It’s no surprise that meditation has been around a very long time, because with the power to think came downsides: such as negative thinking and worrying or even obsessing.
Meditation is at least 3500 years old and the earliest records of it come from Hindu philosophy and religion – where it was used as a tool to use on the path to ‘spiritual enlightenment’. Around the time of Christ a Jewish philosopher, called Philo of Alexandria, referred to the value of ‘spiritual exercises’ involving attention and concentration.
Fast-forward 2000 years and meditation is still growing in popularity – and in usefulness. During Australian Mental Health week, which ended on Saturday October 14, Mr Meditate ran free meditation sessions in Melbourne workplaces to help spread awareness about the benefits of the practice.
“We facilitated to recruiters, lawyers, design companies and more. But having good mental health should not be restricted to Mental Health Week,” says Mr Meditate Founder Tomas Jajesnica.
“We need to ask ourselves ‘what am I doing for the other 51 weeks a year?’
“Our message is: find a way to meditate and just do it; even three 10 minute sessions a week will help you maintain emotional and physical benefits.”
Sound great but what benefits?
Most people have heard meditation, sometimes labelled ‘mindfulness’, is about calming the mind and observing our thoughts with some distance – so we don’t get caught up in them and keep repeating unhelpful patterns.
Research has also shown dozens of benefits, especially reducing the severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms, plus improving the quality of sleep and helping to relieve chronic pain.
“Meditation does those things. But there’s even more to it than that,” says Tomas Jajesnica, founder of Mr Meditate.
“In fact, meditation is a ‘meta-skill’, a skill we can use to improve other skills.”
Firstly, yes, that’s a big call. But think about it for a moment: a skill to improve other skills; sounds more practical than chasing spiritual enlightenment doesn’t it?
How meditation improves other skills
So let’s say you or employees struggle giving presentations, or it’s about giving the best account of onself in important group meetings. How might meditation help?
A regular meditation practice – ideally at least three times a week – helps people to fully understand that any negative thoughts they have about what might happen in presentations or in meeting are just thoughts; they are not predictions of what is to come. So barriers to expressing ourselves successfully fall away.
Furthermore, with a calm, clear and focused mind, people are able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and from there, identify what specific improvements are needed through formal training.
So instead of fumbling through meetings and presentations by doing too much research and nervously mumbling or speaking loudly in the hope that might work, meditation puts us in a mindset to methodically lift our game and realise our potential.
To book a session with Mr Meditate, contact us here. Mr Meditate has a range of options from 30 minute workshops to immersion training which can be delivered to staff or management in workplaces.