Stressed Out? Take a Cue From Silicon Valley (Seriously)
Overworked and stressed-out? Take a cue from the top tech firms in Silicon Valley and start a mindfulness practice. Even five minutes a day of meditation can make a difference in overall stress levels ー at least, that’s how much Gelong Thubten said he tells his students do initially.
Thubten, a Buddhist monk and educator, is often recruited by firms like Google and Marvel Studios to teach mindfulness to executives, engineers, actors, and just about anyone who buckles under the strain of the modern world.
Thubten also speaks at prisons and schools. He said Tuesday in an interview on Cheddar that the techniques of mindfulness are the same whether you’re a billionaire CEO or incarcerated.
“It’s something you can do on your own,” he said. “The mind is the mind.”
Mindfulness has reached trend status in corporate America, but its simplicity makes it an ideal coping mechanism for anyone, regardless of industry.
“The stress levels have gone so high,” Thubten said. And technology has only made matters worse.
“Nowadays people are eating their lunch and looking at other people eating their lunch on social media,” he added.
Thubten focuses on teaching his students to carve out “tiny moments of mindful connection throughout the day” in addition to a home practice. During these “tiny drop-ins,” the student is instructed to focus on his or her senses, awareness of breathing, and body, and prime the mind to be more conducive to a state of awareness.
To that end, Thubten developed an app, Samten, to guide users on their “mindful moments.” Thubten said he’s well aware of the irony contained in developing a technology product to help people who are stressed by technology. Still, he said, it’s an attempt to bring his teachings beyond the boardrooms and into the lives of people who could use some “mindful moments” in their days.
That is, almost everyone.