What do meditation, cognitive performance, and a unicorn have in common?
At a time when a study from the UK shows that meditation has a positive impact on cognitive performance, the world's first meditation-cum-relaxation app has become a “unicorn” worth a cool $ 1 billion.
Unicorns were once credited with magical powers, a combination of purity and potency. The US financial unicorn (a start-up valued at over $1 billion) Calm, which raised $110 million in February 2019 to broadcast its meditation and relaxation content worldwide, fits this description aptly. And now an academic study by John Moores University in Liverpool has revealed another kind of magic. If you practice mindful meditation, focusing on your breathing for 10 minutes a day for eight weeks, it will increase your concentration and working memory — your brain power, in other words — by 9%.
Daily mindfulness mediation has already been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. But this new study shows that it can also boost your concentration and thinking power. And that’s something that takes us to the heart of corporate human capital: human intelligence. But only up to a point: few companies today teach their staff mental relaxation and concentration techniques. Current solutions still focus on personal development, and aren’t always geared to the pressures of the work environment, which requires short, fast-acting, job-oriented sessions in tandem with personal development.
If you want to roll out these techniques in a professional setting, then think about what elite athletes have been doing for some time now: performing mental exercises based on breathing and visualization to help them withstand pressure, stay calm, and improve performance. So why not become a mental performance athlete yourself — for your own good, for the good of your job, and your staff?
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“Mindful breath awareness meditation facilitates efficiency gains in brain networks” by Benjamin Schöne, Thomas Gruber, Sebastian Graetz, Martin Bernhof, and Peter Malinowski (Scientific Reports, September 2018).
The app My Mental Energy Pro® offers short exercises with immediate benefits and can be combined with in-company workshops and conferences. Easy and quick to set up for numerous workers, the app has also been translated into several languages, which makes it adaptable to companies of all sizes. Here at Business Digest, our whole team is using it!