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The Competitive

Advantage of Mindfulness
The Science Behind High Performing,
Stress Resilient Professionals Whil Concepts, Inc. 2017 1

Whil is a digital wellbeing training platform; the only enterprise-
grade solution to help employees reduce stress and address their
most pressing health, performance, relationship and sleep issues. 2
This eBook provides an overview of the research and science behind
mindfulness training a
 nd highlights why its captured the attention of top
executives across the globe. Its intended for people who are not only
interested in the health and performance benefits of mindfulness, but also
want the proof points... just like us.

What is Mindfulness Training? 4
Why is Everyone Talking About Mindfulness? 4
Cue the Science 6
Increase Productivity, Energy and Performance 7
Improve Your Health, Longevity and Healing Time 8
Improve Self Awareness, Relationships and Creativity 9
Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Depression 10
Reduce Insomnia, Bad Habits and Pain 11

High-Performing Cultures are Embracing Mindfulness 12

Who is Whil? 13
Contact Us 14
About the Authors 15 3
What is Mindfulness Training?
In the Media
Mindfulness is attention and situational awareness
training used to reduce stress, focus attention a
perform in the present moment.

It is also often referred to as resiliency training, brain

training and emotional intelligence training.

Whatever you call it, learning to be calm, cool and

Whil featured in Time Magazine.
collected is one of the keys to finding more happiness
and greater health.

Why is Everyone Talking

About Mindfulness? In Sports
Our culture is taken with the mindfulness movement
these days. T
 op sports teams use it to gain an edge. Top
businesses embrace it to help their employees perform
while reducing stress, lowering absenteeism and related
healthcare costs. And people everywhere are embracing
mindfulness as a tool to live healthier, happier and Top sports teams use mindfulness
to gain an edge.
more engaged lives. Its a hot topic for individuals and
companies around the world.

In Business

Mindfulness is backed
by hundreds of publications. 4
The worlds fascination with mindfulness is driven by two key trends:

An explosion of scientific studies showing the Stress is the leading cause of illness, costing
1. 2.
many benefits of mindfulness, particularly as a the U.S. economy $300bn per year in
tool for stress resiliency. absenteeism, productivity and medical costs.

of people name
work as their greatest
source of stress.

Simply put, mindfulness occurs when you become more

aware of your thoughts. That grit is a characteristic that helps
athletes to get closer to their full potential on and off the field.
Pete Caroll,
Seattle Seahawks Head Coach 5
Cue the Science
Thousands of studies have shown that mindfulness training reduces stress,
anxiety and depression while improving the immune system and the cognitive
skills that are key to high performance.

Much of this research focuses on neuroplasticity (the brains ability to change

in response to experience and training... like meditation) and the relationship
between the thinking brain (prefrontal cortex) and the emotional brain
(amygdala). When these two parts of the brain work together well, people
act calm, thoughtful and reasonable. When they dont, people act stressed,
unhappy and tend to lose their cool. Sound familiar?

A Few of The Benefits of Mindfulness Training

Performance Absenteeism
Productivity Healthcare Costs

Focus Stress
Memory Anxiety
Relationships Depression
Cardiovascular Health Blood Pressure
Immune System Addiction
Healing Time Insomnia
Self-control PTSD
Creativity Pain

The human brain hasnt changed much in 2,000 years. Its hard to keep
pace with technology and the fast paceof modern living isnt going to
slow down. Employees are seeking tools to cope with technostress. 6
Increase Productivity, Energy and Performance

Mindfulness training improves focus, attention, memory and other cognitive

skills necessary for high performance.

Increase Focus: Professionals trained in mindfulness were able to concentrate

better, stay on task longer, multitask more effectively, and remember what
theyd done better (Levy et al., 2012).
Recommended Whil Training: Focus and Be Calm

Improve attention: Mindfulness participants were able to

76% decrease in
shorten the attentional blink. Human beings all miss a
certain number details - whether in conversation, emails,
writing code, etc. Attention training can reduce your
personal error rate and result in increased control over the
25% increase in
productivity correlates to
distribution of limited brain resources to process more data.
Its like getting more Random Access Memory (RAM) in your attention training.
brain. Yes, were geeks (Slagter et al., 2007).
Recommended Whil Training: Experience Peace of Mind

Be happier and more energetic: Professionals who

practiced mindfulness reported less emotional exhaustion
and greater job satisfaction (Hulsheger et al., 2012).
Recommended Whil Training: Boost Your Energy

