Some may have read last week about a study of 30 000 Australian workers that was conducted over the past decade, which has found that alarming numbers are suffering from high stress and poor health. According to the Workplace Health Association of Australia, 65% of workers have moderate-high stress levels and a staggering 41% are so stressed that they are ‘at-risk’ of psychological harm. Not to mention that 60.5% of workers were overweight or obese, 12% with high blood pressure and 23.8% with high cholesterol.
How did we get here? The majority of us aren’t born with this sort of poor health. For the most part, it seems as though we’ve worked very, very hard to acquire it. Yet, it’s probably not one of our life achievements we can be so proud of!
The most widely propagated solution to these staggering findings is along the lines of: do more exercise, eat healthier, and/or go to bed earlier. Whilst I agree that this is an essential part of a healthy life, in my experience, it’s not a complete solution. I can remember back to a time where on the surface it seemed I myself was extremely ‘healthy’. I was exercising often, sleeping 8 hours a night, eating clean, and socialising regularly. Yet I was still experiencing anxiety, chronic nightmares and eventually glandular fever. My mind was in a constant state of arousal and it was having detrimental effects on my body.
It was only once I discovered the benefits of meditation that I finally began to feel as though I had a complete set of tools for living a truly happy and healthy life in an otherwise hectic society. This is partly because meditation has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, triggering a relaxation response that is the polar opposite of the physiological ‘fight or flight’ response associated with stress. What’s more, through meditation, I developed a greater sense of mental clarity. This allowed me to more effortlessly make the healthy lifestyle choices that had previously been presented as challenges.
At Centred Meditation, we help urban professionals experience a greater sense of confidence, clarity and calm. For further information on the benefits of meditation, click here.