ChapmanCG and the Heartfulness Institute invited global HR leaders to join a three-week online seminar on the practices that can enhance personal and team effectiveness via meditation. Following an introduction from Matthew Chapman, ChapmanCG’s Co-founder, Victor Kannan, Chief Financial Officer at Primero Games and Anis Baig, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Amgen, shared highlights from their journey into meditation.

In session one, “Learn to Meditate”, Victor began by providing a comprehensive overview on the foundations of Heartfulness and the Heartfulness Institute.

Heartfulness

Heartfulness is a set of simple relaxation and meditation practices that promote personal growth and ‘mind management’ for today’s world.

During the last fifty years, there have been many scientific and medical studies on the positive effects of relaxation and meditation on the physiology and psychology of human beings. These studies have shown that meditation helps reduce stress, improve emotional outlook and provide balance.

Heartfulness Institute

Heartfulness Institute is a not-for-profit organisation with meditation programmes practiced in approximately 150 countries worldwide and supported by thousands of certified volunteer trainers who serve more than a million practitioners. Heartfulness has a corporate presence in multinational companies, as well as small- to mid-sized businesses, educational institutes, government departments and the armed services.

Through workshops and individual practice, participants develop calmness from within, leading to better focus, inner balance and true wellness. For employees and the organisation, this can lead to:

  • Relaxation for physical well-being
  • Rejuvenation: unwinding the mind and letting go of stress
  • Finding inner strength, developing confidence and balance
  • Making wise choices and bolstering empathetic leadership
  • Better relationships
  • Teams that are more integrated and more effective
  • A happier, healthier, and more productive work environment

Scientific and Medical Studies

During the last 50 years, there have been many scientific and medical studies on the positive effects of relaxation and meditation on the physiology and psychology of human beings. These studies have shown that meditation helps to reduce stress, improve emotional outlook and provide balance.

In session two, Dr Jay Thimmapuram, Academic Hospitalist at WellSpan York Hospital, discussed “The Science of Meditation” by reviewing two landmark research studies on Heartfulness meditation. In one such study, scientists took a group of people who had never meditated before and taught them how to meditate for eight weeks. Then researchers tracked changes to their brains and the results were amazing. Researchers found that the cortical thickness of the brains of those involved in the study were stronger and more robust. The cortical thickness of the brain is important as it reviewed for its impact on age-related degeneration of brain tissue and its link to intelligence.

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In another study at York Hospital (PENN), researchers conducted another study to see if Heartfulness meditation had any impact on highly stressful professions like the medication profession. During this study, scientists and doctors took a group of nurses, residents, and physicians and practiced meditation with them for 12 weeks. The first step was to measure their burnout scores using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (BMI), their emotional wellness and telomere length. A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or from fusion with neighbouring chromosomes. Its length is associated with health and well-being as its length signifies how well it is protecting a DNA strand from unravelling or performing its function adequately.

First, to measure their burnout, researchers looked at the three components of burnout syndrome:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Depersonalisation/cynicism
  • Sense of low personal accomplishment / sense of inefficacy

The study found that after 12 weeks of Heartfulness meditation, emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation decreased with statistical significance and personal accomplishment increased with statistical significance for those in the meditation group. Burnout scores and emotional wellness also improved for those in the meditation group compared to the control group. Concentration, calmness, clarity of thought, harmony, joy and sleep levels also increased in the group who practiced Heartfulness meditation with statistical significance.

Finally, telomere length, which represents health and well-being was measured. When ages were matched in the meditation and control groups, the telomere length of those in the meditation group was found to have increased in length compared to those in the control group.

Aside from the stories provided by those who meditate, science is now focusing on the benefits of Heartfulness meditating and its positive impact on your mental and physical well-being.

Sustaining the Practice of Heartfulness Meditation

Sustaining the practice of Heartfulness meditation was the focus of the final session. Anis and Victor provided advice and resources to help attendees continue their journey of meditation.

Invest in Yourself

  • New habit formation takes 21 days
  • Stay inspired
  • Navigate obstacles
  • Develop and use support systems
  • Incorporate more of the Hurtfulness tools as you sustain your practice

Daily Practice

  • Start with 10 minutes, twice a day
  • Grow to 20 minutes, twice a day
  • Use guided practices for a week
  • Group meditation in organisations

Stay Connected

If you would like to learn more about Heartfulness, you may reach out to info@heartulness.org or heartspots.heartfulness.org

Many thanks to Victor, Anis and Dr Jay Thimmapuram for their valuable insights and contribution.