It’s not a big revelation that meditation practice is a stress buster, but it is surprising the effect it could have on your professional life. Lack of a daily practice of meditation could be keeping you from achieving the business goals you want and keeping the stress you don’t. It’s also become recognized by science that mediation helps stave off or perhaps prevent cognitive decline.
I REMEMBER YOU
The toughest part of being in the senior industry is talking to families about their loved one’s cognitive decline from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to advanced dementia. I listen patiently through their frustrations of being a caregiver, but inevitably it’s once we get past these frustrations that the real sadness sets in. It’s when they talk about the loss of who their mother or father used to be, is when it becomes an incredibly heart-breaking moment. They desperately want me to see the amazing person their loved one was (the engineer, the teacher, the rockstar PTA mom, the family patriarch), not who they are now. Many caregivers practice simple meditations with their loved ones who are living with dementia to help ease stress and anxiety for both. Losing a loved one to dementia happens long before their inevitable death and with it comes immense stress for years at a time.
MEDITATION COMES IN MANY FORMS
My mom was a devout catholic and she prayed daily. No doubt she was asking for patience, stress relief, and solutions as there are always challenges in life when raising a big family. I realized much later it was her form of meditation. When times were tough, I’d see her find a quiet place and pray. Most often it was early in the morning before any of us got up. She’d sit quietly and it appeared she was just thinking, but it was probably more a form of her own version of a practiced meditation that grounded her for the stressful day she was about to jump into. Sometimes I’d even see her “zone out” on a long bus ride. Not sleeping but somewhere else. She was always the picture of calm, extremely confident, and got it all done.
A BILLION DOLLARS FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
The US mediation industry is now worth over a billion dollars, and mindfulness is one of the fastest growing trends in America, with about 15% of people putting it into practice. That’s a lot of money for something that is often regarded as fake or just trendy.
WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS?
Meditation is a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness. It is also like a repetitive exercise of the mind to learn to focus. Its purpose is to help you deal with overwhelming negative emotions such as anxiety or stress. It also helps us create space to approach our problems differently. Multiple scientific studies support the value of meditation in both your professional and personal life; and if you still think it’s just too “New Agey” for you to give it a try, reconsider when you analyze the mounting research and scientific data that meditation is the real deal.
What Meditation can bring to your life:
Happiness and fulfillment
Eases the stress and anxiety both in your personal and professional life
Clears your mind
Increases the ability to avoid distraction, so you can focus. This is especially useful for important conversations like meetings or intense family interactions.
Unlocks creativity so you can not only get a project completed, but it also provides a way to approach problems in new ways.
Daily practice helps with long term memory (the hippocampus). Yes, this is the part where Alzheimer’s likes to settle in and create chaos. Meditation sharpens the ability to deal with the daily grind of the details of business and provides protection from cognitive decline. Two fantastic gains!
Reduces insomnia by 50%.
The above is just the tipping point of what meditation can bring to your life. One of the remarkable things about meditation is that it seems to give each person what they need. A real one-size-fits-one approach. Today, more health care professionals are prescribing Meditation Apps, in lieu of writing a prescription of pills to treat stress and anxiety ailments. The top five reasons people meditate are: general wellness, improving energy, memory and focus, anxiety alleviation, and stress relief. I think both our professional and personal lives would benefit from getting a handle on those reasons.
One caveat…meditation takes time and consistent practice to fully reap the benefits of this readily available and free resource that any of us can access…anywhere and anytime in our lives. Age Well.
Written by: Jacqui Clark
Article Originally Published at: CLICK HERE.
Jacqui Clark is a Certified Senior Advisor™ (CSA™), consultant with Living Coastal Senior Resources, and co-founder of Aging Well Partners. She is an industry leading living-and-aging well expert, and a respected communications specialist. She’s lived in San Diego for 35 years, much of that in Carlsbad where she and her husband live with their two daughters. Find Jacqui at www.agingwellpartners.com