The Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness for Men
There has been quite a buzz and a lot of research on the numerous benefits that accompany the activities of meditation and mindfulness. It is often dismissed as a feminine practice. However, there is a lot of evidence demonstrating that meditation and mindfulness also significantly benefit men.
Meditation and mindfulness have been a prominent issue across the globe. It is no surprise that even major corporations such as Nike and Apple, as well as numerous athletes and businessmen, are highlighting the need for incorporating it in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, what most individuals don’t know is that it goes beyond just typical fitness. Mindfulness and meditation activities can effectively enhance your overall mental well-being, reduce stress, promote better performance, and much more! Read some of these benefits below:
1. Creates awareness and a better understanding of your emotions:
For men, in particular, emotion is a relatively tricky topic. Men tend to either find a way of burying the primary cause of various deep-seated emotions or avoid them altogether. Nevertheless, with constant meditation, you can effectively create insight and awareness into better understanding yourself.
If statistics are anything to go by, then meditation is a proven way to boost social behavior and awareness. This was highlighted by a 2012 California University, San Francisco study. According to this study, an 8-week regular meditation practice improved the social behavior and emotional awareness of 82 teachers aged between 25 years and 60 years.
In essence, most of our pent up anger originates from feeling ‘unresolved’ or ‘stuck.’ Unfortunately, this is a case that can date as far back as during childhood. With meditation though, you can begin to uncover as well as delve deeper into several of these ‘stuck’ emotions.
By eventually confronting these emotions, you can establish mindfulness and awareness. This opens up a space between these emotions and how they tend to control you. With time, you begin to perceive them as they subsequently come up. However, your reaction to them will be somewhat different from how you are generally accustomed to. In the end, you can effectively break free from several of your habitual patterns which should not otherwise control us.
2. Reduces Workplace-related Anxiety and Stress:
In a recent survey carried out in the US, 40 % and 50 % of women and men respectively outline that their primary reason for stress is work. For most men, the idea of being responsible for income security as well as supporting a family is quite a challenge. This leads to stress in addition to secondary issues such as fatigue, short temper, worry, and insomnia.
In another EssayOnTime article on the benefits of meditation, practicing meditation regularly can aid in relieving underlying anxiety and stress. Meditation triggers the body’s anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) that facilitates decision making and attention allocation. This subsequently alleviates stress levels.
3. Eases Social Comparison-related pressure:
Undeniably, you are familiar with most social media accounts, mainly Facebook and Instagram. If so, then you inevitably have an idea of how social comparison may negatively affect a person’s self-esteem. This is a factor that is usually associated with depression and anxiety.
In particular, this is a significant issue for men who ideally recognize themselves as independent and providers. Usually, men can succumb to the intense pressure of being successful both financially as well as in their jobs. More often than not, it is quite easy to find individuals comparing themselves to their colleagues and friends.
Individuals compare with regards to how they live or are subsequently doing. The pressure can get even worse when you view the social media pages of other individuals. We tend to compare how we live to other individuals’ photos of travel, vacations, kids, and so much more. Some may feel that these individuals are either happier or more successful than themselves. If so, it is common to harbor feelings of insufficiency or jealousy.
Nevertheless, by practicing meditation and mindfulness, you can overcome these feelings. It helps you live and appreciate the present and subsequently focus on the values that matter most to you. In fact, the findings on a Wisconsin-Madison University study indicates that meditation triggers the sections of our brains that are responsible for compassion. This consequently makes the meditation practitioner both more considerate and relatively less susceptible to typical adverse effects associated with social comparisons.
How to Start Meditation and Mindfulness
If meditation and mindfulness sound like something you should try, there a few steps you need to take to ensure it progresses smoothly and gives you the desired results. Generally, your first move should be to define your objective for starting meditation. Afterward, it is essential that you start slow, subsequently building gradually from there.
- Define your objectives: Similar to any other new endeavor you would want to start, it is vital that you set realistic targets that you can effectively follow through. These intentions can range from meditating to control your anxiety, sleep better, and control your stress among many others.
- Create a schedule: After setting your intentions, the next thing is to create an appropriate program that suits your routine and strictly adhere to it. The trick here is to start small and eventually establish your practice gradually. With your schedule in place, ensure that you strive to commit to precise times and days as often as you can. Finally, avoid pushing or canceling your meditation sessions as much as possible.
In all sincerity, men are not really fascinated by meditation and mindfulness. Traditionally, meditation and mindfulness were perceived as a feminine activity and one which exposes men’s vulnerability by asking them to open up about their feelings. However, the trend has changed. More men are beginning to realize the numerous perks associated with incorporating mindfulness and meditation into their everyday lives. These benefits should be adequate to convince you to give it a try.
Guest Writer Bio
Sandra Larson is a renowned freelance writer and journalist. She enjoys writing and helps students to write academic papers. Sandra also likes to share personal experience, researches, and thoughts.