How meditation affects your brain and improves job performance

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by Jessica Tabinor on

    HEALTH & WELLBEING | 3 MIN READ

  • Research suggests that practising meditation can change not only our behaviour and emotions but also the structure and functionality of our brain.

  • Find out more about the benefits of meditation in the workplace.

  • Download Morson's mental health toolkit for the workplace which explores how to approach a conversation around mental health.

We all know how different kinds of mental activities can change the brain, crossword puzzles help increase neuroplasticity, playing an instrument enhances our brain function, speaking more than one language builds up our cognitive reserve and exercise promises vital brain food. But what effect does meditation have?

Meditation and mindfulness are certainly hot topics at the moment and the mantra of repeat, refocus and re-centre may be a powerful way to boost the types of intelligence that matter most. Research suggests that practising meditation can change not only our behaviour and emotions but also the structure and functionality of our brain.

In today’s stressful, fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to bring your awareness to the present. One of the best ways to do this, of course, is through meditation. The workplace can often be one of the biggest sources of stress in your life with anxiety and burnout lurking closely behind. But studies suggest that meditation can activity increase productivity too, with one 15-minute session of mediation resulting in a 22% reduction in mind-wandering at work.

"Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had." – Ray Dalio, successful philanthropist


A study from the Max Planck Institute found that the three different types of meditation training are linked to changes in different brain regions. Participants, aged between 20 and 55, meditated for three months practising three different types of meditation:

  • The Presence module – focussed awareness meditation where participants learned to focus their attention, bringing it back when it wandered, and to attend to the breath and to their internal body sensations.
  • The Affect module – which helped to enhance empathy and compassion for others.
  • The Perspective module – similar to mindfulness or open-monitoring meditation. This practice encouraged observing your own thoughts non-judgmentally and enhancing understanding of the perspectives of others.

After the study the researchers scanned the participant's brains and found the following:

  • Meditation in the ‘Presence’ module was linked to an enhanced thickness in the anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are known to be strongly involved in attention.
  • ‘Affect’ meditation was linked to increased thickness in regions known to be involved in socially driven emotions such as empathy.
  • Meditation in the ‘Perspective’ module was associated with changes in the brain that understand the mental states of others and inhibiting the perspective of yourself.

The results show a direct correlation between the type of meditation and brain function, demonstrating how meditation can change the brain in just a short amount of time. The study is evidence that whilst shifting brain function, meditation can improve well-being, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.search morson jobs

The benefits of meditation in the workplace

There are many organisations that believe that meditation can make you a better leader with companies like Apple and Google offering free meditation classes for their employees. As this blog has explored, it is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and give you better insights into your daily life, including work.

Below are four benefits of meditation in the workplace:

  1. Improved focus and productivity
  2. An improved mood and less stress
  3. Better relationships and teamwork
  4. Improved job satisfaction and engagement

yoga
Mental wellbeing at Morson

The topic of mental wellbeing isn’t new to us at Morson – it’s been part of our conversation for several years. Our activity has centred on creating a culture and working environment which is open, unbiased and inclusive, underpinned by professional support and resources for employees in need.

As part of our ‘Morfit’ initiative which aims to encourage our employees to exercise at varying levels, we host twice-weekly Yoga classes where a trained yoga instructor visits our office to host a class.

In May, we launched our Mental Health First Aider network which provides personal support across our UK office network and aims to weave a solid support network into our working culture. Find out more about our Mental Health First Aiders here.

As part of our mental health awareness initiative, we have responded to employee feedback requesting more practical guidance around mental health in the workplace. As a result, we have created a new toolkit which looks at subjects such as signs and signals someone might be experiencing a mental health issue and how to approach a conversation around mental health. Click here to download the toolkit.

download the mental health toolkit

Cx Jobs

Import Export Supervisor

The Imports and Exports Supervisor will be responsible for delivering Import and Export of equipment into and out of Qatar. Coordination and supervision of safe receipt, storage, pick, pack, dispatch and transportation activities in order to deliver customer requirements within timescales set. Also supervises and coordinates the planning of logistics activity and the resolution of queries/issues through interface with other teams/organisations. Ensure motivation and effective utilisation of workforce, adherence to SHE, Quality and other internal and external regulations. The external movement of assets to meet operational requirements on the MOB will fall within governance of this role. In addition, the Imports and Exports Supervisor will be responsible for all assets held in quarantine and Item Discrepancy Report (IDR) on base, ensuring safety compliance of non-conforming parts are segregated and managed to prevent non-approved items being allowed into the Supply Chain. Maintains a strong working relationship with Warehousing and Repairs staff to ensure accurate transfer of items inbound and outbound to prevent processing delays. Requires an excellent understanding of International Import and Export procedures and the required Customs and Trade relations paperwork, processes and principles through which the items will be processed to allow order will be satisfied. Must understand constraints and lead times associated with the work and the importance of prioritisation and customer service. Able to apply knowledge and skills to situations of high complexity, able to interpret data trends and variances and understand the impact of these on future asset supply. Requires excellent analysis and planning skills along with excellent relationship building and problem solving skills, able to use appropriate IT systems, requires good numeracy. Requires team leader knowledge team leadership, operational performance management and reporting, people development. This person would be seen, as a professional in the field of operational supply chain activities, be able to define the processes, propose improvements and manage those improvement into the day-to-day running of the operation. Must have a working knowledge of Export Control requirements and restrictions. Institute of Supply Chain Management Level 5, NVQ Level 3 / Level 5 Award or its equivalent is desirable but not essential.

