In fact, it’s the one thing that has made me more of a man than anything else. The original reason i actually got into meditation had nothing to do with ‘finding myself’ or a spiritual quest for enlightenment (which by the way are in no means soft endeavours. They are just often seen as so from a male's perspective). I remember I read an article in the Harvard Business Review where they did a study on those that meditate regularly and found that they were generally more productive and successful in their lives compared to those that didn’t.
Being in my mid-twenties and quite career focused I thought I’d give it a go. Surely enough, it did help me with my work. I was able to concentrate for longer, was more confident in my decisions and had a greater level of empathy, which certainly helped in those long and sometimes unnecessary boardroom meetings.
But don’t just take my word for it, here’s some further findings that may shift your opinion around meditation.
Business school INSEAD ran a series of studies monitoring the difference in the decision making of professionals that meditated and those that didn't. It concluded that those that did, made better and more profitable decisions. Particularly when it came to increasing resistance to ‘sunk cost bias’. This is when you persist with a bad decision because you're nervous about losing more time or money. For example, you might keep marketing a new product, even after it’s clearly not a hit just because the thought of losing all the effort you invested in getting it to market makes you feel a bit sick.
Another study published in the International Journal of Cognitive Science showed how regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, which leads to a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex and reinforces memory capacity.
Now let’s shift things to outside of the office, because there’s certainly more to be a man than how much you get done and how much money you bring home.
Meditation can help you in the gym. A four month study done with a group of bodybuilding males where they meditated for 10-minutes after their workout showed it lowered their cortisol levels and increased their GH (Growth Hormone) levels.
Lastly, it can help you be a better husband/partner. I’m confident that most of us know that meditation can help reduce stress and I think it’s also safe to save that our partners are the often the ones that cop the brunt of the build up of this.
Therefore, rather than ‘letting it out’ on our loved ones, mediation can serve as the channel to direct our stress through.
So maybe next time you go to write-off meditation as something ‘not for me’, think about the above points and how it might be time to put that excuse aside, give it a go and step into the man you know you can be.