As a busy CEO, you might not immediately see the benefit of sitting still and meditating. But CEOs are turning to meditation for good reason, finding it helps build their leadership skills and improve the way they do business.

Emma Seppälä, the science director of Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, writes in Harvard Business Review about the key benefits, including an increase in emotional intelligence, focus, and memory--all, of course, which are useful skills in the workplace. Below, check out five ways the practice can make you a better leader.

1. Decreases your anxiety

A handful of research has found that meditation can help decrease your levels of anxiety. Getting a better handle on anxiety, Seppälä writes, will can help boost your "resilience and performance under stress."

2. Regulates your emotions

"Meditation boosts emotional intelligence," Seppälä writes. "Brain-imaging research suggests that meditation can help strengthen your ability to regulate your emotions."

3. Enhances your creativity

Meditation can also help increase your creativity. "Research on creativity suggests that we come up with our greatest insights and biggest breakthroughs when we are in a more meditative and relaxed state of mind," Seppälä writes. "That is when we have 'eureka' moments." She says meditation can help you get into a divergent mindset, where you are able to come up with as many solutions as possible.

4. Improves your relationships

As a leader, you need to keep up your relationships with your employees, customers, and board members. Meditating can "help boost your mood and increase your sense of connection to others, even make you a kinder and more compassionate person," she writes.

5. Strengthens your focus

According to various studies, the human mind tends to wander 50 percent of the time, Seppälä writes. The modern office, with its constantly flashing screens and an expectation of immediate responses no matter the time, only makes things worse. But meditation can help. "Studies show that meditation training can help curb our tendency for distraction, strengthening our ability to stay focused and even boosting memory," Seppälä writes.

Published on: Dec 15, 2015