By making meditation a part of their life, men can create external prosperity as well as inner peace. With society placing high expectations of success and prosperity on them, men often undergo extreme stress as they play out the roles of leaders and bread winners.
By Vikas Malkani
From a young age, men are conditioned to be competitive, develop a killer instinct, drive themselves to exhaustion and succeed at all costs. Often this unconscious search for more and more takes away the wealth of peace and happiness, replacing it with the baggage of toxicity and negativity.
There is a way to change this.
The power of meditation
Meditation is an ancient practice, but contrary to popular belief, it is totally non-religious, scientific, and an empowering technique without par—having proven itself for thousands of years, and across all cultures. It leads us to understand the nature of our mind, and master it to create the life and results we desire. With the regular practice of meditation, the mind becomes more focused instead of remaining in a constant state of restlessness. One gains more control in directing the mind to a specific task.
All happiness and unhappiness, pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, arise from the way our mind thinks—and meditation takes us on an inner journey where we can clearly see the workings of our mind, and are able to train it. By bringing out our full potential, meditation allows us to enjoy life to the fullest. It empowers us to celebrate life, in all of its different facets and expressions.
Successful champions in their own fields—Anthony Robbins, Richard Branson, Russell Simmons, Ray Dalio, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Hugh Jackman and Mark Zuckerberg—are all men who have benefited from meditation, in one form or another.
Why men should meditate
A committed meditation practice brings benefits across the physical, emotional and mental levels of our lives. Here are five reasons that recommend why men must make meditation a part of their daily diet.
1) Better health with less stress
Tense muscles, overactive nerves and an overactive mind drain our energy reserves. Once we start meditating, we become more peaceful, less reactive and more stable—all positive states of being that lead to greater efficiency in our life with less stress or friction. Becoming calm also energises you once again. In fact, calmness and vitality are complementary. People who are ‘hyper’ may seem energetic, but they are actually fuelled by nervous energy and end up irritable and mentally exhausted when that wears off. Meditation also counteracts the effects of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol as it increases the production of happy chemicals like endorphins and serotonin.
2) Greater self-understanding
Meditation gives us a safe place to spend quiet time with the thoughts we have. We are able to observe our inner dreams and desires clearly, and any hidden fears and insecurities also come into sharper focus. By observing yourself objectively, without self-judgment, your self-understanding increases. This decreases the unconscious need to enforce external control on people and events.
3) Increased intuition and creativity
Meditation develops focus and the ability to block out distracting events and thoughts. When the mind is calm and focused, intuition and inspiration can be accessed. Meditation creates a relaxed mind that is alert, and this empowers clearer decision-making.
4) Stable emotions
One of the key elements of learning and practicing meditation is that it shows you how you are creating your own emotions, and enables you to develop tools that can change the negative emotions into positive and beneficial ones. Thus meditation brings emotional stability and balance, and this makes you a better husband, father, team leader or life partner. You become more patient and positive as you go through the daily grind of life. Instead of reacting to every situation or result that life brings, you calmly assess it and then make conscious decisions for the desired objectives.
5) Develops whole-brain function
Reports published in the International Journal of Neuroscience claim that higher levels of electroencephalogram (EEG) coherence measured during the practice of meditation are significantly correlated with increased efficiency in learning new concepts, more principled moral reasoning, higher verbal IQ, decreased neuroticism and increased neurological efficiency. With your brain function optimized, your actions become efficient and your results shoot up.
Success through meditation
Studies have shown that the benefits of meditation include a calm mind, stress-release, regulated blood pressure, stable emotions, control of anger and freedom from depression and anxiety. Improved focus and concentration are also a result of regular meditation practice. Additionally, meditation is known to bring about anti-ageing effects in the body and mind.
Meditation is currently being used in almost all sports coaching, including golf, running, weight lifting, cycling, tennis, swimming and the martial arts. By training our mind, we can raise our performance to a higher level of excellence.
For men, meditation is not just good for the health and body, it is also good for business and the bottom line. Having taught meditation and mindfulness to a range of CEO’s, top entrepreneurs, celebrities, psychologists, educators and thousands of individuals keen on maximising their life, I stand by my statement that meditation is the ultimate life management system available to us.
Vikas Malkani is a leading teacher of meditation, a best-selling author and the founder of SoulCentre, Asia’s Premier Centre for Meditation, Mindfulness and Stress Management. To read more and book a session with Vikas, go to www.soulcentre.org
This article was first carried on Yoga Journal Singapore.