The Upwardly Mobile Professional
High flying careers, social get-togethers, tight deadlines, and ever-increasing business targets are some indicators that define an upwardly mobile corporate manager. Success is defined by the money one makes and the ever-growing aspiration to keep pace with the demands put in by shareholders, investors,etc only adds pressure on the individual. This pressure eventually leads to fatigue, burn out, and shows up as health disorders such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and so on.This is a typical mid-life problem and people generally turn to meditation, spirituality, physical fitness at this stage.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a method or technique to focus on a certain thought, object, or bodily activity such as breathing. Meditation has been practised in different religions over thousands of years primarily as a route to enlightenment and self-realization. It is also perceived to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Of course, the straitjacketed researchers from the mainstream medical fraternity are yet to fully acknowledge the health benefits of meditation.
People meditate for a wide variety of reasons but the most commonly cited reason is one of self-awareness, to seek a deeper meaning to life and find out one’s true purpose and goal. Regular meditation can have long-lasting benefits in soothing nerves, managing anger, and controlling emotions
There is no physical proof of recovery that can be shown with the help of an X-ray, a blood test, or a weighing scale. However, research done, by the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness, found an increase in the density of greymatter in the hippocampus, and partsrelated to self-awarenessand introspection. On the other hand, stress reductions could be correlated to a decrease in grey-matter in the amygdala. But much more research is yet to be done in this area to firmly conclude physiological changes in the brain. Currently, at best, the people around may start noticing a gradual change in behaviour that may be correlated with evidence such as better quantity and quality of sleepand better control over impulsive behaviour.
Types Of Meditation
There are different types of meditation and one must select an appropriate method suiting one’s needs and lifestyle. Some of them are listed below:
- Kindness Meditation: This objective of this meditation is to develop empathy towards people and situations. It also invokes a feeling of kindness that allows the person to forgive and forget enmity and move on to pursue better goals in life.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR):An anxiety reduction technique, PMR is useful for treating social anxiety issues. The process involves identifying high tension areas and allowing it to release stress. People suffering from insomnia also find this type of meditation useful to get some badly needed sleep.
- Mindfulness Meditation: This one focuses on the present rather than brooding over the past or empty daydreaming about the future. This awareness technique is knowing how to bridge one’s physical and emotional being to attain inner peace without compromising one’s core goals in life.
- Mantra Meditation: Repeating a set of phrases that may or may not be a holy couplet can help bring a sense of calm and peace. This is also called transcendental meditation when holy lines are recited as per instructions in holy scriptures.
- Yoga: The best of all which serves two purposes. An exercise for the body and relaxation for the mind. This form of meditation helps focus on the task at hand rather than get distracted by irrelevant issues.
- Qi Gong: This is a Chinese method of meditation that helps in controlling breathing, enhancing immunity, and improving focus
- Tai Chi: A kind of gentle exercise through bodily movements that help in stress reduction and in treating health ailments.
Challenges In Meditation
Meditation is a medium to long-term plan to achieve desired objectives and comes with its own set of challenges in executing well and consistently over years. A few challenges are listed below:
- Noise in the Head: While most people believe that distractions at home are impediments to sit quietly and meditate, the highest distraction happens within the head.
- Materialistic Desires: You don’t have to give up your desires if you are meditating. Meditation is only one of the paths to spirituality. But thinking about it all the time will not help the cause and may spoil the plan to meditate with single-minded focus.
- Lethargy & Indiscipline: Meditation needs a push until it becomes a habit. Skipping sessions,a couple of times is enough to derail the plan and let go of the ultimate objective.
- Paralysis by Analysis: This is the most common challenge when a person is unable to decide what will relieve his stress and even if s/he decides on meditation, the next confusion will be the type of meditation. S/he will keep toggling between methods and eventually not follow any with dedication. The entire purpose is then defeated.
- Obsession with Results: Meditation is not medication. It is more like a marathon. Expecting immediate relief from stress or wanting to quickly control anger may not help.
- Boredom: This is a typical problem with people who have been busy with hectic schedules in their corporate jet setting careers. They get a feeling of emptiness when they embark on their journey to relieve stress through meditation. It is a normal feeling though, that needs to be controlled and it will go away with time. Strong willpower is needed to ensure the person does not give up midway.
- Self-Pity: Sympathizing oneself during meditation can be disastrous. This can lead to an emotional outburst, throwing the entire process out of gear. The mind should focus on breathing or any bodily exercise but avoid recollecting bitter experiences.
Meditation helps maintain good health, peace of mind, and lead a better life. However, this is not a quick-fix solution and requires time, dedication, and sustained interest to reap full benefits. Meditation is quintessential for corporate honchos who are swimming against the tide and trying to achieve great heights-at the cost of their health.