• BLOG | MEDITATION: IS IT THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT?

    July 30, 2019 | Andrew Stead
  • Meditation has become more popular than ever over the last 5 years. Forget the 60’s and 70’s when meditating was just for hippies. Forget the 80’s and 90’s, when it was for New Age weirdos.  Nowadays meditation is for everyone, from CEOs to kindergarten children. In the US the number of adults who are meditating regularly rose almost 350% from 2012 to 2017. with 14.2% of adults in 2017 having a regular practice.

    What are the reasons for this massive increase in meditation practices?     

  • 1. Stress Reduction

    21st Century stress and busy-ness has led larger groups of people to find alternative remedies to the illness of the millennia. Being constantly connected has also increased the need to unplug our minds from the tumult of modern society.

  • 2. Meditating became cool

    Many famous people have publicly declared to have a regular meditation practice: Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Madonna, Oprah, Clint Eastwood, Arianna Huffington, Paul McCartney - the list goes on! But what consequence this popularity? The man and woman on the street is considerably more open and curious to try meditation, now that it's no longer a practice just for Buddhist monks!

  • 3. It works!

    The initial obstacle to meditation is starting, cause once you establish a regular practice you’ll recognize the benefits pretty quickly! Not just me saying it, there’s plenty of science to back me up. You’ll be astonished by the results, I promise you!

    Now that it’s clear that our attitude toward meditation and mindfulness has changed, how is this new habit changing our society?

    a. Healthier

    Meditation increases our immune system (Davidson et al., 2003), lowers our blood pressure (Huges et al., 2013) and reduces the risks of strokes and heart diseases (Levine et al., 2017). Take care of your body from the very inside! In the next decade meditation and mindfulness will be part of the regular prescriptions offered by your doctor.

    b. Happier

    It’s a great time to be alive! And the outstanding diffusion of meditation is part of the reason our mental health is slowly getting better. A regular meditation practice increases positive emotions (Davidson et al., 2003) and decreases the big plagues of the modern world: depression (Ramel et al., 2004), anxiety (Arias et al., 2006), and stress (Speca et al., 2000).

    c. Smarter

    A solid meditation routine literally increases grey matter (Luders et al., 2009) as well as the cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention (Lazar et al., 2005). Imagine what our species could achieve if we all used our full potential? This potency, applied for example to medicine or tech research, could increase the quality of our lives exponentially. So, forgetting your smart phone will make you smarter!

    d. More Productive

    Who said that meditation makes you slower? In fact, it serves to boost productivity like nothing else on earth! A steady meditation habit increases our focus & attention (Slagter et al., 2007), improves our ability to multitask (Levy et al., 2011) and increases memory (Zeidan et al., 2010). And if this wasn’t enough to become the best employee ever it also develops your ability to be creative and think outside the box (Baird et al., 2012). No wonder why big companies like Google, Apple, Deutsche Bank and Nike promote meditation and mindfulness in the workplace!

    e. Better Human Connections

    A regular meditation practice will also help you discover your true self. Meditation improves introspection (Sze et al., 2010) and increases brain volume in areas related to emotional regulation, positive emotions & self-control (Luders et al., 2009). So the most extraordinary result of your practice is actually having better friendships and an improved community! Meditation increases social connection and emotional intelligence (Fredrickson et al., 2008), makes you more compassionate and improves your ability to regulate your emotions (Jazaieri et al., 2012).

    Considering these empirical facts makes the case pretty simple. Societies predisposed to meditation will have lower healthcare costs, will create smarter technology to help people work less, and will be more productive and efficient. If this wasn’t enough, the human interactions will reach higher levels of self-awareness and empathy, that could finally lead to a more peaceful reality and a more sustainable society. Just a few of the positive benefits of the 4th Industrial Revolution!

    Question is, are you ready to change society one breath at the time?

    Have one magical, mindful, meditating day,

     

    Andrew