Workaholic Aussies urged to take up mindfulness meditation

There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the benefits of mindfulness in adults and that regular practice helps combat stress, improves focus and increases resilience.

Australian full-time employees work some of the longest hours in the world. One in five Australian employees has taken time off in the past year due to feeling mentally unwell. Businessman and former president of Western Bulldogs Mr David Smorgon OAM is encouraging Australians to take time out to meditate to reduce workplace stress and boost resilience and concentration.

It is estimated that untreated mental health conditions cost businesses approximately $11 billion every year, as reported by PwC. Research shows that every dollar spent on identifying, supporting and case-managing workers with mental health issues yields close to a 230% return in improved productivity and reduced leave time.

“Mindfulness practice gives you that space to reflect,” explains Smorgon. “Business leaders are charged with the responsibility of creating environments in which our colleagues and teams are nurtured and energized, our organisations innovate and flourish. Taking a moment or five each day to press pause can make a world of difference to ourselves and our leadership approach.”

The busy businessman is also helping to create a mindful movement, as an ambassador for mental health organisation Smiling Mind and their awareness campaign that’s encouraging all Australians to open your mind to meditation and better mental health.

The tech-based not-for-profit Smiling Mind has experienced strong demand from corporate organisations in relation to pre-emptive support, and offers face-to-face workshops and a specifically designed online program, which provides employees with evidence-based tools to improve productivity, reduce stress and anxiety, promote mindful leadership, and increase resilience.

Australian tech entrepreneur Ms Jane Martino who co-founded Smiling Mind explains, “We started Smiling Mind to offer modern meditation because it’s beneficial in our own lives. Our app was originally designed for children, but after experiencing a growing demand for corporate workshops and an app that caters to the stressed and time-poor employee, we developed the Smiling Mind Workplace Program and have expanded our reach to a new audience.”

Mindfulness awareness is an extremely important business skill. Smiling Mind’s web and app-based innovative meditation programs, developed by psychologists, are based on mindfulness meditation techniques. The Smiling Mind app and Workplace Program is being used at a growing number of companies, including IBM, Nike and BP to help staff deal better with workplace stress and increase resilience and concentration.

There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the benefits of mindfulness in adults. The universities of UCLA, Harvard, Oxford, Monash and Johns Hopkins have all undertaken studies on mindfulness meditation, proving that regular practice helps combat stress, improves focus and increases resilience. Brain imaging has also shown that meditation even changes the brain, and the areas responsible for reactions and responses to stress.

Smiling Mind has reached over 1.4 million people worldwide since it began in 2012. They aim to see mindfulness meditation become a part of everyday Australian’s lives from a young age, and on the national Australian school curriculum by 2020.

Anyone can join the mindful movement for better mental health. Download the free app from the iTunes store or Google Play or visit to learn more about the Workplace Program. For more information on Smiling Mind’s Workplace Program visit:

Inside Small Business