Meditation Can Enhance Your Professional Life

There is no arguing that meditation practice garners positive effects. Most people are happy to express how their personal life and health have benefitted. But what many don’t know is that meditation can actually enhance your professional life as well!

 

Meditation Actualization

There isn’t an exact figure on how many people across the globe meditate. A consensus revealed that more than 18 million American adults practiced (that was back in 2012.) Today, certainly more people in the U.S. have considered meditation, especially since the National Institutes of Health suggests that stress affects over 75 million people each day.

Some experts estimate, considering countries that subscribe to Eastern traditional practices, there may be over 250 million people in the world who participate in daily meditation.

 

Your Life on Meditation

It’s no secret that the practice of meditation can benefit your life in many different ways and areas. And that’s not to say that you have to meditate everyday, or for a particular period of time each time. Proof of its advantages has been experienced by those who meditate 10-20 minutes every few days or so. (Additionally, those who practice longer each session, more frequently, and for many, many years reap even more benefits.)

Here are the most recognized results of even a casual meditation program:

 

  • Stress reduction
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Boosted immune system
  • Increased patience and empathy
  • Clearer thinking
  • Better decision-making ability
  • Boosted creativity

 

A Professional-Life Enhancement

If your job and career matter to you, it makes sense that you want to perform at your peak. There are several key factors, which can enhance your productivity in the workplace (even if you work from home.) These aspects are important for professional success and can be made easier through the practice of meditation.

 

1) Fewer sick days. Meditating helps boost your immune system because it reduces stress. Studies have shown a decrease in the amygdala from meditation practice. (The amygdala is the fight or flight part of the brain.)

Change in that section of the brain is linked to a reduction in stress levels. Stress can create headaches, inflammation throughout the body, changes in gut microbiota, and fatigue. Reduction of the effects will keep you healthier and working more days, productively.

 

2) Better relationships with co-workers. A study out of Harvard University explained that those who meditated showed a thickening (a growth) in particular parts of the brain. One of them was the temporo parietal junction—an area associated with empathy and compassion. Trust and collaboration are essential for successful working relationships. It appears that meditation can help our people skills.

 

3) Improved decision-making. Another area of the brain that recharges from meditation is the left hippocampus. Emotional regulation is guided in that center of the brain, which can help us to make choices made from experience and cognition rather than just emotion. Learning ability is also boosted, which can help with future decision-making as well.

 

4) Creativity is boosted. Meditation allows the brain to rest—to switch off—but then switch back on again. Once it’s invigorated, it has the ability to think more freely. Without constriction, creativity is invited to flow. Improvement in attention to detail is another bonus.

 

5) Working memory is enhanced. In the same Harvard study as mentioned previously, it was found that those who meditated had more grey matter in the frontal cortex of the brain. That area is associated with memory and cognition and can help you to be on the ball in a moment’s notice.

 

Meditation as a Part of Your Life

Again, there is no formula or specific amount of meditation time required to reap its benefits. Different teachers, studies, or pundits may suggest various practices, but, truly, it is a personal endeavor. However, now understanding that meditating can enhance your professional life, you may be more inclined to offer it more attention.

Regardless, meditation can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and for any length. If you desire to participate, whatever time you have or you make will be advantageous to your personal and professional life. Best of wishes in your endeavor to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health!

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/26/harvard-neuroscientist-meditation-not-only-reduces-stress-it-literally-changes-your-brain/?utm_term=.5f8d5a26d72c

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201204/brain-scans-show-how-meditation-improves-mental-focus

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6763007

https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/december-2014/how-stress-affects-cancer-risk.html.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2017/09/22/five-reasons-why-meditation-will-improve-your-career/#c1346662189b

https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/mind-body/meditation

 

Nine Brilliant Ways To View Life

Maria Popova is a blogger, reader, thinker, and modern-day philosopher. She was born in Bulgaria and came to America to attend the University of Pennsylvania as a communications major. To support herself through college, she literally worked four different jobs simultaneously.

To stir creativity, she began composing short, weekly emails, which served up as intellectual brain food. Her writing evoked curiosity and deep thought, and the original seven people to whom she emailed have expanded into over a million.

In October of 2015, Popova’s site www.BrainPickings.com turned nine years old. Her curiosity and intellectual exploration has lead to, essentially, her discoveries of what it means to live a meaningful life. On the anniversary of the 9th year, she shares nine of the most important things she’s learned…

1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind: As she describes (accurately), “It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, ‘I don’t know.’ …It’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right—even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.”

