A growing body of research is showing that meditation can be a powerful tool for the mind and body.

In our fast-paced and often chaotic world, finding a moment of peace and tranquillity has become really important for maintaining overall health and wellbeing.

Plus, with meditation being proven to improve cognition, counteract stress and burnout, and boost memory, the practice can contribute to positive employee health and increased productivity in the workplace, too.

In a world characterised by constant motion and noise, meditation serves as a sanctuary of stillness and serenity, inviting us to reconnect with our inner selves and the present moment. Contrary to common misconceptions, meditation is not about emptying the mind entirely but rather about observing thoughts without judgment and cultivating a sense of presence.

Through its countless benefits to mind and body, even a short meditation offers a pathway to help better deal with life’s personal challenges and contribute to positive employee mental health and wellbeing.

Seven surprising ways meditation benefits the mind and body

1/ Reduces stress

One of the most celebrated benefits of meditation is its ability to reduce stress levels. By encouraging relaxation and fostering a sense of calmness, meditation can help to alleviate the pressures of daily life and allow us to navigate challenges with clarity and composure.

2/ Enhances emotional wellbeing

Regular meditation practice has been linked to improved emotional regulation and resilience. It provides a safe space for us to acknowledge and process our feelings, and foster a deeper understanding of ourselves and our emotions.

3/ Improves concentration and focus

In a world filled with distractions, meditation serves as a powerful tool to enhance concentration and focus. By training the mind to maintain attention to the present moment, we can cultivate sharper cognitive abilities and enhance productivity in various aspects of life.

4/ Promotes mindfulness

Mindfulness – a key component of meditation – involves being fully present and engaged in the current moment. Mindfulness practices can help us to develop a heightened awareness of our surroundings, thoughts and sensations, often leading to a greater appreciation of life’s simple joys.

5/ Improves sleep quality

Many of us struggle with insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns, often stemming from racing thoughts and stress. Meditation offers a natural remedy for sleep disturbances by promoting relaxation and soothing the mind, paving the way for restful and rejuvenating sleep.

6/ Supports physical health

Beyond its mental and emotional advantages, meditation has also been associated with numerous physical health benefits. From lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation, to strengthening the immune system, the practice of meditation can contribute to overall wellbeing and longevity.

7/ Enhances self-awareness

Through introspection and self-reflection, meditation allows us to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and our inner workings. By turning into our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours, meditation enables us to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Four simple meditations to try at work or at home

The concept of meditating can feel daunting for some. One of the biggest misunderstandings about the practice is that you need to dedicate hours to it, to reap the benefits – which is largely untrue.

While it is important to be consistent, dedicating just a few minutes to meditation each day can make a positive difference to individuals in and out of the workplace.

Last month (May 21st) marked World Meditation Day – hopefully this was an opportunity for employers to explore the benefits of the practice with their teams.

But if you’re looking for some guidance or a place to start, here’s a step-by-step guide to four simple meditations – you could encourage employees to try these in their own time, or bring together a small group in the workplace and practise one together.


Breath awareness

  1. Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes gently.
  2. Focus your attention on the natural rhythm of your breath as it enters and exits your body.
  3. Notice the sensations of each inhale and exhale, allowing your breath to anchor you to the present moment.
  4. Whenever your mind wanders, gently guide your focus back to the sensation of breathing.

Body scan

  1. Lie down in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and bring your awareness to different parts of your body, starting from your toes and gradually moving upward to the crown of your head.
  2. Notice any sensations or tensions present in each area, and with each exhale, release any tension you may be holding onto.
  3. Allow yourself to sink deeper into relaxation with each breath.


  1. Sit comfortably and bring to mind someone you care about deeply, whether it’s a friend, family member or even yourself.
  2. Silently repeat phrases of loving-kindness such as “May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, may you be at peace”.
  3. Extend the wishes to yourself and others, cultivating feelings of compassion and goodwill.

Walking meditation

  1. Take a leisurely stroll in a peaceful environment – you might choose a park, garden, or a quiet neighbourhood street.
  2. Pay attention to each step you take, feeling the connection between your feet and the ground beneath you.
  3. Notice the sights, sounds and sensations around you, allowing yourself to be fully present in the experience of walking.
Dr. Katy James_Vita Health Group
Dr. Katy James
Mental Health Clinical Director at Vita Health Group | + posts

Dr. Katy James is the mental health clinical director at Vita Health Group. She has over 20 years’ experience working in mental health, predominantly in the NHS, as well as corporate and private services, and is actively involved in research. Dr. James is also proud to be the British Psychological Society (BPS) Chair of the Accreditation Programme for Psychological Therapies Services (APPTS), a collaboration between The Royal College of Psychiatrists and the BPS. She has a PhD in Psychology along with additional graduate diplomas in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Dr. James is a qualified mindfulness meditation teacher and personally practices meditation on a daily basis.