Why Millennials Are Turning To Meditation For Work-Life Balance
Meditation. I remember the first time I heard a speaker mention it at a conference I attended a few years ago. I immediately thought of every stereotype in the book. It wasn’t until after my friend insisted I try it and I actually took him up on the offer that I soon realized meditation isn’t just for “super spiritual people.” There’s a reason behind why it’s becoming mainstream.
Forty-two percent of millennials have meditated at least once in the past year, while meditation is nearly a $1B industry. So why is it becoming so popular?
The American Psychological Association reports that millennials are the most stressed out generation in history. With so much pressure to perform at work or make an impact on the world we often end the day carrying a heavy load with us.
Mindfulness and awareness, benefits reported from meditation, offer us the ability to resolve stress from the work day before it negatively impacts our life, health and relationships.
Below, check out seven powerful ways meditation can restore a healthier balance to your work and life. According to experts, you can start experiencing these benefits with as little as ten minutes of meditation a day.
1. It reduces your stress levels. Millennials average at a 5.4 out of 10 on the stress scale, while 3.6 is considered healthy. If you suffer from stress overload, you aren’t alone—and fortunately, there’s something you can do about it.
Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says, “People with anxiety have problem dealing with distracting thoughts that have too much power. But you can train yourself to experience those thoughts completely differently. You might think, ‘I’m late, I might lose
my job if I don’t get there on time, and it will be a disaster!’ Mindfulness teaches you to recognize, ‘Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before. But it’s just that—a thought.”
Johns Hopkins University concludes that just 30 minutes of meditation a day can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain.
2. It promotes healthier eating. 41% of millennials say that stress makes them overeat, particularly filling up on junk foods. Besides being a remedy for stress, meditation directly promotes mindfulness around eating and is linked
to weight loss. TIME says mindfulness sharpens a person’s ability to recognize hunger cues and ignore cravings for unhealthy foods.
3. It can help you achieve your
goals. Have you noticed that many of the world’s most successful people meditate? Influential figures like Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Russell Brand, Ellen DeGeneres and Lady Gaga have been public about their meditation practices.
Meditation could equal success because of its link to goal-setting. The Oxford Mindfulness Centre found that after just eight weeks of daily meditating, study participants were able to identify more specific life goals than before, and were more likely to achieve those goals than a control group.
4. It improves your productivity. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a “magic pill” that helped us get more done in a day, with a fraction of the effort? According to science, meditation could be that pill. Studies show that regular meditation supports higher functioning of attention and focus, improved memory recall, and more efficient multitasking, all of which are essential to productivity.
5. It can make you more compassionate. In one study, a team of researchers from Northeastern University and Harvard University found that participants exposed to meditation sessions were 50% more disposed to help a person in distress while others stood by.
6. It can lower your health bill. In the American Journal of Health Promotion,
a five-year study compared the annual physician costs of meditators versus non-meditators. At the end of the study, the meditators reduced their physician costs by a cumulative 70%, as well as showed reduced rates of illness in all disease categories. With the average annual cost for health care at $10,345 per person, meditation could translate to real savings.
7. It can make you happier. Why is it that some people just seem to be “happier people” than others? And is there anything we can do about it? According to scientists, we each have a “set point” of happiness that remains relatively stable throughout our lives. Even after experiencing a significant loss or trauma, our set point eventually returns to normal. But research shows that meditation can increase our set point of happiness—in one study, after just eight weeks of meditating for an hour a day, participants saw an increase in their “set” happiness levels.