Vedic Meditation: An easy way to reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance brain function
It’s a great feeling to meet all the demands in your life with greater poise and skill. There is something so powerful in knowing that you have this little life tool you can roll out any time you need.
Following our recent talk at Network Locum (now Lantum), Will Williams Vedic Meditation have been asked to provide some insights into the numerous ways Vedic Meditation can help medical professionals.
Almost immediately most people notice that the technique provides a deep level of rest. Within 5 minutes, you enter a state of restful awareness that is metabolically on average 33% deeper than the deepest point in sleep. Your brain and body experience huge waves of energy restoration, refreshing you and significantly enhancing resilience and stamina.
Sleep quality also almost immediately improves. We give each individual a sound that is matched to their nervous system. This has a pacifying effect on the autonomic nervous system. For most people, the sympathetic nervous system is overactive, creating problems with initiating sleep, getting into deep phases 3 and 4 of the sleep cycle, or maintaining healthy sleep throughout the night. Within a very short time frame, you notice that the nervous system appears calmer and balanced, leading you to achieve much deeper sleep, with less frequent interruptions. Initiating sleep also becomes easier for those who suffer with this problem.
What’s happening in the brain?
Research has found that the amygdala becomes functionally less active within the first 16 weeks, a trend which continues the more you practise. As a result, stress levels fall to a level that feels much more in keeping with a happy, balanced life.
In correlation with this, the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) becomes functionally more active. Doctors can benefit from an increase in focus, a greater capability to stay calm and clearheaded whilst managing multiple demands and a significant improvement in the ability to prioritise tasks. Dr Chris Smith, who learned with us last year, has been meditating for ten minutes most mornings since the course and has since noticed ‘a definite increase in calmness and productivity.’
Greater activation of the PFC also results in a significant uplift in empathy levels and interpersonal skills. This can play a huge role when liaising with patients and surgery colleagues, as well as with friends and family. More balanced activation between the left and right PFC also helps to balance mood, even in the face of a very demanding workload.
Within 8 weeks, the hippocampus has been demonstrated to grow larger, with a corresponding increase in memory function.
How can Vedic Meditation benefit GP locums?
GP locums will find that your sense of stability comes from within, growing ever stronger with time, so the process of bouncing between surgeries is no longer feels so mentally or emotionally disruptive.
More broadly, there is a widely reported sense of feeling more inspired by work and life. Doctors have reported having more physical, mental and emotional energy when engaging with their partners and children, contributing to stability and harmony at home.
What about Mindfulness?
Vedic meditation really stands with its ease of practise. Mindfulness techniques are reasonably effective, but many people struggle to integrate them into their busy daily lives. We have taught thousands of people who have tried mindfulness and couldn’t make the techniques stick. They find that Vedic Meditation integrates better and seems to deliver quicker results. The President of the Independent Doctors Federation, Dr Peter King-Lewes, comments that the practise ‘feels like surfing a wave all the way to the beach.’
Network Locum (now Lantum)’s Gideon Bullock took the course and says, “after just over a month or meditation I am converted, committed and noticing real change. Vedic Meditation fits perfectly with modern living; it's effective but not time-consuming and something I have recommended to everyone I know, which says it all.”
Gideon has also been kind enough to volunteer to be a point of contact for anyone in the Network who is interested in finding out more about the course. Alternatively, you can come along to one of our free introductory talks anytime.