Curb the wandering mind: College students who took a

2 week mindfulness training class did better on working
memory tasks, saw a reduction in their distracting thoughts,
and scored higher on the Graduate Record Examination
(GRE) (Mrazek et al., 2013).
Recommended Whil Training: Overcome Mental Hurdles

Now that mindfulness meditation has become

scientific, it has been demystified. Its going to
be seen as fitness for the mind.
Chade-Meng Tan,
former Google Engineer & author of Search Inside Yourself 7
Improve Your Health, Longevity and Healing Time

Mindfulness training improves your health including immunity, cardiovascular

health and the bodys healing ability.
Improve cardiovascular health: Mindfulness improves heart health, particularly
shown in risk factors such as smoking, body mass index, fasting glucose and
physical activity. Practitioners were 83% more likely to have good cardiovascular
health (Loucks et al., 2014).
Recommended Whil Training: Harness the Power of Breath

Strengthen immunity: After 8 weeks of mindfulness training, people showed

decreased anxiety and significant increased activity in the parts of their brains
associated with positive emotions. They also developed more antibodies to the
influenza vaccine (Davidson et al., 2003).
Recommended Whil Training: Connect with Your Body

Increase longevity: Meditation slows down the aging process. Practitioners had
30% higher levels of telomerase, an enzyme that repairs damaged telomeres,
which protect DNA from deteriorating as we age (Epel et al., 2009).
Recommended Whil Training: Age Well

Feel better and show up: Mindfulness training was linked

to a 50% decrease in cold and flu symptoms and 76%
decrease in absenteeism. Hard to be a baller when youre
home sick (Barrett et al., 2012).
Recommended Whil Training: Improve Your Day

Lower your blood pressure: Mindfulness leads to lower

risk of heart attack or stroke. Patients who received
mindfulness training had significant decreases in systolic
blood pressure and diastolic (Hughes, 2013).
Recommended Whil Training: Get Grounded 8
Improve Self Awareness, Relationships and Creativity

Mindfulness training helps you to be kinder (even to yourself), increase

empathy and be more innovative.

Have better relationships: Participants found an increase in size and

activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) after mindfulness training. The PFC
(thinking brain) plays an important role in regulating the emotional brain
areas. Training the connection between the brains thinking and feeling
areas allows for more stable emotional relationships (Farb et al., 2007).
Recommended Whil Training: Deepen Relationships

Improve self-control: The insula is thicker in long term mindfulness

meditators. Its the area of the brain involved in self-awareness and
in processing information about the internal state of our body
(Lazar et al., 2005).
Recommended Whil Training: Understand Your Emotions

Be more innovative: In a survey of leaders, 93% reported mindfulness

training helped them create space for innovation. Step 1: Learn to chill.
Step 2: Unlock your next big idea (Institute for Mindful Leadership, 2011).
Recommended Whil Training: Develop Curiosity

Meditation, more than any other factor, has

been the reason for what success Ive had.
Ray Dallo,
Bridgewater Associates Founder 9
Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Mindfulness training helps change the way you think about and respond to
difficult experiences. Train yourself to recognize and disrupt cyclesof needless
anxiety, fear and regret that can lead to depression.

Calm yourself: People with greater meditation training had less activity in the
amygdala (the fight or flight trigger in the brain) during negative distracting
sounds. T he more hours of meditation training the practitioner had, the lower
the activation in the amygdala (Brefczynski-Lewis et al., 2007).
Recommended Whil Training: Calm Anxiety

Improve your mood: In a randomized study of patients with depression,

mindfulness therapy prevented relapses b  y 42%. Additionally, in a meta-
analysis of 39 studies it significantly reduced depression and anxiety (Kuyken,
2008; Hofmann et al., 2010).
Recommended Whil Training: Rise From Depression

Take things less personally: Mindfulness can help you not to take your
successes and failures so personally. Practitioners were able to shift from
over-reliance on their internal narratives to view life experiences with more
objectivity. Imagine moving from My performance means X  about my worth
to This success or failure is a fleeting experience not linked to my underlying
worth (Farb, et al., 2007).
Recommended Whil Training: Be Fluid and Non-Reactive

Calm the corporate warrior: Just 4 short sessions of meditation training was
shown to reduce fatigue and anxiety and significantly improve visuo-spatial
processing, working memory, and decision making (Zeidan et al., 2010).
Recommended Whil Training: Thrive in the Workplace

Improve chronic stress-related conditions:
After 6 months of mindfulness training, 48% of
veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Every day, youre training your brain
whether you know it or not. Why not
(PTSD) had clinically significant improvements
start being intentional about it?
in symptoms such as depression, behavioral
Joe Burton,
activation and experiential avoidance Founder and CEO, Whil

(Kearney, 2013).
Recommended Whil Training: Relieve Stress 10
Reduce Insomnia, Bad Habits and Pain

Mindfulness training provides new mental tools to relate differently to

unpleasant feelings to better manage sleep, smoking cessation and pain.
Change how you relate to bad habits and change your world.

