The mind is based on physiology, and every part of the body can influence our minds. The link between the mind and body is a two-way street, and if leaders want to perform optimally, a healthy mind-body system is required. In today’s busy business environment, leaders often forget about the source of their own vitality and resilience.
Recently, I sat down with Dr. Robert Schneider, Dean of the College of Integrative Medicine at the Maharishi University of Management. Dr. Schneider has taught prevention-oriented natural medicine for over thirty years, and his work has examined the link between Transcendental Meditation® and stress reduction. Needless to say, I was excited to include some of his wisdom in our documentary.
When I spoke with Dr. Schneider, he pointed out that cardiovascular conditions are a leading cause of health care costs and disease in modern society. But fifty years ago, contagious diseases were more prevalent. What caused this change?
Heart attacks, strokes, and other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all tied back to stress. While genetics and lifestyle factors such as diet also play a role, stress seems to be a common theme for cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Schneider offers hope, however, as there are techniques and practices that can decrease your stress levels and also decrease the risk of these conditions.
Leaders who practise Transcendental Meditation have higher levels of brain functioning and physical functioning. They live longer and do better overall.
Dr. Robert Schneider
You may ask yourself, what does this have to do with my leadership skills? The answer is, literally, everything! Your state of mind and your state of stress influences your body dramatically. You can’t be a good leader if your mind and body aren’t
Integrative medicine takes your entire being into account. Instead of just focusing on symptoms, integrative medicine puts your well-being in the center and considers your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
You have to be the one to take the first step. If your leadership skills and personal relationships are suffering because of stress, you can make things better. While an easy, overnight fix isn’t possible, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how small changes can have a profound effect on your life. Your employees, peers, clients, friends and family members deserve the best YOU, and you deserve the
best you, too!
If you take a step back and look at all the different aspects of your life, how much vitality is stress taking away from you? Are you short-tempered and cross, or are you joyful and enthusiastic? Are you creative and innovative, or are you stuck in a rut, doing the same routine? This is your life, and it’s time to take control and lead the kind of life you want. You can be the best you possible, and in turn, the best leader, partner, friend, colleague, or parent.
Nidich, S. I., Rainforth, M. V., Haaga, D. A. F., Hagelin, J., Salerno, J. W., Travis, F., … Schneider, R. H. (2009). A Randomized Controlled Trial on Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Blood Pressure, Psychological Distress, and Coping in Young Adults. American Journal of Hypertension, 22(12), 1326–1331.http://doi.org/10.1038/ajh.2009.184 Rainforth, M. V., Schneider, R. H., Nidich, S. I., Gaylord-King, C., Salerno, J. W., & Anderson, J. W. (2007). Stress Reduction Programs in Patients with Elevated Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.Current Hypertension Reports, 9\(6), 520–528.
Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist and filmmaker. Silvia is the Founder & CEO of the About my Brain Institute, creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology, author of ‘Leadership is Upside Down’ and director of the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’.
Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.