From The Huffington Post
by Emily Peck
"What happens when a millennia-old spiritual practice is embraced by the profit-driven world of corporate America? In David Gelles' new book, Mindful Work, the New York Times reporter offers an inside look.
Roughly, "mindfulness" refers to the practice of consciously paying attention to the present, using tactics like meditation, yoga and breathing. For many people, the need for mindfulness feels particularly urgent these days when we're all choking on an endless stream of tweets, emails, texts and other "feeds" -- all of them tearing little bits of our attention away from whatever we're actually doing.
Huge companies like Google, General Mills, Aetna and even Goldman Sachs offer programs that cultivate mindfulness through meditation and yoga, as Gelles writes. Businesses have become so enamored of the concept that attendance at Wisdom 2.0, an industry conference, quadrupled between 2010 and 2013, drawing some of the most high-profile CEOs around.
The trend has taken off thanks to a growing body of clinical research showing that mindfulness can essentially rewire the brain, leading to health benefits like stress reduction, weight loss and pain relief.
“All this data suggest mindfulness has real impactful changes on our minds and bodies,” Gelles told The Huffington Post. “And it’s helped make mindfulness more kosher with the corporate world, where it might’ve previously been considered new-agey.”
Mindful workers report higher levels of happiness and productivity, Gelles notes in his book. Companies that provide mindfulness training for workers, like Aetna, have seen health care costs drop. At Green Mountain Coffee, factory workers who practice mindfulness saw their injury rates decline..." read it all