive self-statements while enhancing stress reactivity.
Moreover, some studies have proposed that a variety of meditation exercises can potentially lower anxiety levels. For instance, Yoga has proven to help people lower anxiety. That is because of the benefits a person gets from the physical and meditative practices. Since jobs are some of the most anxiety-driven parts of our lives, introducing these practices could help your remote workers minimize their anxiety. One particular study revealed that workers who used a meditation app for eight weeks straight experienced better feelings of well-being and lessened distress and job strain.
Loneliness is one of the primary issues many remote managers face when in charge of a remote team. Team members can feel isolated from the rest of their coworkers, which can eventually lead to them experiencing loneliness. That could severely impact the productivity and efficiency of your organization's operation. Fortunately, meditation has been proven to reduce the feeling of loneliness.
The University of California, Los Angeles, researched to see if meditation could reduce loneliness. The program lasted for eight weeks and resulted in seeing loneliness reduced in older adults. Additionally, since loneliness has been known to connect with increasing inflammation-related genes that promote several diseases, the researchers found that the same form of meditation significantly lowered the expression of these inflammatory genes.
Helps with sleeping
Sleeping is a common issue for most of the world’s population, with insomnia impacting the lives of at least half the population. Several studies worldwide have shown that insomnia impacts around 10% to 30% of the world's population. Some even go as high as 50% to 60%. Insomnia is a frequent problem among older adults, females, and individuals with medical and mental health illnesses.
One particular study discovered that people who meditate were able to remain asleep for a longer time. Meditation also showed signs of improving insomnia severity compared to those who were experiencing an unmedicated control condition. Having your remote workers become proficient at meditation can help them control or redirect their racing or runaway thoughts that are usually the cause of insomnia. Furthermore, it can assist them with relaxing the body, releasing the tension, and placing them in a peaceful state of mind, which increases their chances of falling asleep.
Improve a person’s kindness
Several varying types of meditation have been shown to increase a person's positive feelings and actions towards other people and themselves. One particular type of meditation called Metta is known as the loving-kindness meditation because it starts with generating kind thoughts and feelings towards yourself. By practicing this, people can learn to extend that kindness and forgiveness onto others, first to family members, friends, acquaintances, and even enemies. One study conducted with fifty college students revealed that practicing metta meditation three times per week enhanced positive emotions, interpersonal interactions, and understanding of others after four weeks of meditation.
We can all agree that having our workers think out of the box can be advantageous for improving a company, notably if they work in a position that is supposed to help improve the brand's image, such as marketing. Practicing meditation has been shown to improve a person’s problem-solving skills along with promoting outside thinking. The University of Groningen from the Netherlands conducted a study that revealed a link between mindfulness and creativity, including better insight, problem-solving skills, and diminishing cognitive rigidity. The more your team continues to practice meditation frequently, the more likely they are to come up with creative solutions.
Gain control over pain
A person’s understanding of pain is linked to their state of mind, and it can be elevated ruing stressful situations. Research has suggested that meditation could be beneficial for controlling your pain. For instance, a review of over 38 studies concludes that practicing meditation could minimize pain, boost the quality of life, and reduce symptoms of depression in individuals who are experiencing chronic pains.
Practicing meditation with your remote team can lead to all sorts of valuable health benefits for everyone. Encouraging these habits will cause the entire team to remain healthier and reduce long-term issues that could crop up from the mounting problems related to things like stress and anxiety. The improvements that your team undergoes will significantly impact your organization for the better. Plus, they will become grateful to you for showing them a way to manage their overall health.