Take 10 minutes for mindfulness
No matter how busy you think your life is, you definitely have 10 minutes a day to spare. Yes, the emails won’t stop, and the phone keeps ringing. All the while, the stress levels seem to be creeping up.
But there is a way to find quiet in the noise of every day life. Mindfulness meditation is the answer.
It’s easier than you think. No need for a yoga mat, or sitting on the floor. All you need to do is relax, concentrate on your breathing, and let your thoughts float by, focusing on the present moment.
The practice of mindfulness and meditation has been around for thousands of years, but it has been gaining more and more interest in the business world. Some of the companies providing mindfulness based training includes Google, Amazon and Bank of America. Why? Well, we now have the ability to do the one thing that was never possible before — see how these practices change the wiring and makeup of our brains.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation includes:
Mindfulness reduces anxiety
Anxiety causes agitation, and it is something most of us deal with on a daily basis. With consistent meditation, we have a better chance of controlling our emotions so they don’t get to a state of agitation. It can be very empowering. In a 2013 Massachusetts General Hospital study, 93 individuals with DSM-IV-diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were randomly assigned to an 8-week group intervention with mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or to a control group, stress management education (SME). The group that went through the MBSR program was associated with a significantly greater reduction in anxiety.
Mindfulness increases concentration
Meditation has been linked to a number of things that lead to increased ability to focus and memory. Greater concentration is related to the increased energy meditation provides. Another study examined how mindfulness meditation affected participants’ ability to focus attention and suppress distracting information. The researchers compared a group of experienced mindfulness meditators with a control group that had no meditation experience. They found that the meditation group had significantly better performance on all measures of attention and had higher self-reported mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation practice and self-reported mindfulness were correlated directly with cognitive flexibility and attentional functioning (Moore and Malinowski, 2009).
Cardiovascular and Immune health is benefitted
Meditation induces relaxation, which increases the compound nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to open up and subsequently, for blood pressure to drop. One study, published in 2008, in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, showed that 40 of 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditation could stop taking their blood pressure medication. Meditation also improves immunity.
Mindfulness is often viewed as either a touchy-feely fad or valuable management tool that can lift an entire workplace.
A new comprehensive analysis of mindfulness research, co-directed by a management scientist at Case Western Reserve University, suggests the latter — that injecting a corporate culture of mindfulness not only improves focus, but the ability to manage stress and how employees work together
If you would like to know more about our meditation and yoga offerings at Alyfe Wellbeing Strategies, please contact us today! We support many clients with onsite classes and workshops!
In our next blog post, we will provide directions for a simple, but powerful 10 minute meditation to reduce stress in your body and mind. Even if you can’t do ten minutes, try to do it for two minutes a day. Every minute counts!