Yoga to Increase Productivity
Written by Natalie Andersen.
Stress. It impacts both physical and mental health. And a survey conducted by Global Benefits Attitudes and reported in Forbes, show that employees who are stressed have higher levels of disengagement at work. And this survey was not isolated to the U.S. – it included 22,347 people from 12 countries.
In terms of physical impacts of stress, the research is well documented:
- 43% of adults have adverse health issues due to stress.
- 75-90% of visits to doctors are for stress-related illnesses/complaints.
- Stress contributes to headaches, high blood pressure, heart issues, diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has declared stress a hazard in the workplace, costing American businesses alone about $300 billion a year.
It is often impossible to reduce the stressors in our lives – work deadlines, challenging co-workers and bosses, demands of family, relationship issues, and on and on and on.
And it’s not just adults who experience stress. College students who lead lives of classes, homework, essay and paper assignments, social life, and the resulting lack of sleep, suffer from stress as much as adults.
What we have to learn to do, then, is find better ways to cope with stressors, so that they do not impact our physical well-being and our mental health.
The Answer May Lie in Yoga
Yoga has become an increasingly popular activity as a means to promote physical and mental health, both at home and in the workplace. And the more that these two aspects of health are achieved, the more productive people become.
In fact, enough employers are now figuring this out that they have actually encouraged employees to take 10-15 minutes during their workday to practice yoga. Others have set aside time for all employees to engage in yoga classes on the job, a couple of days a week.
And there’s a reason that football coaches incorporate yoga exercises into their daily practices – they understand the physical and mental benefits for their players.
5 Benefits of Yoga
Whether you are a busy stressed stay-at-home parent, an employee/career professional in a high-stress work environment, a business owner, or a student struggling in school, there are some pretty amazing benefits of yoga.
Relief from Physical Issues
Pain is a constant irritant, even if it is minor. Head and back aches, muscle tightness – all of these things can gnaw at you throughout your day. They make you less productive no matter what you are engaged in. The stretching exercises of yoga, along with the meditative activities can provide long-term relief. The key is regularity of both.
Improvement in Focus and Concentration
It’s called mindfulness. Many of the meditative activities of yoga train your mind to shut out irrelevant thought and outside distractions. As you practice this, you will be able to transfer that mindfulness to everyday activities that require focus and concentration. The other benefit of this training is that you will be able to shut down your brain at night, in order to fall asleep faster and to remain asleep for longer periods. Good sleep is critical to productivity.
Increase in Creativity
When you learn to throw troublesome thought out, you can clear your mind. This clearing allows new thoughts to pop into your mind – thoughts that are often “outside the box.” If you are struggling with a problem or issue at work or in your personal life, clearing your mind will allow solutions to present themselves.
One of the best outgrowths of regular yoga practice is the release of endorphins. These are often called the “feel good” hormones which will give you a sense of optimism ad greater positive outlook. When you are filled with positive thoughts and optimism, you will experience more energy and enthusiasm for the tasks ahead of you.
Promotes Healthier Choices
Yoga consists of physical exercises, meditations, and healthy eating. One of the principles of yoga is healthy eating, and that involves both quantity and quality of food intake. In fact, those who seriously practice yoga, push themselves away from the table before they are full.
Much of the recommended diet of early Yogins is now accepted by medical science as being much healthier. It is a diet low in animal proteins and fats and rich in non-animal proteins – nuts, beans, soy protein, etc. As well, a diet that is high in natural sweeteners as opposed to sugars, and that includes unprocessed carbs and lots of vegetables and fruits is considered ideal. Water is a key component of the proper yoga diet, especially upon waking in the morning and then another two quarts or so throughout the day.
The yoga diet will provide plenty of energy and not result in “highs” followed by crashes. Sustained, long-term energy results in much higher productivity, and this diet provides that along with greater physical health.
Yoga is a way of life for many. It is a holistic approach to everything mental, physical, and spiritual. And people who practice it religiously are certainly healthy and look to much longer lives. No one is asking you to adopt the entire lifestyle of a Yogin. However, adopting these 5 practices will, and sticking with them consistently, will improve every aspect of your life.
Natalie Andersen, chief officer at Get Good Grade, pro writer and researcher, author of the book “Conquer Essay Phobia: Perfect Formula for a Good Grade!”. Once and forever, I decided for myself, that my life will never be the result of the circumstances, but of my own actions. I am fancy creating the things I am good at, and make them useful for the others.
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