They also showed improvements in general mood, stress management, adaptability, intrapersonal awareness, and reality testing.
This indicates that emotional intelligence has a moderating effect on psychological well-being and mental health, the researchers said.
“This study demonstrates the benefits of meditation in the workplace,” said Laurent Valosek, Executive Director, Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education — a US-based non-profit organization.
“And with a growing body of research on the value of emotional intelligence and the harmful effects of psychological stress, organizations are looking to give their employees tools for reducing stress and developing competencies like centeredness, self-awareness, and empathy,” he added.
The study, published in the journal The Permanente Journal, included nearly 100 central office staffs.
The team found that during a four-month period, those practicing the transcendental meditation — a form of silent mantra meditation — experienced significant improvements in emotional intelligence and perceived stress, as compared with controls.
The research highlighted the role of emotional intelligence and perceived stress as important factors associated with mental and physical health and organizational effectiveness.
According to the World Health Organization, psychological stress adversely affects organizational commitment, work engagement, and productivity, as well as contributes to poor mental and physical health.
Emotional intelligence has garnered considerable attention in the workplace because of its positive association with mental and physical health and its connection to leadership capacity and performance.
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