2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone: Ultimately, Popova explains, those things, “don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night—and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.”

3. Be generous: elebrate others with your kind words. “Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange.”

4. Build pockets of stillness into your life: “Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular.  Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken.…Most importantly, sleep.”

5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them: “You are the only custodian of your own integrity.”

6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.

7. “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time”: This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman.

8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit: “Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often.”

9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist: “As E.B. White explained, ‘The role of the writer is to lift people up, not lower them down.’ Supply creates its own demand. Only by consistently supplying it can we hope to increase the demand for the substantive over the superficial—in our individual lives and in the collective dream called culture.”

Sometimes reading, contemplating, and formulating our own thoughts/opinions can be incredibly fulfilling. Popova must feel awfully satisfied. She certainly inspires, which is what she has humbly set out to do.

More Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety and Depression

One of the most common remedies used nowadays for anxiety and depression is medication. But are the drugs really helping relieve the cause or just the symptoms? According to many scientists and naturopaths, there may be alternative forms of treatment that individuals can come by naturally.

Cloudy with a Chance of More Clouds

Americans are no strangers to anxiety or depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), over 15 million adults are affected each year. (That’s a little over 6 percent of the population.)

Other data reveals that approximately 11 percent of Americans regularly take antidepressants.

Those two sets of numbers don’t make logical sense. That’s because there’s a tremendous number of adults who are prescribed antidepressant meds who haven’t been given a clinical diagnosis of anxiety or depressive-related disorders. That suggests, logically, that there are far more people medicated than need to be.

Even then, what about the efficacy of antidepressants? They may alter challenging symptoms, but are they healing the mind? A report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama) explained that imaging studies have revealed the same changes in brain activity when patients took an antidepressant as when they took a placebo. There has been research questioning the medications’ effectiveness beyond the placebo effect.

Getting to the Core

Symptoms of fatigue, moodiness, despair, disinterest in enjoyable activities, and apathy are just a few examples of what depression may look like. Those symptoms are noticeable and troubling results of something other than just a mental health challenge. And many researchers and naturopaths believe it’s more than just a chemical brain imbalance.

Many health experts suggest that depression is linked to inflammation—in the brain—and in the body.

There has been a deluge of material lately that points to our gut being our “2nd brain.” Our Enteric Nervous system is an assemblage of millions of nerve cells that communicate directly with the brain in our head. If our digestive system is unhealthy, it would follow suit that our mind would be as well.

Wellness for the Gut is Health for the Mind

Any type of treatment that your medical practitioner suggests may be helpful to your condition. Ultimately, however, it is your choice on how you handle your health. Antidepressants may be right for you. Counseling and/or Cognitive Behavior Therapy may also be beneficial. Any of the following suggestions are merely that. They are offerings of natural ways that may assist with relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression, or may even help cure.

Almost 40% of Americans suffer from constipation, diarrhea, chronic gas, GERD, IBS, and other gastrointestinal conditions. No wonder almost half the population is depressed or in a bad mood! Because of the connection between the gut and the brain, one of the goals is to boost health in your gut microbiome.

One way to achieve re-balance is to increase intake of PREBIOTICS.

Getting Friendly with Prebiotics

We’re all getting pretty familiar with probiotics these days. Those are the “good” bacteria that live in our digestive system. Prebiotics are actually non-digestible. They can be defined as a fiber compound.

Prebiotics don’t get broken down by stomach acids or digestive enzymes. They continue to make their way through the system and actually become food for the probiotics. Prebiotics stimulate good bacteria growth. When prebiotics and probiotics are combined, together they can help decrease inflammation.

Some examples of prebiotic foods are:

– flaxseed

– raw dandelion greens

– garlic

– leeks

 – jicama

– onions,

saurkraut

– kimchi

– seaweed

– kombucha, and other fermented foods

Boosting Your Adrenals

When we’re under a great deal of stress, especially over long durations, we can create burnout in our adrenal system. Weakened adrenals often accompany an individual suffering from clinical anxiety or depression. Adrenals are endocrine glands that produce many hormones including adrenaline and cortisol.

