Have you thought about meditation as a family or as a team ?
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More creative and productive teams, calmer children, clearer thoughts… the arguments in favour of meditation abound. Everyone is talking about it: “What about you? When do you meditate?”, “My complexion is clearer since I started meditating, don’t you think?”… But what should we really expect from meditation? Coorganiz set off to investigate to find out whether we should urgently add “meditation” to the shared family or team timetable every morning.
What exactly are we talking about?
We are talking about focusing for a given period of time on an object of observation that can be internal or external. That is meditation in a nutshell.
The object on which you can concentrate varies: a philosophical notion, your breathing, a flame or certain parts of the body… but it is always about an extended period of focus.
Fully conscious or transcendental?
“You have chosen mindfulness, right?” Smile in a relaxed way and read this little explanation rapidly. Among all the branches of meditation, three major types stand out:
Fully conscious: focusing effortlessly on an object or an action (walking or breathing calmly for example), letting your thought slip away and always returning to the present moment.
This branch is most common these days, and mindfulness is part of it.
Philosophical meditation: focusing on a thought or an enigma (Koan in Japanese if you are ready for zen) to develop one’s thought processes.
Transcendental meditation: focusing on an internal state to attain spiritual or religious development. In yoga meditation, this soothes the mind’s agitation to reach a state of contemplation. All the traditional religions have also developed some form of spiritual meditation. There’s nothing new about meditation as a concept.
What good does it do?
The good news is that whatever type of meditation you choose, your brain is going to love this moment of concentration.
Many scientific studies have been conducted into the effects of meditation.
They all agree that there is a recognisable improvement in certain cognitive and brain functions. Concentration, creativity… and even an improvement in the brain’s flexibility.
In the same way, meditation allows us to find inner resources to help fight against anxiety and depression. The effects of meditation on psychological stress are well-known.
“I think that we meditate not to find more, but to find less: less stress, less insomnia, less agitation,” says Emily who has been meditating for quite a few years.
On the other hand, current studies do not demonstrate that meditation has any effect on our pro-social behaviour, in other words, towards others. Compassion, aggression, social interaction… we don’t behave differently towards others whether we meditate or not. Your co-workers or family members will be less stressed individually, and undoubtedly more productive. However, there will be no miracle of chemistry within the group… although if everyone is feeling calmer then the day will be more serene!
Me, myself and I… and it’s a good thing!
Meditation can help you to reduce your stress levels and improve your intellectual availability. It is also a positive habit to devote time to your personal mental wellbeing every day. A simple walk in the forest or some time on the yoga mat – there is no good or bad way to meditate. It is an easy practice that is individual and costs nothing: how modern is that!
For those who want to find out more and who have already issued a “meditation” reminder to their entire family or team using Coorganiz, here are a few links to take things further.
The best meditation app is Headspace.
Meditation workshops are growing in number – go along with an open mind and choose the one that is the best fit for you!