FIFO Focus Director Sandra Lam joins Big Al as part of the REDFM series FIFO Life.
In part 29, Sandra bring in special guest Anthony to talk about the benefits of mediation and how it can help your FIFO life.
Can you apply the benefits of meditation to your FIFO life challenges?
When meditation is mentioned, many of us immediately think of its religious connotation (maybe you’re picturing a yogi sitting in a cave in India right now). However, it’s time we considered whether the benefits of meditation can apply to FIFO workers, and specifically help reduce the impact of stress and improve their mental health.
Benefits of meditation in a busy world
These days, we’re surrounded by constant distractions and stress. From social media and multi-tasking, to the 24-hour media cycle and the demands of jobs and family, it can be tough to find a moment when your mind isn’t dealing with a dozen things at once. In fact, we are being trained to have shorter attention spans by using social media and the internet. A recent report by Microsoft concluded that the average attention span had fallen to eight seconds from twelve seconds, between 2000 and 2016.
Qualified physiotherapist and meditation practitioner Anthony explains that these days, most of us are overdoing daily ‘thinking’ and overloading our brains and energy with thoughts about the past and future. This can in turn flood our mind and stop us functioning at our best, reducing focus and increasing stress. When practiced properly, meditation is technique that can help bring stillness to the mind, resulting in many documented improvement to mind and body health.
What is meditation?
Mediation is really any technique that relaxes your body while focusing the mind at the same time. Balancing physical relaxation with mental alertness can help release stress and increase focus but it does require practice and discipline. Just 20 minutes a day has been show to bring the benefits of meditation to regular practitioners.
Proven benefits of meditation
Many clinical trials have taken place now to define the real benefits of meditation. Over 76 documented benefits of meditation are outlined in this article. A summary of some of the benefits for emotional well-being, brain training and physical health are outlined below.
Meditation for emotional well-being
- Reduce worry, anxiety and impulsiveness
- Reduces fear, stress, loneliness and depression
- Enhances self-esteem and self-acceptance
- Increases resilience to pain and adversity
- Improves optimism, relaxation and awareness
- Helps prevent bad habits like emotional eating and smoking
- Helps develop positive social connections
- Improves your emotional intelligence and mood
Meditation for brain training
- Creates mental strength and focus
- Increases memory retention and recall
- Improves cognitive skills and creative thinking
- Supports better decision making and problem solving
- Increases information processing ability
- Helps you ignore distractions
- Helps manage ADHD
Meditation for body health
- Improved immune system and energy levels
- Improved breathing and heart rate
- Reduced blood pressure
- Lessens heart and brain problems
- May reduce symptoms of a number of other diseases
How to bring the benefits of meditation into your life?
If you are new to meditation, we recommend starting with our simple guided meditation available below. Remember, reaping the benefits of meditation will take practise and focus, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Just meditating for 20 minutes a day can bring benefits within weeks.
Anthony is a qualified Physiotherapist with a background in yoga and meditation. He lived and trained with his teacher in India for 2 years, after which he began teaching Yoga and meditation, 6 years of which he spent in Asia. He is now developing corporate and school programs for improved focus and self-management of stress through simple meditation and breathing techniques. You can contact Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on retreats and workshops.