By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

If you’re leaving work feeling increasingly stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out, you’re not alone.

Stress has become an epidemic in our society, especially when it comes to work. One study shows 80% of people experience stress at work and need help managing it. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that stress levels rose from one year to the next, with a sharp increase in those reporting that they experience extreme stress.

Luckily, there are ways you can combat workplace stress. One great way to reduce your stress levels and improve your wellbeing is meditation.

Meditation has existed as a practice for centuries, with the earliest documented records coming from India in 1500 BCE. But in recent years it has exploded onto the world stage as a way to improve our wellbeing in an increasingly stressful world. Some credit meditation’s rise in popularity to the seal of approval from science: Researchers have started backing up meditation as a strategy to combat stress and anxiety.

I think meditation is an insanely useful practice — its clarity and silence is such a gift in our noisy, stressful world. But many people dismiss meditation as “not for them.” They think that maybe it only works for a specific type of person.

But the truth is, everyone can benefit from meditation!

Want to know how meditation can work for you? Here are some of the benefits.

Improves job satisfaction.

Studies conducted at two Australian universities showed meditation increased focus and improved sleep… And that it can be used to improve job satisfaction and performance. The studies point to significant increases in workplace wellbeing, feelings of calm, and stress regulation.

Boosts creativity.

If you’re stuck at a desk for eight hours a day, your creativity will suffer. I don’t blame you. But meditation can help rejuvenate that creative spark. Multiple studies show the importance of mindfulness and meditation — specifically the process of observation — in the creative process. And creativity is more than just helpful for your work — it’s actually good for your overall health.

Increases productivity.

Researchers found that meditation reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the brain, leading to less stress and fatigue. And you know what that means. More productivity! Stress is one of the biggest blockers to workplace productivity. It’s difficult to work well when you’re pulling your hair out at every challenge. With meditation, you can fight stress and get back in your rhythm.

Eases anxiety.

Reduced stress sounds great, right? How about improved mental health? Researchers and psychiatrists have touted meditation as an effective treatment for anxiety by taking power away from distracting and worrying runaway thoughts. This leaves only helpful, problem-solving thoughts. And now we’ve come back full circle to productivity! 

You don’t need to take a ton of time out of your day to meditate, either. In fact, CNN wellness editor David Allan recommends meditating in the office. As counterproductive as it seems, meditating in the office can actually help eliminate your source of stress. Think about it: If you meditate in the office, you’ll begin associating your environment with those anxiety-reducing, productivity-boosting feelings. Big-name companies such as The Walt Disney Company, General Mills, and Google have all implemented in-office meditation, with great results.

You can take five minutes or an hour. Do what works for you! If all you have is ten minutes during your lunch break, that’s more than enough to start settling your mind and feeling the benefits of meditation.

No excuses! It’s time to start focusing on your energy and quieting your mind. I’ll leave you with this: What do you have to lose?

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.