Why is my boss suddenly into mindfulness?
Because mindfulness-for-productivity is having a moment, especially in corporate environments, where companies are increasingly interested in extracting as much value as possible from their employees.
Google, for instance, offers a mindfulness-based meditation class for its employees, called Search Inside Yourself -- to make them more productive, but also happier.
Other companies getting in on the action include HBO, Bank of America, Aetna, Deutsche Bank and General Mills, along with what's probably an infinite list of startups in Silicon Valley and beyond. The popular new book Mindful Work, by David Gelles, goes into far more depth than I’d ever want to do about corporate mindfulness in America.
Is being mindful just a productivity hack?
You’ll probably be more focused, less emotionally reactive, and less stressed, among other benefits.
But I’m pretty adamant that you shouldn’t just think of mindfulness as a productivity tool. Mindfulness is ultimately about cutting through the shit that your mind usually puts in your way, so you can feel more clear and calm.
Plus, mindfulness is good for a ton of other stuff besides productivity, such as making you happier and better prepared to cultivate healthier relationships. Mindfulness may even lower blood pressure and strengthen the immune system.
What other research is there on mindfulness?
Plenty! Scientists are always studying mindfulness, as you can tell from the litany of benefits above. But the benefits just keep on coming! While there's been plenty of anecdotal evidence of mindfulness' stress-busting power, research from January 2017 found that yep, this holds up. People who practice mindfulness are far better able to handle high-pressure situations than their non-mindful counterparts. Chalk up another win for paying attention!
Got any good, pithy quotes that I can repeat to my friends?