Meditation for Resilience
Work Well Being Associate Chris Hardy outlines the benefits of meditation and shares a short guided practice, designed to bring us back into our body and slow down and destress in the moment.
If you only learn one resilience technique, learn this one.
We hear a lot about mindfulness and meditation today, but what exactly does it mean and how can it help?
Mindfulness is a kind of meditation practice where you place your attention onto certain aspects of your immediate experience.
For example, to become mindful of your breath simply means to place your attention on it; listen to it, to feel it, to be aware of its length and depth, and of how your body moves as you breath.
It may seem simple, but being aware of your breath throughout the day could be your core resilience-building practice and could, if done well, transform your life.
Here is why: When we feel stressed or overwhelmed our body triggers a physical and chemical response. Adrenaline and cortisol are released, our body become tense, breath is shortened, muscles are charged with glucose, we become hyper-vigilant and focus is sharpened. In short, we’re ready to either fight or flight.
When we lived on the savannas of Africa this was a valid response that saved our lives. When we receive a difficult email... well, we might understandably feel frustrated or nervous, but the full- blown stress response is not completely necessary.
In these moments of stress - when we receive challenging news, or we’re put on the spot, or we feel overwhelmed - we can turn to our breath, breathing in deeply through the nose, and out through the mouth.
Breathing deeply with an extended exhalation stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system. This part of your system is responsible for rest, relaxation, digestion and cell rejuvenation. It’s the opposite end of the spectrum to the stress response and it naturally calms and restores balance to the mind.
You also give yourself a pause, a moment to compose yourself before responding. Victor Frankle, author of ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ wrote that:
``Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Interested to explore further?
Try this guided meditation with Chris which is designed to bring us back into our body and slow down and destress in the moment. You can call upon it at anytime during the day, perhaps at the start of your day before launching into work mode, or to unplug on your ride home.
Let go of stress, and feelings of overwhelm and anxiety and call in calmness.