Why meditation isn’t woo woo

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Tim Ferris in his book ‘Tools of Titans’ interviewed people at the top of their game from all sorts of professions, from top investors to ex-Navy Seals and 80% of them had the same one thing in common. They each had some kind of meditation practice.

I resisted meditation for a long time because I had the wrong perception of it, and I couldn’t see how I would benefit from it. When I started meditating, I was genuinely shocked by the impact that it had on my mood, focus and general outlook on life.

Here is an extract from Limitless:

In my twenties and early thirties, there would be no way in the world you would ever get me to meditate. Absolutely no way. Meditation was for hippies and yogis and not for me. It is funny how many people have an unfavourable view of meditation; they imagine somebody sat cross-legged on the top of a hill, next to a monk or a beautiful person. However, most people are either sitting in bed in the morning or on their favourite seat just having a quiet moment.

I love the moment when I introduce the concept of meditation to a client. I see their facial expressions change, and they start to shift around uncomfortably in their chair. When I ask them if they would like to ‘try meditation’, they never say ‘no’, it’s nearly always a cautious ‘yes’. Most of the time, in the next session, they explain how they really enjoyed the experience of meditation and how it has positively impacted their mood that day’.

These studies used Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalography (EEG) technologies to explain how meditation works:

  • A review published in 2015 confirmed that meditation has a positive impact on your neurotransmitters, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters directly regulate your mood, behaviour and anxiety.
  • A study published in 2016 showed a significant reduction in cortisol levels after twenty-one days of meditation. Higher cortisol levels are an indicator of stress.
  • Two studies published in 2014 and 2018 found that yoga and meditation significantly raised Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), also known as the ‘longevity molecule’, and Growth Hormone, also known as the ‘fountain of youth’.
  • A study published in 1995 found that the effects of mood and running are similar because both activities produce endorphins.

Give meditation a try…

A good place to start is with Headspace, you can download the app and try it for free for 30 days. And remember – take things slowly at first. After all, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.

Headspace on iOS

Headspace on Google Play

About Nick

Nick Powell is the founder of Stronger Self and he works with entrepreneurs and senior leaders to enable them to take their personal and professional performance to the next level.

Nick’s approach uses cutting edge tools and techniques from the worlds of biohacking, productivity, anti-aging and neuroscience; harnessing the exciting intersection between biology and technology.

Nick has developed his Peak Performance Coaching Programmes to enable his clients to deliver extraordinary results across all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

He runs his Coaching sessions face to face in London & Surrey and across the World via Zoom.

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