Anxiety and stress create an unwelcomed supply of cortisol into our system. That and adrenaline are our “fight or flight” natural rescuers, but those hormones weren’t meant to run through our bodies constantly. One way to help restore balance is to boost your adrenals.

Some examples of foods to improve your adrenal health are:

  • avocado
  • broccoli, cauliflower
  • nuts (almonds and walnuts)
  • chi, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds
  • fatty fish
  • matcha green tea

Besides these natural suggestions for improved body, mind, and spirit, there are, of course, the other tried-and-true recommendations. They are: reduce stress, practice yoga and/or meditation, exercise, and get a good night’s sleep, every night.

 

 

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Sources:

https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

http://theheartysoul.com/natural-approach-depression-mood/

http://www.medicaldaily.com/antidepressants-arent-taken-depressed-majority-users-have-no-disorder-327940

Percentage of Americans on Antidepressants Nearly Doubles

 

 

Why You Must De-Stress Now (And How)

Is there anyone who enjoys feeling stressed out? Maybe we feel that way so frequently that we associate stress with our commonplace state. It doesn’t have to be that way, nor should it. In fact, if you plan on being healthy and living a long life, your only hope is to start de-stressing now.

Whole Lotta Stressin’ Going On

Yes, many of us are burning the candle at both ends. We’re trying to make a living, build a career, take care of our family, our health, our community, and the list goes on. Then there are those of us who aren’t necessarily active but stressed out by thoughts of the things we aren’t doing.

Then, of course, there are life circumstances that fall into our laps and we haven’t the coping skills to keep from freaking out. Short stints of stress are part of life. If we combat them and are able to move on, it may not wreak too much havoc. But when we live with chronic, long-term stress, the effects on our body and mind can be devastating.

Whichever your scenario, just be aware that stress can and will impact every cell in your body if it reigns freely. If you experience any of the following conditions, it’s a sign that you’re still in need of stress management. (There are other causes, too, for such symptoms and ailments, but stress also played a hand in their development.)

  • Fatigue – tired, listless, unmotivated
  • Inattention – focus wanes, lack of concentrationh
  • Headaches – blurred vision, dizziness
  • Changes in skin – loss of tone and/or moisture
  • Decreased immunity – catch colds and viruses easily
  • Changes in gut microbiome – digestive issues, leaky gut
  • Increased blood sugar- narrowing of arteries, higher blood glucose
  • Increased cortisol – hormonal imbalance, thyroid imbalance
  • Weakened muscles – protein breakdown
  • High blood pressure – hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Auto immune disease – IBD, Crohn’s, MS, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, Hashimoto’s, and others

Although autoimmune disorders can be set into motion from varying factors, studies show stress is linked as a trigger. Up to 80% of those diagnosed with an AI disease reported extreme emotional stress before its onset. Furthermore, the disease itself also causes stress, which creates a vicious cycle.

How to Manage the Stress

Everything you’ve read up until now about stress management still remains true. There are several paths of action to help yourself and you probably already know what they are. It’s all in the implementation. Knowing and doing are not equally effective in this case. You must be proactive and treat yourself kindly.

  • Try to rid yourself of the source of stress. If you can, then it’s actually a simple fix. Sometimes, however, this is just not possible. So, if the stressor remains in your life, your next course is to learn how to manage
  • Seek counseling. A specialist can offer coping tools.
  • Talk to a therapist. Talk therapy and cognitive behavior therapy can help you find ways to reframe your thoughts. The way you perceive things in your life may be a cause of undue stress or anxiety.
  • Exercise and get outdoors. Walking in nature calms the soul and lowers blood pressure. Exercise helps release hormones and chemicals that relieve stress in the body.
  • Practice yoga. Yoga distracts the mind from ruminating and improves your mood. It strengthens the brain’s neuroplasticity, increases flexibility, and boosts your immune system.
  • Meditate. Sit quietly and imagine yourself in calm, beautiful surroundings. Don’t think about any responsibilities. Unplug your phone and electronics and give yourself the time you deserve.
  • Get a lot of rest. Eight hours per night is recommended to keep your mind and mood in tip-top shape. You need that strength from sleep in order to reduce stress.

Today is a good day to start de-stressing. For other helpful articles on health management, click here.

Sources:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ljudmila_Stojanovich/publication/40025080_Stress_and_autoimmunity/links/53ede6ec0cf23733e80b1554.pdf

https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/december-2014/how-stress-affects-cancer-risk.html.html