Eric Handler headshot Written by: Eric Handler

Are You Minding Your Mind?

Take two executives with identically busy and stressed-to-the-max lives personally and professionally.  Like the rest of us, they’re also constantly bombarded with ads, info and interruptions.

One sports the harried look, pops antacids, paces, and has bulging neck arteries that are difficult to ignore. The other is a fresh-faced pool of calm and cool collectedness who addresses each situation as it comes, and routinely jokes about it all.

What could possibly account for the difference? For about 8 percent of the US population, the difference-maker is some form of meditation.

With mountains of evidence-based research touting its benefits, why aren’t more people getting mindful? We’re talking about better sleep, less anxiety, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduced instances of depression, stroke, diabetes and heart attacks…and the added bonuses of increased clarity of thought and energy for their careers.

Perhaps it’s just too simple and simultaneously not easy. It requires discipline.

Information overload is only going to intensify. Our energy and attention is limited. Meditation (or taking time for quiet reflection) is a way to gain control of your mind and learn to train your attention so that instead of the stimuli controlling and directing you, you are able to choose to direct your thoughts and focus on what you want.

In other words, mind-quieting is a means to be intentionally present to who and what matters most to you.

Additional resource: Click here for an inspirational 6-minute video of Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini and the pathway that led to meditation and yoga for employees.