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KEY POINTS:

1. Meditation has direct benefits on both the structure and function of the brain.

2. Meditating for as little as eight weeks can actually increase the grey matter in the parts of the brain responsible for emotional regulation and learning.

3. Regular meditation helps to change the responses of a region of the brain called the amygdala, leading to better emotional control both during the meditation and in the hours that followed. 

4. Other research has shown that mediation improves mood, stress, your hormone levels, and can reduce anxiety, pain, and depression.

By Dr. Greg Wells

Most of the elite performers that I have had the privilege to work with over the last few years have a meditation practice. I have just started and am about six months into my journey of consistent meditation. The practice has helped me to decrease stress, increase calmness, speed recovery and think more clearly. I really notice the difference between days when I meditate in the morning compared to those days when I miss my practice.

Consistent meditation can change your brain for the better. Recent research at Harvard has shown that meditating for as little as eight weeks can actually increase the grey matter in the parts of the brain responsible for emotional regulation and learning. My own experience has shown that meditation is essential for learning how to manage and to sharpen my mind. It is an essential practice for anyone looking to live a world-class life – at work, home and in personal hobbies and activities. 

New research has demonstrated that regular meditation helps to change the responses of a region of the brain called the amygdala to environmental events. Overall, these changes result in better emotional control, both during the meditation and in the hours that follow. This was the first study that showed that meditation has residual effects on mood and emotion that last after the meditation session ends.

Other research has shown that mediation improves mood, stress, and hormone levels and can reduce anxiety, pain, and depression. It is an incredible tool that will make a huge difference in your life.

Take a moment to think about your work environment – its challenges and satisfactions – and your life off shift. When and where do you find your mood darkening? What are your greatest sources of stress? Remember that this whole program is about improving your health and wellbeing overall. You may think, my work is fine, I really want to improve things at home. And that’s fine – it’s a good area of focus. But what we’ve learned about the brain is that stress from one area enters into and creates more stress in others. Our experiences are whole and connected.

So I would urge you to consider your life in all of its aspects. Yes, meditation will improve work performance and satisfaction – not just to be a “good employee” but so that your wellbeing grows in all aspects of your life!

Today's POWER-UP: The One Minute Body Scan

Eventually, if you practice, the relaxation response and mind clarity becomes almost automatic. Here’s how it works. 

1. Start with one minute a day. Try “body scanning,” which involves focusing your mind and energy on each section of the body from head to toe.

2. As you direct your focus to each body part, notice any tension and use your breathing to relax that area and let the tension go.

3. Focus on your breathing and let your thoughts come and go without judgement.

4. Make this a habit and you might even be able to change the way your brain controls emotions and learning by relaxing your body and setting the stage for brilliance!

 

The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist Sky Regional employees with improving their general health. It is not intended and should not be used in place of advice from your own physician or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. Sky Regional is not responsible for the content of this program which has been specially developed and is being provided to you by the Wells Group Inc., in consultation with Sky Regional. By participating in this program you acknowledge that undertaking any new health, diet and/or exercise regime involves certain inherent risks, that you assume such risks, and that you release Sky Regional and the Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.