Will meditation kill our people’s edge? Actually, the opposite is true.
For most of my corporate career, I operated under this motto ‘The price of security is biting off more than I can chew, and chew faster.’
I believed the constant planning, scheduling and endless ‘to-do-lists’ was the only way to get ahead.
I still firmly believe success requires vigilance and diligence.
However, now I realise I’m not going to master the rest of my life in one day. I just need to master the day. Then keep doing that everyday.
Mindfulness helps us become more focused and less reactive. There is a reason why mindfulness and meditation is being adopted by marines, leading organisations and athletes.
The practice enables us to become aware that when we are constantly striving and worrying about the future, we make our suffering worse than we need to.
Mindfulness teaches professionals to draw the line between constructive stress and useless worrying.
When we talk about designing a mindful life, we have to assume we have a calm mind. However what happens if we are experiencing stress, burn out and anxiety?
Have you ever had trouble relaxing, breathing or sleeping? How about experiencing tension, rapid heart rates or shallow breathing? Anxiety destroys your confidence, productivity and ability to enjoy life.
I know what it’s like, I’ve been there before when I suffered severe post natal depression.
I tried everything: meditation, yoga, high intensity work- outs, medication, therapy, integrative medicine, journaling, super clean eating, fasting, deep breathing.
What I discovered that helped me the most are these five techniques:
If you want to decrease anxiety, meditation can help. This is backed by sound clinical research that shows after 8 weeks of meditating 20 minutes per day, the amygdala (the area responsible for stress and anxiety) decreases in size. You will notice you are less anxious, reactive and stressed.[i] Day 1 of this program shows you where to start.
Try a calming anxiety meditation, click here.
2. Consistent sleep.
The quality of sleep is really important to overcoming your anxiety. During the month I cured my anxiety, I made consistent sleep one of my highest priorities. Need help with sleeping, I encourage you to reset at our retreat in January 2018 to learn some tools for deep rest.
3. Eliminate stimulants.
Cut the coffee ASAP. Here’s why. The food mood connection is real. There are 4 main neurotransmitters that dictate our lives and our emotional stress response: dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and GABA. Gaba is a calming neurotransmitter - think of it as the breaks for your nervous system. Caffeine depletes GABA and if you are predisposed to anxiety, your engine can get revved up faster than others as you have a lot of natural ‘Get Up & GO.’ If you have a coffee – it is harder to slow down as you may now have a GABA deficiency. Caffeine blocks and inhibits the GABA production. If you love the taste, have a decaf instead or swap to herbal teas.
4. Fix micronutrient deficiencies.
Get your blood tested for micronutrient deficiencies. Have you seen an integrative doctor? If not, I highly recommend investigating this. Integrative doctors are medical school trained general practitioners. They have extended their study in order to integrate all the body systems. Integrative doctors focus on nutrition, gut health and optimizing trace elements because nutrition is the foundation of your health. Integrative doctors can use prescription medicine, but if there is an alternative, the natural option is often preferred.
5. Get professional help.
This is the most important step. If your anxiety is taking control of your life, you need to speak to your general practitioner who specializes in mental health. They will work with you to create a plan of how to move forward. Whether that is engaging with a clinical psychologist or introducing a psychiatrist for medication.
Most people who suffer anxiety are usually people pleasers. So, put yourself first, introduce a few of these things on this list, and enjoy the way life was meant to be.
Does your organisation view your people’s psychologically wellbeing as important?
If you would like to discuss Mindfulness programs to give your people some practical coping tools to decrease stress, and improve focus, memory, and productivity.
[i] Davidson R.J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schmacher, J. Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S.F., et al. (2003), ‘Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation’, Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, pp. 564-70.