Leaders recognize the power of meditation to improve business outcomes and quality of life. Ray Dalio, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Ford, and Kobe Bryant are just a few of the many movers and shakers that rely on meditation to relax, focus, and reach their full potential. Their practices areas varied as the leaders are. Meditation is not a one size fits all approach.
You may be wondering what it is about meditation that attracts these highly successful leaders to adopt a meditation practice. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that meditation provides.
Meditation Benefits: No Waiting Necessary
You don’t have to meditate for decades to reap the value of meditation. According to the National Institutes of Health, stress levels dissipate within minutes when meditation begins.Measurable indicators of improved wellness are apparent within four days of starting a daily 20-minute practice.
Portable, Adaptable, and Free
You don’t have to sitcross-legged on a cushion for hours at a timetomeditate. Meditationis a free, portable tool that you can take with you wherever you go. Mindfulnesstechniques are available to useat any time, in almost any environment. It’s possible to meditate in the office, while walking, or during a lunch break.
Meditation Changes Your Brain
Many research studies prove that meditation creates physical changes in the brain. According to the American National Institutes of Health, regular meditation improves the outer structure of the brain in a way that may enhance information processing. The brain functions more efficiently. Meditation enhances clear thinking abilities and enablesleaders toresolve problems easier.
Meditation allows the brain toprocess sensory data faster and efficiently.It’s easier to think, and problem solvewhen the brain is functioning optimally.
Scientific research demonstrates that regular meditation may reduce the speed of age related changes occurring. Age related decline may be
Lasting physical changes to the emotional center of the brain occur with regular meditation practice(National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 2016).Mood improves. Occurrences of changeable, angry emotions decrease.
Meditation increases a sense of calm and soothes emotions while simultaneously improving the brain’s ability to process and coordinate thoughts efficiently. It essentially revs up the thinking part of the brain while soothing feelings.
Meditation Enhances Wellness and Productivity
Meditation is a great stress reliever.Stress is a huge factor in the development ofacute and chronic disease. Stress related illnesses are rampant in this fast paced modern world. Reduced stress leads to better health, improved morale, and less fatigue. Productivity and job satisfaction increase.Meditation reduces anxiety, lessens depression, and enhances a sense of well-being. A study in published in Clinical Psychology Review demonstrates that meditation improves mood and lifts the spirit(Keng, 2011).
Researchers at Stanford University conducted a meta-analysisof randomized controlled trials. They declared that Transcendental Meditation is more effective than conventional treatment for abroad range of anxiety disorders. Meditationis particularly useful for individuals who experience high levels of stress(Orme-Johnson & Barnes, 2014).
Regular meditation practice does much more than reducing stress. Here are some ways that meditation helps leaders:
- Meditation helps sustain high performance.
- Meditation creates better cooperation and empathy.
- Meditation helps leaders to be proactive rather than reactive when challenges arise in the workplace.
- Meditation enhances creativity (Seppala,E, 2015). Increased creativity results in better problem-solving skills, potential development of new products and services, and the overall success of the business.
- Meditation improves the ability to focus regardless of interruptions and distractions in the workplace. (Seppala,E, 2015)Retention of learning improves.
- Meditation practice lowers high blood pressure(Goldstein, 2012)as validated by multiple research studie
- Meditation may help people quit smoking and other harmful behaviors.
Meditation is a Valuable Tool for Leaders
Many types of meditation techniques are available.Meditation isaccessible to everyone. Leaders use meditation to reap the countless benefits that range from achieving their goals to improving their well-being. Meditation is a portable tool that recharges your mind and body.
Goldstein, C. M. (2012). Current Perspectives on the Use of Meditation to Reduce Blood Pressure. International Journal of Hypertension http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/578397, 578397. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/578397
Keng, S.-L. S. (2011). Effects of Mindfulness on Psychological Health: A Review of Empirical Studies. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(6), 1041–1056. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.006
National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine. (2016, April). Meditation: In Depth. Retrieved from NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm
Orme-Johnson, D., & Barnes, V. (2014, May). Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique on Trait Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(5): 330-341. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2013.0204
Seppala, E. (2015, December 15). How Meditation Benefits CEOs. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2015/12/how-meditation-benefits-ceos