Why Is Meditation Worth Your Time?
Recently I was approached by a local communications graduate with an article she had written on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Given that I established Quiet Mind Meditation to share my passion for meditation, and provide a platform to nourish and support others to start meditating ..
because I believe meditation is a life skill
I asked April if she meditated, and was delighted to hear that she has a daily practice! So, today I am happy to share my first guest post ..
Why Is Meditation Worth Your Time?
[Guest Post by April Lipson]
Recreation and relaxation practices are both great ways to help employees cope with stress in the work place. But mindfulness and mediation have begun molding their own spot in the lives of employees and employers alike. Meditation has unique benefits that can be mimicked but never replicated in activities like work place ping pong or even massage. Meditation will sharpen your attention, memory, and emotional intelligence and the list goes on below. And anything that isn’t illegal and that’s promising to do the following things is probably worth a shot, right?
- Check your ego
In his New York Magazine profile, Ray Dalio claims that through transcendental mediation he realized that the main barrier to improvement is an individual’s own fragile ego. At his firm, Dalio makes constant criticism of the ‘norm’, to a point where criticisms were not taken personally and a good idea was never left unsaid in fear of being ‘wrong’ and tainting an ego.
- Manage stress
Stress has a way of creating tunnel vision and narrow-minded thinking in an individual. Meditation is all about opening and noticing thoughts and possibilities. Mediation is one of the best combats for stress, and Marc Benioff (CEO at salesforce) agrees. He says that he enjoys meditation, and has been practicing for over a decade. “Probably to help relieve the stress I was going through when I was working at Oracle”, he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Good for your health
CEO at Executive Management Associates, Nancy Slomowitz, was able to reduce her company’s health care insurance costs just by offering meditation classes to her employees. There are some companies that send their employees on spirituality tours or yoga and meditation retreats rather than bring the mediation to the office. Either way, the use of mediation, be it in the reductions of stress or ability to make better-informed decisions, results in an improvements of overall physical health.
- Get a good rest
Bill George, a professor at Harvard Business School, told Bloomberg News that he likes to close his eyes and breathe deeply as soon as a flight takes off. He says that ”the very best time to meditate is on a plane. I have to go to Europe a lot. If I land at 8 a.m., meditation gives me an opportunity to get deep rest and refocus before my board meeting at 10.”
- Problem solving
Bruce Berkowitz told Inc. Magazine that meditation is an important part of his day.
‘The first thing I do in the morning is retreat to my den and meditate,’ he said. ‘I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes, closing my eyes, clearing my mind, and repeating my mantra until I’m in a semiconscious state. Sometimes, I’m wrestling with an issue before meditation, and afterward the answer is suddenly clear.’
Moreover, 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. Again, this may have to do with the way mediation allows us to combat stress and open our minds to noticing ideas that we may not have otherwise.
- Improve focus
Rob Stiller told Bloomberg News that he regularly brought in a meditation instructor to the company’s Vermont-based offices to lead employees in meditation. ‘If you have a meditation practice, you can be much more effective in a meeting,’ he said. ‘Meditation helps develop your abilities to focus better and to accomplish your tasks.’ Furthermore, according to studies, meditation training helps curb our tendency for distraction thus strengthens our ability to stay focused.
Even if you start small, mediation once a day with headspace (10 minutes mediations) or once a week guided by a professional, mediation will be worth your time. It takes a lot for some to get over their doubts and stigma that surrounds mindfulness practices, but for those that are able to, the rewards are obvious.
April Lipson is a 22 year old student living in Melbourne. She studies communication and likes to ski, catch up with friends and drink good coffee. After her father’s passing April found mindfulness an invaluable tool in managing her grief and to this day still partakes in mediation each morning.