Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why a Number of Executives Are Turning to Meditation

Billionaires like Paul Tudor Jones, Ray Dalio, and Daniel Loeb start their days by sitting on a meditation cushion. In fact, a number of the most successful executives on Wall Street and beyond have embraced meditation. Ray Dalio, who has practiced meditation for more than 40 years, attributes much of his success to the discipline. Just as exercise trains his body, he explains, meditation trains his mind and prepares him to make the best business decisions possible.

Bloomberg reports that meditation classes at Goldman Sachs have waiting lists with hundreds of names. Today, many budding business professionals see meditation as a competitive edge that is integral to their future success.

Much of meditation’s popularity derives from recent studies published on how meditation actually affects the brain and body. A study from the
International College in Thailand released this year showed that people who meditate better cope with job-related stress and experience lower rates of burnout. Similarly, a study from the University of Amsterdam connected meditation practice to improved creative performance and greater attention to detail.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Growing Role of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports Medicine

In recent years, mindfulness meditation and its role in physical fitness has become a hot topic among sports medicine experts. Living in the present remains a critical aspect of an athlete’s focus and peak performance. Since meditation develops this skill, an increasing number of athletes are discovering the benefits of this practice.

A study recently appeared in Psychological Science that demonstrated the efficacy of 15 minutes of focused breathing and meditation in helping athletes make better choices while performing.

Beyond the sports field, meditation may even help individuals exercise more effectively. Athletes and non-athletes alike often avoid exercise because they feel that it is boring. By learning how to focus on the present, exercisers gain the ability to overcome boredom and pay closer attention to their bodies as they exercise.

Jessica Matthews, a fitness consultant to the American Council on Exercise, has explained how exercise may reduce stress, but finding time to work out can actually increase stress. Meditation helps people focus on the present and increase productivity. Instead of wasting time planning for the future or remembering the past, individuals can concentrate on the task at hand and more effectively manage time. As a result, meditation may help individuals exercise more regularly and effectively.