The epidemic of stress affecting organizations, and in Argentina, according to a survey conducted private, affects one out of every two workers has a direct effect on the productivity and the working climate. Looking to combat this problem, companies and executives are turning increasingly to techniques of meditation, relaxation and the so-called “conscious breathing” to lower their anxiety levels, increasing their ability to concentrate and to recover energy.
“When you meditate and breathe consciously, we connect with our inner being, to focus on the present and to project our decisions with a clearer mind, less anxious and more creative,” points out Beatriz Goyoaga, coordinator of The Art of Living Foundation, founded by the indian-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, which provides courses and workshops on relaxation and breathing for more than 20 years.
From organizations such as NASA and the World Bank, up to first line companies such as Procter & Gamble, Grupo Santander, HSBC, IBM, Citi, Telefonica and Coca-Cola offer these workshops to their employees.
“With these techniques, reduces the production of cortisol (known as the “stress hormone”) and increases the of serotonin, a substance linked with the peace of mind and happiness,” emphasizes the specialist.
It happens that the “stress interferes with our intellectual capacities, since it inhibits the activity of the prefrontal cortex (where are located the brain functions the more advanced), and the limbic brain, where by now the emotions are more primitive, is passed to a first plane. As a result, people adopt a behavior of defense and attack and do not develop their capabilities of higher thought. In these situations, increases the aggressiveness and listlessness. That’s why the professionals who do not know how to self-regulate their levels of anxiety are behaving less intelligently than the people who manage efficiently the stress,” says Goyoaga.
“Practicing relaxation and breathing techniques allows you to stay on-axis, and elevates your energy level. Ten years ago that I meditate every morning for half an hour and this helps me to focus on what really matters and not feel overwhelmed by the obligations and problems,” says Marian Langer, 44, a regional director of a financial institution. In more than 20 years of working in banks, Langer saw many times, overwhelmed by adverse circumstances and complaints of the customers. “If I had done these courses before the playpen, I would not have suffered so much,” she confesses, with some irony. “Today not only apply the techniques every day, though for that you have to get up a half hour earlier, but also recommend and share with my team. Really creates a different climate, and more positive,” he says.
Sebastian Arismendi, 45, a geologist in an oil company, he delved into the practice of meditation and conscious breathing following an episode of health in the past year that led him to be hospitalized in a coronary care unit for several days. “I stuck a scare barbarian, it was something that I never imagined because I was always very active and athletic. But this opened me the possibility to learn about these techniques in addition to “disconnect”, to help you connect with yourself and what really matters”. After a first workshop held in February this year, Sebastian practicing meditation between 20 and 45 minutes every day. “I can say without exaggeration that it changed my life,” he says.