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Open Letter: Dear CEOs,

Corporate Meditation Rooms

I’m reposting my open letter to CEOs because I want the word out. We as managers, as directors, as presidents, as chiefs, we as leaders of all types have a responsibility to not only do right by our customers but also, and possibly more importantly, to do right by our employees. Employee well-being and customer satisfaction are inextricably linked. Happy employees, happy company, happy customers. Please pass this on and embrace it yourself, as we’re all leaders in one form or another…

 

Dear CEOs,

If it’s true that actively disengaged workers are costing the US $550 billion (Gallup) in economic activity annually and stress is costing American businesses $300 billion per year (World Health Organization), doesn’t it follow that even if we make slight improvements in employees’ lives, the net savings or contributions to economic activity could be in the hundreds of millions, if not in the billions?

How do we do this? There’s no pill…no single solution; however, small steps add up to big changes. One small step is tweaking how we view our employees. Whole beings who have whole lives walk through the office doors each morning with whole stuff going on…stuff from home, stuff from yesterday at work…emotional stuff, mental stuff, physical stuff, spiritual stuff, social stuff (some add environmental). How can you, as a CEO, address each of these facets of health in each of your employees?

You cannot. What can you do?

Mental Health: We’re All Affected

corporate meditation rooms

As we work to lift the mental health stigma, we’re missing the boat. The conversation should be: What can we do to promote a mentally healthy environment for ourselves and others every day?

Mental health is a spectrum; don’t delude yourself, we’re all on it. It ranges from “normal” emotions to “abnormal” emotions…from happy and perky at one end to suicidal thoughts at the other. And most of us aren’t hovering around happy and perky.

We don’t realize how much our daily emotional and mental health affects us. How we feel affects every single thing in our worlds. Just take a snapshot of any scenario from yesterday. What happened? What were your feelings around the event? How did you react? How did you feel physically based on what you thought and did in response? If it was a negative exchange at work, for example, maybe you got a knot in your stomach and couldn’t concentrate on your project for 45 minutes after the encounter.

Learning Calm in a Type A World

Melinda Easterling

I’m a recovering Type A stress ball. I had to learn Calm. Last week, I read They Make Trains Run on Time, but at What Cost? and thought of myself. I fall in the category of The Very Organized and hail my “virtues” (the author knows me too well):

How to Combat Stress in the Short and Long Term

Corporate Meditation Rooms

Tightness in your chest, pit in your stomach. Stress! Stress at work. Stress at home. What do you do?

Exercise? Eat better? Good long-term strategies.

What if it’s the middle of the workday and you’re on deadline. Head pounding. No time to go for a walk or to take a long, leisurely lunch break. Ignore the headache, stomachache, backache? Pop a pill?

Might work. At least short term.

What’s a strategy you could use for both the short and long run that doesn’t take a lot of time?

Meditation Rooms for Caregivers: Do They Really Need Them?

Corporate Meditation Rooms

How are meditation rooms or quiet spaces useful in places like the Ronald McDonald House?

The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home where families stay temporarily while their kids receive treatment at a local hospital. These kids are often gravely ill; and the parents are under tremendous stress. How could a meditation room help in this environment?

Parents need relief. Their kid is sick. They’re angry, maybe shocked; they’re sad or even depressed. They feel a total loss of control since they can’t heal their child. The stress is overwhelming.

‘Tis the Season for Stress

woman happy w dog

We’re all subjected to the same expectations of urgency and cheer during The Season, whether we celebrate the holidays or not. Both can be stressful if you’re not in the flow. So, what can you do to counterbalance the strain?

Here are 15 ways that can help:

Breathe – Take a few long breaths throughout the day. Deep breathing relaxes the body and mind.

Nap – Lie down for 15 minutes to reenergize. Some workplaces have nap rooms. Schools are hopping on board, too.

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Want a Break from Work…..at Work?

New Business Creating third spaces within the workplace®

The World Health Organization (WHO) claims: “A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions but an abundance of health-promoting ones.”¹ The American Institute of Stress adds, “Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.”² “According to the WHO, the cost of stress to American businesses is as high as $300 billion, and unless we change course, this will only get worse,” says Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post.³

CHAPEL HILL, NC – October 14, 2014 — Easterling Consulting is a new business whose principal, Melinda Easterling, has a specific focus:  seeing the workplace change through creating “third spaces” in large companies. And she’s done her homework.

Quiet Spaces in the Workplace: When do We Go?

Images often speak louder than words…

Blog 13 flow chart version 3

Meditation vs. Prayer in the Workplace

business ppl sitting quietly listeningIf our office has a Meditation Room, shouldn’t we also have a Prayer Room or a chapel?”

prayer: an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought

meditation: the act or process of spending time in quiet thought

Merriam-Webster may have strict definitions for prayer and meditation, but for the sake of this blog, we will more loosely use meditation as quieting the mind.

The idea behind a Meditation Room is not to introduce religion into the workplace.

Why Are You Not Meditating?

woman drinking coffee on window sillIf meditating is so good for us, why are many of us not doing it? Time, access, perception and education. We don’t believe that we have 15 minutes in our day to sit down, close our eyes and breathe. Most of us don’t have a Meditation Room in our office buildings. Many are worried what others will think if we meditate. Education is two-fold. I believe that the majority of us either don’t know anything about meditation or don’t believe in its benefits. I’ll briefly address each of these.

Time is a non-argument. Everyone has 15 minutes to sit on a toilet (lid closed) and be quiet.