Physical Logistics & Transport Supervisor

The PHS&T Supervisor will be responsible in the operational short to medium term for the coordination and supervision of safe receipt, storage, pick, pack, dispatch and transportation activities in order to deliver customer requirements within timescales set. Also supervises and coordinates the planning of logistics activity and the resolution of queries/issues through interface with other teams/organisations. Ensure motivation and effective utilisation of workforce, adherence to SHE, Quality and other internal and external regulations. This will include managing, stock (including lifting and stocktaking), handling, distribution of materiel on base (including Classified, Secret, or National Sensitive Data (NSD) equipment to meet the operational requirements of both Forward and Depth environments. In Addition the PHS&T Supervisor will be responsible for all the on base transportation of goods to the end user using delivery vehicles and forklift trucks in the execution of these duties to meet agreed KPIs and availability output on a daily basis. Requires in depth knowledge of the workings of a warehouse / logistics operation and the importance of compliance with the MRP Part 145 regulations. Requires excellent planning and expediting knowledge and skills and can demonstrate good experience of using asset tracking / warehouse and planning systems. Knowledge of BAES / customer and supplier logistics and Release to Service (RTS) documentation. Requires excellent relationship building and problem solving skills. Requires team leader knowledge, team leadership, budget control, planning, performance management and reporting. Requires good IT literacy skills and in depth knowledge of asset tracking / ERP systems. Understands Export Control regulation and be able to apply knowledge and skills in the correct completion of documentation. Close attention to details are essential. Driving licence Forklift licence desirable but not essential Institute of Supply Chain Management Level 5 or its equivalent is desirable but not essential.

Warehouse Operative

The Warehouse Operator will be responsible for the safe discharge receipt, storage, pick, pack, dispatch and transportation activities in line with regulations and standards in order to deliver customer requirements within timescales. Maintain and update appropriate IT systems, and resolve queries/issues through interface with other teams. Understand the workings of a Physical Logistics operation and the importance of documentation in a safety critical environment. Good planning and expediting knowledge and skills and can demonstrate experience of using asset tracking / warehouse and planning systems. Knowledge of BAES / customer and supplier logistics processes. Relationship building skills in order to build working rapport with the line and suppliers and problem solving skills to ensure quick resolution of items shortages to the line. Requires good IT literacy skills and knowledge of asset tracking / ERP systems. Maintain a strong working relationship with the Receipt and Despatch/Import and /Export staff to ensure accurate transfer of items inbound and outbound to prevent processing delays This person would be seen, as a competent individual in operational supply chain activities, be able to support the processes, propose improvements and manage those improvements into the day-to-day running of the operation. Must have a working knowledge of Export Control requirements including ITAR/EAR regulations and the movement of Classified equipment Forklift Driving Licence desirable Institute of Supply Chain Management Level 3, NVQ3 Award or its equivalent is desirable but not essential.

Receipt & Dispatch Operator Hawk

The Receipts and Dispatch (R&D) Operator will under supervision receipt, storage, pick, pack, dispatch and transportation activities in line with regulations and standards in order to deliver customer requirements within timescales. Maintain and update under supervision appropriate IT systems and resolve queries/issues through interface with other teams. All inbound and outbound equipment will be managed within the Main Store and will be goods received, inspected and accounted for on the IMS System. Outbound equipment will be packaged to the relevant standard including IATA, IMDG regulations and dependent upon the equipment classification will be subject to further rules and regulations. Inventory Management will utilise the IMS system for stock location and accounting. Experienced stores person, fully conversant with logistics and warehouse systems, locations and safe handling methods. Use of special to type containers. Awareness of potential hazards caused by incorrect storage such as moisture ingress and cadmium corrosion. Basic IT literacy skills and some knowledge of asset tracking / ERP systems. Requires a working knowledge of an operational supply chain, tools and techniques, protocols and procedures. Understands where and how to gather asset information, and how to interpret this information in a range of situations. Is able to build and maintain strong relationships within the Operational organisations. Maintains a strong working relationship with the Warehouse Operator, Import and Export staff to ensure accurate transfer of items inbound and outbound to prevent processing delays. This person would be seen, as a competent individual in operational supply chain activities, be able to support the processes, propose improvements and manage those improvements into the day-to-day running of the operation. A working knowledge of Export Control requirements including ITAR/EAR regulations is desirable. Forklift Truck Licence Institute of Supply Chain Management Level 2/3, NVQ 2 / National Diploma Level 2 or its equivalent is desirable but not essential

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