Fact: most men do not meditate. Also fact: a lot of successful men do. Studies show that when it comes to slowing down and being more mindful, we big men are lagging behind our female counterparts.
On the flip side, successful big men like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attribute a lot of their success to regularly meditating.
We get it. Life is stressful.
Like no other time in recent history have we had more pressures in our normal lives. We’re working from home, schooling at home, the gyms are closed and we can’t travel. A recipe for stress if ever there was one.
So how do we big blokes ensure we don’t let the strains of the day overcome us? How do we avoid acting like Mr Grumpy toward our nearest and dearest?
As men we get taught from an early age that it is our job to withstand the slings and arrows of life without breaking. Without complaint. Without externalising our emotions.
As big men we love nothing more than the finer things in life like great food or beers with mates as a way to unwind after a hectic week at work. Yet these things only release the pressure valve so much. And if we overdo it we could wake up feeling even worse off (hello hangover!).
How might we big men get in touch with our inner selves so as to not let the pressure build up in the first place?
Meditation is a way to get the best out of yourself
This is where regular meditation comes in.
You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t have time to sit for hours and hours like an inanimate object until you transcend these earthly bonds to reach Nirvana.
Meditation need not be so arduous. We are trying to slow down and relax after all.
You can meditate whilst walking or running. You can even find your inner peace whilst lying down. Just try not to go to sleep. Being unconscious is the antithesis of meditation. Meditation is about mindful awareness of our thoughts and problems without judgment. It’s not about zoning out.
The best bit of advice for us big blokes is to find ourselves a silent space and a comfortable chair to sit in to begin our meditation practice. Make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing. Sit up straight and maintain your posture. If doing so feels uncomfortable at first, stay with it. The goal is to transcend our exterior physical world and journey inward. Holding yourself still and upright will eventually feel unforced.
The benefits of mediation are manifold. Suffice it to say that for us big blokes, meditation is a great way to administer a bit of self-care and take a proactive approach to our wellbeing so that we don’t get to the point of burnout. This is important for us big men because society tends to assume that just because we hold extra physical significance we are always meant to be happy-go-lucky.
The truth about mindfulness
Now that we bigger blokes are meditating (just like the great Chicago Bulls did during their unprecedented run of NBA championships in the Michael Jordan era) we have a much better chance of awakening the champion within. Practicing mindfulness not only means we get to de-stress our lives, it also means we get to become better versions of ourselves.
There exists a common misconception that practicing mindfulness is unmanly.
Much to the contrary, the origins of mindfulness are thought to stem from when we men existed as hunters in history. Indeed, we relied upon our focused attention and calmness in the past to watch quietly until some prey happened by.
In today’s world, being mindful by attuning our mental focus to the thoughts and feelings we are experiencing within a given moment means not letting situations get the better of us. It means accepting these sensations for what they are without analysing or judging. It means fixing our awareness and taking control of our reactions. Being more mindful is a sure fire recipe for us big men to experience success in matters both of a professional and personal nature, no doubt.
The next time you are feeling your emotions rising take your time and just breathe. Relax. Take charge of your attention and focus and release your inner Buddha. Now, repeat after me: Ommmmmmmmmmmmm!
By Anthony Cheadle