Mindfulness at the Office: Our Secret Efficiency Factor

October 24, 2013

By Erin Goldstein

Every meeting at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine starts with a minute or so of Soft Belly Meditation, which is deep breathing with the simple mantra, “soft….belly”.

Most interns and guests look a little wide-eyed at the first meeting here when the meditation is announced. Perhaps they’re thinking “What have I gotten myself into?” or “Who are these people?!” I know I did, when I started working here. But after attending meetings at other companies and meetups, where you launch into business without the benefit of a meditation, I definitely notice a difference.

Without a starting meditation, I feel much more stressed and rushed. I notice that I’m less grounded when I speak – my words tumble out one after another, less considered and more impatient. Without a meditation, my brain feels flighty, still thinking about to-do lists and scheduling instead of focusing on the people I’m with and the conversation at hand.

It’s not that I’m planning what I’m going to say while we sit quietly and breathe. It’s a minute to focus on the moment and appreciate the people I’m with, and the tasks we’re tackling – I think it helps us all start from a calmer place.

Does anyone else use a short meditation before meetings? Do you think your meetings are better for it?