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Work is stressful. That’s true for everyone, even if you love your job.
At Salesforce, CEO Marc Benioff runs a company that employs 22,000 people and will do $8.3 billion in revenue this year. Business Insider’s Matt Rosoff asked him what he does to deal with the stress of his job, and the answer was surprisingly simple: “mindfulness.”
“I have a mindfulness practice, and I try to practice mindfulness formally a few times a week. Like yesterday I did attend a mindfulness seminar that we had at Salesforce with 500 employees, where we had a mindfulness teacher come in,” he said.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation, or, as Benioff describes it: It’s “a meditation type practice, just being able to sit quietly and spend time trying to let go of the stress that I collect during the week running a big business.”
You can try mindfulness now; it only takes a few minutes. Plant both feet on the ground and feel the floor under them. Then go through your body, head to toe, relaxing any tense muscles: eyebrows, eyelids, jaw, tongue, shoulders, upper back and shoulder blades, tummy, thighs, feet.
Now just sit there a few minutes, breathing naturally, noticing your body, noticing any thoughts. Don’t react. Don’t fix things. Don’t fidget (as best as you can). Don’t make lists. Don’t do anything, just watch yourself for a few minutes and notice yourself, body and mind, allow yourself to relax. If you can’t relax, just notice how your stress feels in your body.
Benioff is such a strong believer in the power of mindfulness that the company put a meditation room on every floor of its massive new building at his San Francisco headquarters.
He also dedicated an entire keynote session at the company’s huge Dreamforce tech conference to mindfulness training, bringing in tech/meditation experts like Google’s Chade-Meng Tan and others to lead the crowd.
There’s plenty of research that indicates that this kind of mindful meditation lowers stress and helps us make better decisions.