Sleep better: In patients with insomnia, mindfulness training produced

significant differences in sleep quality. It took them 22 minutes less time to fall
asleep, and their total sleep time increased by at least 3 0 minutes. Down and
out never looked so good (Garland, 2012).
Recommended Whil Training: Ease Into Sleep

Develop healthier eating habits: Mindful eating strategies might help weight
loss and treating eating disorders. In a study of people suffering from binge-
eating, the declines in binging and depression were significant. Additionally,
it helped people enjoy their food more and have less sense of struggle about
controlling their eating. Not only that, but those who meditated more (both at
mealtimes and throughout the day) got even better results out of the program
(Kristeller & Wolever, 2011).
Recommended Whil Training: Healthy Eating

Reduce pain: Just 3 days of brief mindfulness training was effective at

reducing pain ratings and sensitivity, producing analgesic effects
(Zeidan, Gordon, & Goolkasian, 2009).
Recommended Whil Training: Work with Pain 11
High-Performing Cultures are
Embracing Mindfulness
In 2017, its estimated that 45% of companies will offer some
form of mindfulness training.

SAP: Trained 5,000+ employees on emotional intelligence

and mindful leadership

Ford: Situational Awareness training

Salesforce: Mindful Zones in their new $1.1bn tower

Johnson & Johnson: Comprehensive mind/body wellness

program saves them an estimated $25m/year since 2000

Google: Search Inside Yourself, training emotional

intelligence skills, is their most popular training course

We saw a $3,000 reduction in their healthcare
costs through the next year. We saw 69 more
minutes of productivity a month.
Mark Bertolini,
CEO of Aetna 12
Who is Whil?
Whil is the leader in digital wellbeing training. We
help employees reduce stress, increase resiliency and
improve their sleep and performance with programs
based in science, mindfulness and positive psychology.

Our mobile-first solutions help driven professionals

accomplish their most important health, performance Where + Will = Whil
relationship and sleep goals. On-demand. Where are you going
On any device. and what will you create?

Were a team of business leaders, educators,

developers and data junkies building solutions for
people like us. We like science. We want proof. And
we produce outcomes that improve company cultures
while helping employees live healthier, happier and
more engaged lives.

Current programs include:

Grow Thrive Lead Move

Resiliency, focus & sleep Resiliency, focus & sleep Search Inside Yourself TM Yoga to exercise
training for teens training for adults Emotional intelligence, the mind & body
teamwork & leadership skills

54 Programs 82 Programs 20 Programs 29 Programs

(500+ Sessions) (800+ Sessions) (200+ Sessions) (120+ Sessions)
Born at
FREE to our customers 13
Contact Us
Were here to help.

To find out more about how Whils digital

mindfulness and resiliency training can improve
outcomes for your employees and company

Because life is stressful and were here to help,

The Whil Team

About the Authors

Joe Burton is the founder and CEO of Whil Concepts, Inc. (Whil), a digital training platform
helping employees to reduce stress, increase resiliency and improve their sleep and
performance. Hes an entrepreneur in scientific wellbeing, former President of Headspace
and spent fifteen years as a global COO in public companies. Joe is an alumnus of Harvard
Business School and regular contributor to Forbes, Business Insider and The Huffington
Post. Hes worked in over 50 countries and travels the world speaking on topics including
disruption, culture, employee safety and mindfulness as competitive advantage. Joe is also
a certified Search Inside Yourself instructor. He discovered mindfulness as a super stressed
executive after dismissing it as definitely not for me and it changed his life.

Dr. Kelly Werner is a licensed clinical psychologist committed to helping people flourish.
She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley,
and her Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University where she studied the science of
mindfulness and emotional intelligence. She is an executive coach, master mindfulness
trainer at the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (founded at Google), and the
creator of the team building game Tell Me. Dr. Werner specializes helping professionals to
connect with their inner clarity and wisdom, reduce stress and actualize their potential. Whil Concepts, Inc. 2017 15