Richard Branson does Arianna Huffington swears by it. The likes of Google, Microsoft and Nike are talking about it. Meditation is a hot topic. It’s de rigeur for creative and tech start-ups to promote it as part of their company culture and even have a feng shui meditation space in their office. But can mindful observance actually make you a better business leader?
Well, the hard science provides evidence that mindfulness can change the brain in ways that help navigate the stresses of a high-pressure working environment. Various studies show that being mindful or meditating briefly can reduce cortisol levels – responsible for inducing stress – and thicken grey matter in the brain, improving the ability to process information. It can also trigger the release of serotonin and endorphins, two of the cocktail of hormones that help with focus and motivation.
The problem for many business owners is that they’re operating at their maximum level, says Dominica Roszko, who runs a consultancy for vets and pet care business owners and a company that promotes clean eating, Vegerasta. They can find themselves constantly juggling clients and switching between projects, running from one meeting to the next. On top of this, there’s the challenge of convincing them to see the value in mindfulness, both for themselves and possibly their employees.