Don’t worry, I’m not about to bore you with some obnoxiously virtuous account of how meditation transformed my life, but since taking a course in Bondi two years ago and practicing Vedic meditation regularly, there have certainly been some positive changes that are worth talking about. First, my relationship with food and my body has become much more balanced (yo-yo dieting is no longer part of my lifestyle), I don’t experience that mind-altering stress that I used to, I sleep better, and I’m noticeably more focused on my career and professional goals. Laser-focused, in fact.
The emotional and physical effects are a no-brainer—plenty of studies show that that regular meditation can improve your quality of sleep, lower stress levels, slow the aging of your brain, help with addictions, and act as a powerful antidepressant. However, I wasn’t expecting the new practice to have such a profound impact on me professionally.
Searching for some insight, I approached Bondi-based meditation teacher (yep, the same guy who showed me the ropes originally!), Matt Ringrose, to find out the link between meditation and professional success. He explained that regular practice can improve your creativity, make you faster and more clear-headed about making decisions, and encourage you to become more collaborative in the office. Plus, studies show that people who meditate are less likely to get sick, which means you’re automatically more productive.
“Meditation can help by improving your immune system and also by curbing any excessive lifestyle behaviors that may lead to extra time off,” Ringrose explained.
He also added that since I discovered my mantra, I’ve likely been more clear-headed about the goals I really want to achieve, which could have contributed to my professional growth in the past two years. “Meditation helps you to navigate and choose the path which is best for you. It really connects you to your intuition so that you spend less time wondering what you should be doing and more time doing it,” Ringrose said.
One trick that helped me practice regularly is to opt for smaller “micro meditation” sessions throughout the work day, particularly when I’m feeling stressed or losing focus. “Micro meditation is a meditation practice that can be activated quickly, in any situation and that gives immediate, palpable benefits,” Ringrose explained.
To try it at your office (without drawing attention to yourself with closed eyes or crossed legs), Ringrose suggests simply focusing on your senses whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed at work. “When you feel overwhelmed, distracted or uninspired simply come back to your senses. Ask yourself, ‘What can I feel? What can you taste? What can you smell?’ and run through all senses. See if you can hold all five senses in your awareness at once,” he recommended. The effect of all this is supposed to bring you out of your head and its endless speculation and back into the present. Ringrose promises that just a couple of minutes of this effects a shift in consciousness which can support you through your whole working day. And hey, at the end of the day, what have you got to lose?