We know more about the mental and physical benefits of meditation now, than ever before. A growing interest among the masses and heavy research into the subject has reached a peak over the last decade, and, as a result, more and more people are open to the idea. Scientific evidence has revealed some interesting findings, further proving the many benefits mediation has to offer.
More recently, an Oxford University study has concluded that meditation, more specifically, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, is as good as anti-depressants for tackling depression. And the benefits don’t stop there, meditation can also:
• Help information processing and concentration levels
• Increase memory retention and recall• Improve mental strength and focus
• Relieve symptoms of anxiety
• Enhance self-awareness and confidence in social situations
• Improve resilience against pain and adversity
• Reduce blood pressure and lessen inflammatory disorders
• Improve your immune system
Similar to healthy eating and exercise, meditation doesn’t just work after one healthy meal or a gym workout. It needs to be done regularly and over a sustained period of time in order to feel the results. You can achieve this by setting aside some time each day to ensure you stick to your meditation routine. A good idea to start this off, is to do it at the same time, every day, for around 10-30 minutes. Try later in the afternoon, when your body and mind could use a break.
Make sure you go somewhere quiet, where no one will disturb you. This could be an empty meeting room in your office, in your car, outside, or even at your desk, if you can be left alone for a short time. It’s also a good idea to book the time in your work calendar so you have that specific time slot blocked out each day.
There are several different types of meditation around, here are some of the main ones to consider:
• Transcendental meditation (TM) was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and uses a series of mantra consisting of Sanskrit words to help you concentrate whilst in a seated position. The chant will vary upon several factors, such as the year you were born, the year the teacher who gives you the mantra was born, and, sometimes, gender.
• Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) was started in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Its profound technique has been adopted by doctors, psychologists, and health professionals all over the world because of its effectiveness. The technique uses breath awareness, where you focus all of your attention on inhalation and exhalation. There is also a concentration on your physical body, by starting at the toes and working your way up in order to create heightened awareness. This can be done laying down, walking, or whilst seated.
• Primordial sound meditation (PSM) was established by Dr David Simon and Dr Deepak Chopra and is taught at the Chopra Centre and by certified instructors from around the world. It is a silent practice that uses a chant which is very personal and specific to you and is calculated using Vedic mathematic formulas. The chant is supposed to be the vibrational sound the universe was creating at the time and place of your birth, and is generally repeated whilst sitting down.
Choose whichever style resonates with you the most and give it a try. Whichever method you decide to use, meditation, of any kind, has been proven to combat stress, anxiety, and depression, and help to boost confidence, creativity, and productivity levels. Once you’ve found your preferred method, try your best to incorporate it into your daily work life and see what benefits you gain from it, the results may just surprise you.
Have you adopted meditation into your everyday routine? Let us know on Twitter @viking_chat.