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Cut Stress At Work Using Meditation And Boost Emotional Intelligence: Study

Emotional intelligence has garnered considerable attention in the workplace because of its positive association with mental and physical health

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Stress, meditation, PTSD
Meditation can boost emotional intelligence, cut stress at workplace. Pixabay
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Finding it hard to cope with work-related stress? Take heart, practicing a silent form of meditation at your workplace can lead to significant improvements in emotional intelligence as well as perceived stress, according to a study.

The study found that those who meditated more regularly scored higher on total emotional quotient and had lower perceived stress, also known as psychological stress — the most common occupational health problems affecting workers worldwide.

They also showed improvements in general mood, stress management, adaptability, intrapersonal awareness and reality testing.

This indicates that emotional intelligence has a moderating effect on psychological well-being and mental health, the researchers said.

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the role of emotional intelligence and perceived stress as important factors associated with organisational effectiveness. Pixabay

“This study demonstrates the benefits of meditation in the workplace,” said Laurent Valosek, Executive Director, Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education — a US-based non-profit organisation.

“And with a growing body of research on the value of emotional intelligence and the harmful effects of psychological stress, organisations are looking to give their employees tools for reducing stress and developing competencies like centeredness, self-awareness, and empathy,” he added.

The study, published in the journal The Permanente Journal, included nearly 100 central office staffs.

The team found that during a four-month period, those practicing the transcendental meditation — a form of silent mantra meditation — experienced significant improvements in emotional intelligence and perceived stress, as compared with controls.

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The Power Of brain: You Get What You Choose To Focus. Pixabay

The research highlighted the role of emotional intelligence and perceived stress as important factors associated with mental and physical health and organisational effectiveness.

According to the World Health Organization, psychological stress adversely affects organisational commitment, work engagement, and productivity, as well as contributes to poor mental and physical health.

Also Read: New Study Shows Link Between Meditation And Greater Focus

Emotional intelligence has garnered considerable attention in the workplace because of its positive association with mental and physical health and its connection to leadership capacity and performance. (IANS)

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Suicide Rates On The Rise Among U.S. Workers

Promoting social interaction rather than isolation in daily tasks on the job may help with suicide prevention.

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Suicide, Life expectancy
A young volunteer helps set up lights in paper bags decorated with messages for loved ones during an Out of the Darkness Walk event organized by the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. VOA

From 2000 to 2016, the U.S. suicide rate among those aged 16 to 64 rose 34 percent, from 12.9 deaths for every 100,000 people in the population to 17.3 per 100,000, according to the study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The highest suicide rate among men was for workers in construction and mining jobs, with 43.6 deaths for every 100,000 workers in 2012 and 53.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2015, the analysis found.

The highest suicide rate among women was for workers in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media, with 11.7 fatalities for every 100,000 workers in 2012 and 15.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2015.

“Since most adults spend a great deal of their time at work, the workplace is an important and underutilized venue for suicide prevention,” said study co-author Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC in Atlanta.

Facebook, U.S., workers
A man works in the war room, where Facebook monitors election-related content, in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

While the study wasn’t designed to prove whether or how specific types of jobs or workplace characteristics might contribute to the risk of suicide, lack of control over employment and a lack of job security can both be stressors that make suicide more likely, Stone said by email.

Many factors outside the workplace can also influence the risk of suicide, including relationship problems, substance use, physical or mental health, finances or legal problems, Stone added.

And ready access to guns and other weapons have a big impact on whether suicidal thoughts turn into actions with fatal outcomes, Stone said.

Guns may explain the higher suicide rates among men than among women, said Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute in Boise, Idaho.

“In America, with ready access to guns, men make the choice of death by gun, but it is the less likely choice by females,” Namie, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “Hence, it is possible that in moments of despair that might pass if friends or family could intervene, with a gun handy, the decision is too quickly implemented.”

workers
To assess suicide rates by occupation, the CDC examined data collected from 17 states in 2012 and 2015.

Data from 17 states

To assess suicide rates by occupation, the CDC examined data collected from 17 states in 2012 and 2015; the results are not representative of the nation as a whole. The results were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Although arts, design, entertainment, sports and media had the highest suicide rates among women, this category saw the biggest increase in suicide rate among men during the study. For women, the biggest increase in suicide rates was in the food service industry.

One limitation of the study is that it didn’t examine suicide methods. It also excluded two groups of Americans that typically have stressors that can increase their risk of suicide: military veterans and unemployed people.

Even so, the results suggest that employers can play a role in suicide prevention by offering worksite wellness programs, encouraging use of behavioral and mental health services, and training workers in the warning signs of suicide and how to respond, Stone said.

Also Read: Suicides Can Be Prevented, Says Expert Through Government Policies

Promoting social interaction rather than isolation in daily tasks on the job may also help with suicide prevention, along with creating a workplace culture of inclusion that does not allow for abusive conduct or bullying, Namie said.

The road to suicide begins when one employee begins a “systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction against another employee,” Namie said. “Bullying is the most preventable predictor of suicide.” (VOA)