Meditation plays an important role in Yuval Harari’s work as a historian. The author of the internationally renowned book “Sapiens” says that meditation has given him “the discipline to focus on much bigger things and to really tell the difference between what’s important and everything else.” Meditation also helps him to discriminate between truth and non-truth. “My main ambition as a historian is to be able to tell the difference between what’s really happening in the world and what are the fictions that humans have been creating for thousands of years,” says Harari.
A recent study by the Department of Defense found that many vets are benefiting from meditation. After 3 months of once-a-week therapy sessions for 90 minutes, researchers found that 61% of vets assigned to a meditation group had improved on a standard PTSD assessment, compared to 42% of those receiving exposure therapy and 32% who went to nutrition and exercise classes.
Adults aren’t the only ones who are meditating more. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that the use of yoga and meditation among children aged 4 to 17 years is also on the rise. From 2012 to 2017, there was an increase in the use of hatha yoga (from 3.1 to 8.4%) and meditation (from 0.6 to 5.4%).
It’s official! Meditation and yoga are the most popular alternative health approaches in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the number of Americans who meditate has tripled and hatha yoga is up 55%. Better availability of classes and apps is one obvious reason. Researchers also believe increased interest is due to escalating anxiety and stress in our modern culture.
Most of us have heard how meditation can enhance our personal life, but did you know that meditation is also good for business? According to Forbes magazine, meditation can make you “exponentially more effective throughout your career.” Here’s how:
Increase focus and productivity: You become less distracted when focusing on specific assignments, and achieve a higher rate of successful task completion.
Elevate energy & memory capacity: You find it easier to rest your busy mind and fall asleep, which contributes to higher energy levels during the day and an increased mental capacity.
Better, easier decision-making: You are able to quiet the mind and access your intuition during deliberation.
Higher patience and tolerance levels: You are able to pause, breathe and choose your response more wisely to a variety of triggers in the workplace and release judgment about what others may say and do.
In a recent Medscape survey, 48% of female physicians reported burnout vs. 38% of their male peers. The AMA also reports additional differences:
Coping: More than 50% of female physicians with burnout discuss it with family and friends, while only 39% of men do. Men were more likely to cope with burnout by exercising (52%) compared with 47% of women. Female physicians experiencing burnout were also more likely to:
Sleep: 46% vs. 38%
Eat junk food: 39% vs. 27%
Binge eat: 23% vs. 18%
Seek help: 31% vs. 24%
Both men and women rated their job as the greatest cause of depression. Women ranked family and romantic relationships in second place, while for men it was finances.
Are you among the 75% of Americans who claim their “boss is the most stressful part of their workday”? According to the Harvard Business Review, studies in American workplaces show that people with toxic employers are more likely to experience chronic stress, depression, and anxiety, all of which increase the risk of a lowered immune system, colds, strokes, and even heart attacks. Of course finding a better job situation may be the optimal option, but not practical for many people. If you can’t change your job right now, meditation and gentle yoga can help you respond more creatively. Remember, you can’t really control your boss, but you can manage your own reactions and responses.
Air travel can be stressful. The hurry-up-and-wait at an airport and trying to navigate the crowds and security can be exhausting and compromise your immune system. To make your flight less stressful and more rewarding, AMI founder Leonard Perlmutter suggests the following:
Listen to your mantra when you have no immediate responsibility to deal with.
Pack nourishing home-cooked food to eat until you reach your destination.
During a flight or while waiting for a connecting flight, do a few easy-gentle yoga stretches.
Practice three rounds of alternate nostril breathing. It will reduce anxiety, and increase your energy levels.
Plan at least one long meditation during your flight. It will keep you centered.
Be mindful in every moment, and employ the “Bridge of Yoga” so that you think speak and act in service to your own inner wisdom.
The American Meditation Institute offers yoga and meditation instruction in Albany NY. Accredited Nursing CME & Physician CME Courses. Meditation and Yoga Retreats in Albany NY area.The American Meditation Institute offers yoga and meditation instruction in Albany NY. Accredited Nursing CME & Physician CME Courses. Meditation and Yoga Retreats in Albany NY area.
Contrary to common belief, just 60 seconds a day is enough time to establish a rewarding meditation practice. “In our busy schedules, we all have one minute to meditate,” said Leonard Perlmutter in a March 2018 Family Circle Magazine article. Perlmutter goes on to dispel another meditation myth. “Meditation is not meant to eliminate thoughts,” he explains. “It simply teaches you to direct the mind’s mental traffic.” Read the full article to get more tips on where, when and how to meditate.