Wherever you go this summer, at work and play, please remember to practice some form of meditation daily, even for just a minute or two. It will definitely improve whatever summer activities you’re doing, helping to bring the full force of your attention to them, and transforming them into powerful moments of “being in the now.”

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Employee Wellness is front page news

An excellent article on workplace wellness programs appeared on the front page of the Boston Globe on May 31: Employers seeing pluses in keeping workers healthy.

The article mentions the value of worksite meditation programs for stress reduction. Recent studies show that wellness and health promotion programs are quite cost-effective and the ROI is a compelling argument for instituting them – $3.48 returned for every dollar spent, according to Kristie Howard, vice president of Longfellow Benefits and co-founder of the Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts.

Also, the new federal health care law earmarks $200 million in grants for small businesses to establish wellness programs. And the MA Connector Authority offers a 5 percent premium discount to small businesses that buy wellness programs through the agency.

In related developments:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) recently added 20 more businesses to their “Working on Wellness” program, a major initiative to help all Massachusetts employers institute an employee wellness program. Recently the DPH teamed up with MedWorks Corporate Meditation Programs to offer stress reduction meditation courses to participants of this program statewide. The DPH offers an excellent Toolkit that’s available free on-line (a 193 page .pdf document): Worksite Wellness Program Toolkit.

The Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts holds excellent monthly presentations with expert guest speakers on the subject of employee wellness. Last month’s speaker was Valerie Fleishman, executive director of the New England Healthcare Institute, speaking about the Healthy People/Health Economy Initiative.

MedWorks encourages all employers – large and small – to institute some type of employee wellness program, and to include stress reduction meditation classes as an essential component to improve employees’ well-being and productivity.

Richard Geller
Founder and President

Summertime Beach Meditation

As you sit on the beach (or some other beautiful location) this summer, notice what your mind is doing. Your body may be relaxed, but even in the most serene natural setting, our minds can be quite agitated, repetitively going over past problems and conflicts, and worrying about future negative possibilities.

Perhaps even more important than relaxing your body this summer is really relaxing your mind and your brain. This is where the simple, yet powerful, practice of meditation comes in.

First, choose an object of focus for your mind, such as the soothing sound of the waves, the feeling of your breath coming in and out, or the body scan: methodically feeling and relaxing each part of your body, starting with your feet and working up to the top of your head.

Once you’ve chosen your focus, start to pay attention as completely as you can to that object of focus, moment by moment.

As each moment goes by, notice whatever else comes up to your attention, and simply note it, and let it go by like the waves disappearing as they reach the shore. Return your attention to the object of focus, and simply continue. Let any thought of how well or poorly you’re doing go by, as well as any content that arises whatsoever.

When you conclude the meditation session, notice how you feel. Just a few minutes a day of meditation will greatly enhance your relaxation and your overall enjoyment of your vacation time.

MedWorks at Massachusetts Hospital Association

Since 1936, the Massachusetts Hospital Association has served as the leading voice for over 100 Massachusetts hospitals and healthcare systems, providing advocacy, education and information to members and the public.

MHA has also been recognized as a leader in employee wellness. The April 15 issue of the Boston Business Journal featured its inaugural “Healthiest Employers”

Boston Business Journal
awards–Boston's Healthiest Employers – and designated the MHA as the winner in the Small Company category.

MHA CEO Lynn Nicholas is passionate about wellness and public health issues and considers this award her greatest achievement to date. With her encouragement, MHA employees formed a committee to support employees’ efforts to make healthy lifestyle choices. The initiative was named HEALING - Healthy Eating Active Living in a Greener Work Environment. In 2010, MHA was recognized as a case study (http://www.mhalink.org/casestudy) by DPH for the Working on Wellness pilot program, which included training, tools and resources to MHA.

Examples of their innovative programs include:

  • Stress reduction meditation classes from MedWorks Corporate Meditation Programs.
  • A policy of not hiring tobacco users.
  • An honor bar of healthy snacks.
  • A Community Supported Agriculture program through Tufts University for employees to receive local fresh fruits and vegetables weekly at the workplace.
  • A “De-stress Room” (also known as the “Chill Zone”), where employees can meditate and relax in a quiet, peaceful environment, and then return to work refreshed (the brainchild of Communications Manager Clare Densmore, chair of MHA’s worksite wellness committee).

To read previous MedWorks E-News that you may have missed, please click here.

MedWorks is a professional stress management training company that focuses exclusively on providing stress reduction meditation programs in the corporate environment.

All of our programs are designed to help employees reduce stress, enhance productivity and effectiveness, and improve overall health and well being.

If you have questions about our services or have feedback on our E-News, please email us at info@meditationprograms.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.