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Mindfulness: What It Is, How It Can Help You

When professionals think of meditation, the first thing that often comes to mind is religion. But while meditation may be widely used in Eastern spiritual practices, the act of quieting one's mind each day has major health benefits, especially for today's busy executives.

Meditation in Business

Last summer, an article on Google profiled the company's Search Inside Yourself course, designed to help employees learn to manage their emotions. Through the art of meditation, Google's workers believe they are able to better focus their minds to improve their work performance.

But meditation isn't unique to Google. For years, some of the most successful professionals in the country have relied on regular yoga classes to relax and cleanse their thoughts. But executives don't need yoga mats to practice the principles of meditation. It can be done while seated at a desk, while waiting for a meeting to begin, or at the end of a stressful day.

Healthier, Happier Workers

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn has helped call national attention to the medical benefits of regular meditation. With his Guided Mindfulness Meditation series, Dr. Kabat-Zinn puts meditation in a new light, instructing listeners on how to use meditation in their daily lives to reduce illness, learn to better deal with stress, and potentially extend their lives.

In Silicon Valley and around the country, meditation is catching on as a new trend. Managers aren't just exploring the practice for themselves, but their encouraging employees throughout their organization to take time each day to quieten their minds and internalize their thoughts. In fact, meditation and yoga are being seen as a way for businesses to increase their bottom lines by creating a more contented workforce.

The health benefits of meditation can also help your business when it comes to health insurance premiums. As the increasing number of businesses now participating in wellness-based health insurance programs know all too well, healthier workers keep premiums low.