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Why Google, Target, and General Mills Are Investing in Mindfulness

January 8, 2021

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Do you start your day sitting quietly, taking a few deep breaths?  Mindfulness practitioners know the importance of recharging to regain productivity.  Mindfulness practices of reflection, openness, and thoughtfulness will have a positive impact on employees and the bottom line.

Mindfulness is described as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Google, Aetna, General Mills, Intel, Target, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters are just a few of the organizations who recognize the benefits that mindfulness brings to their organization.  Here are some programs that they have found help promote mindfulness:

Google offers mindfulness classes that teach emotional intelligence, boost resilience, and improve mental focus.

Aetna developed two successful programs in collaboration with Duke University.  The goals of the program are to reduce stress and improve reactions to stress.

General Mills offers mindfulness programs that are designed to improve employee focus, clarity, and creativity. They also offer meditation and yoga classes.  Each building has a meditation room.

Intel offers a mindfulness program, and employees have seen an overall increase in their happiness.

Target: offers mindfulness meditation training open to all employees.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters embraces mindfulness with daylong retreats for employees and their families along with the community at large.

How do you become more mindful in the context of a busy workday?  Here are a few popular ways to be mindful at work.

Be Present – Be aware and when you find your mind wandering bring your attention back to the task at hand.

Practice Mindfulness Exercises – Even one minute of consciously connecting with one of your senses can be classified as a mindful exercise. Hitting reset will rebalance your nervous system and decrease impulsive decision making.

Be a Single Tasker – Nobody can multi-task. You may feel more productive but, you are not. Turn off notifications, clear your workspace, and focus on one task at a time.

Adopt a Growth Mindset – Mindfulness is about giving attention to the present moment and being open to new possibilities.

That is the essence of mindfulness at work—believing that you can improve and grow with experience, moving towards challenges, living in the moment, and discovering new things about yourself and others.

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