Meditation, once considered “flaky” or for the eccentric, is now a growing practice. Increased numbers of people are coming to appreciate the health benefits meditation brings. Many influential leaders credit meditation for their success. Meditation can help counterbalance everyday stresses and provide insight into problem solving because it heightens our emotional awareness.
Meditation and the Secret to Success
Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, says that “Meditation, more than any other factor, has been the secret to whatever success I’ve had.” He believes that meditation has transformed the corporate culture at Bridgewater and has helped his employees adopt an attitude of calm level-headedness, promoting productive dialogue without emotional responses.
Dalio is not alone in his beliefs. A Huffington Post article from 2013 lists influential leaders who also say that meditation has helped them achieve a high level of success. Among those listed were Ford Motor Company chairman Bill Ford, former Google.org director Larry Brilliant, and Oprah Winfrey.
Competitive and forward-thinking organizations understand the massive pressure faced by their employees on all levels — from their top executives on down. Overcoming difficult challenges often takes more than traditional corporate meetings. And when it comes to transforming organizations, creativity and critical thought, both outcomes of meditation, are in high demand.
Organizations want their employees to strive for compassion and empathy in dealing with their customers as well as having leaders who have the courage to lead and live by example. “Mindful leaders" frequently seek the effects of focus, clarity, creativity, compassion, and courage.
Benefits of Meditation
A 2012 study on meditation published by the American Psychological Association concluded that Meditation had relatively strong effects in reducing anxiety, negative emotions, and trait anxiety while aiding learning, memory, and self-realization.
Benefits of meditation include:
- Increases immune function (See here and here)
- Increases “grey matter” density
- Increases positive emotion (here and here)
- Decreases depression (see here)
- Decreases anxiety (see here and here and here)
- Decreases stress (see here and here)
- Increased Energy
- Better Listening Skills
- Tapping in knowledge and understanding how to use intuition
- Clarity and Focus
10 Apps to Help You Meditate
1. Meditation Studio – Offers guided meditations and a starting course for beginners.
2. Calm - Often topping lists of best apps for anxiety, Calm help users sleep better, live better and just generally be calmer.
3. Headspace - This app challenges the way people think about meditation by making it like a workout for your brain, where you can easily visualize your progress. Start the free trial here.
4. The Mindfulness App - Highly rated (and free) in the App Store, The Mindfulness App contains a library of silent and guided meditations and is especially helpful for beginners and a simple layout to make it easy to find the right one for you.
5. Anti-Stress Quotes -While meditation can be helpful, sometimes you just need someone to tell you that everything will be okay. These quotes will help you refresh and relax and find a new mantra for your day.
6. Buddhify- Buddhify is great for those who are ready to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their entire day, with meditations that target every aspect of your life, from sleeping, to traveling, to being online.
7. MINDBODY Connect – This gives you the ability to find the fitness and health services that are right for you. You can read reviews and book appointments right on the app.
8. Meditation Timer Pro - With Meditation Timer Pro, you can meditate in whatever manner you prefer, for as long as you like. It features default sessions as well as sessions that you can customize as your own. Each session includes prep time, intervals, and a cool down, with the ability to choose different sounds for each section.
9. Omvana - Omvana gives you access to many meditation sounds, music, and guided sessions with meditation experts. Focus options include: mindfulness, stress, relaxation, sleep, and more. You can choose the length of each meditation session, from three minutes to an hour.
10. Sattva - Sattva is an advanced meditation timer that tracks your progress. This app features challenges and rewards to help encourage you, and features guided meditations and chants, as well as a heart rate monitor, mood tracker, and statistics feature.
By spring, I hope to be certified as a teacher of meditation and I look forward to bringing you additional insight and research on the benefits of meditation. I sense a great journey ahead!
Over to you:
Do you meditate? Have you found that it has made a difference to you?
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]