Technology and meditation practice are not unfamiliar with each other. The meditation industry is worth over $1 billion, and many major companies in Silicon Valley have introduced meditation practices. But how can unplugging for a meditation practice help you plug into tech?
There is a reason why meditation in tech is increasing; meditation’s benefits are not limited to a specific group of people. It can benefit everyone, including those who regularly use technology, from gamers to those spending most of the day on computers for work.
But is it worth unplugging from tech to meditate? The short answer is yes. Read on to learn more about why meditation for techies is so important.
The Rise of Meditation in Tech
Many people experience burnout in their jobs, and it is not different in technology. Studies have found that many employees want to quit their jobs due to excessive stress and exhaustion. A meditation practice can help manage mental health difficulties and stress so that you can plug in with the best mindset.
The benefits of mindfulness and meditation in technology are not lost on technology companies. Many have recognized the importance of promoting meditation practice for employees, such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
Technology and Meditation
The rise of meditation in tech and around the world is why many companies are investing and creating technologies, hoping to find ‘shortcuts’ to enlightenment. There are many meditation apps and other software to help users start a meditation practice.
Studies have also found success with these new developments between technology and meditation. This includes the Sonication Enhanced Mindful Awareness (SEMA) lab at the University of Arizona.
Shinzen Young is a monk and co-director of SEMA who has been meditating for over 50 years. He had one of the most significant meditations he has ever had with the assistance of ultrasound pulses.
But what about the people who are creating these technologies? Are they unplugging to plug in more efficiently?
People in Tech Who Meditate
Some of the biggest and upcoming names in technology also credit their meditation or mindfulness practice as a reason for their success, which is another reason there has been a rise in meditation in tech.
Tristan Harris, one of the interviewees from the film The Social Dilemma, has become co-founder and president of the Center for Humane Technology, which aims to realign technology with humanity. He speaks a lot about how to ‘un-hijack’ your mind from your phone and be in control when you plug into your devices. The center’s approach also includes how to effectively incorporate skills from meditation in tech.
However, it is not just the most influential people in technology but also upcoming names. Rising stars such as Miriam Aguirre and the founders of Airtable speak about meditation when working with technology. The blueprint for success in the technology field is constantly changing, making it essential that leaders can show up mindful, focused, and productive.
Benefits of Tech Meditation Practice
People are spending more time than ever connected to tech, with the average user spending nearly half of their waking life online. For people who work with technology, this percentage can be much higher. Now more than ever, finding ways to unplug unconsciously is essential, and regular meditation practice is the best option.
Improved Cognitive Functioning
(Photo : Ungloo)
Working with technology and gaming requires all your attention. Without a steady focus and concentration, mistakes quickly happen. Concentrating on any task, especially cognitively demanding technology tasks, becomes problematic.
Studies have found that meditation practice increases your attention. For example, one study found that meditation does not only enhance connectivity patterns between specific brain regions, it also can change the whole-brain functional network, helping increase flexibility.
The fact meditation has the potential to promote neuroplasticity means it can improve and maintain cognitive abilities:
- Boost mental training
- Critical thinking
- Making decisions
These are all essential cognitive skills when working in tech. Technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, meaning meditation can help you stay at the forefront. It is no secret that some tech leaders, such as Bill Gates and Jack Dorsey, credit a meditation practice as a reason for their success.
Stay in Control
Many people find themselves mindlessly doing something. You might log on to a social media platform for a specific task, then find that 30 minutes have passed. Harvard researchers found that, on average, people spend nearly half of their time thinking about something other than what they are doing.
When working in tech, you want to stay present and in control. A lot of technology is designed to hold attention, but you want to be in control of it.
In order to not let technology control you, it is important to unplug and re-center. Mindfulness and meditation help you become the observer once more.
Presence equates to better productivity too. You can then plug in fully present, resulting in better efficiency and results.
Support Your Mental Health
Constant stimulation, high stakes, and performance expectations are part of society and the tech world. Chronic exposure can lead to physical and mental health issues, as the stress can manifest itself in your body.
Feeling stressed or anxious is not how you want to plug in, as it removes the enjoyment of working in tech and can cause disruptive effects. It can also lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, impacting daily functioning.
Researchers have reviewed hundreds of studies on meditation practice, finding it is highly effective at reducing mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. They also found practicing meditation helps treat people with addiction and stress-related illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
A meditation practice helps you untangle yourself from thoughts that could be causing stress. It enables you to surrender to the moment, as it triggers the body’s relaxation response, reducing cortisol levels. You can then plug in without cloudy thoughts or in a heightened physical state, leading to poor decision-making.
Even as you’re reading this on a screen, notice how the awareness of your body and surroundings take a back seat. You stay up in your head where circling thoughts abound such as does this article make sense, does it apply to me, should I care, should I really meditate, is this for me, or is this all just a load of crap. So just by taking a moment here to notice your breath, stop reading, take another big slow breath and remember your life is bigger than what’s going on inside your head and what’s going on inside these computers.
(Photo : Ungloo)
Okay. Now that you’ve taken a little time to yourself, let’s talk about sleep. Many of us do not get enough sleep, and studies have found those in tech can lose over a day of sleep per month. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that technology can stimulate the brain before bed. Poor sleep also causes a range of problems, including:
- Reduced immune function
- High blood pressure
- Lower sex drive
- Low mood
- Diminished cognitive functions
Sleep deprivation does not only cause physical and mental health issues, but these issues can impact your daily life and ability to work well. The good news is that a meditation practice before bed can help improve your sleep.
Meditation helps quieten the mind, which is often the cause of insomnia. It allows you to find a relaxed state, which helps you fall asleep and have better sleep quality.
Physical Health Improvements
Working in tech often means you are behind a desk or seated for long periods of time. Meditation practice gives your body the break it needs, so you can be healthy when you plug in. It helps improve your motivation, energy, and strength in various ways:
- Regulates sympathetic and autonomic nervous systems
- Regulates blood pressure and other biological functions
- Prevents obesity
- Reduces pain
- Decreases inflammation
- Boosts immune functioning
Countries like the US are facing a metabolic syndrome epidemic, which increases the risk of various diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. One way to prevent and treat physical health risks is with meditation.
Meditation regulates the hormonal stress response. This reduces strain on your heart, helps you release the tension you are holding in the body, and reduces blood pressure. You become more self-aware of your body too, which can help promote more breaks and actions to look after it.
Consciously unplugging and engaging in practices such as meditation, breathwork, and exercise can also reduce cellular aging to increase longevity. It is also associated with greater telomerase activity and regulation. Telomerase also helps offset cellular aging, slowing down or stopping telomeres as you age.
Plug in and Enjoy Tech More
A meditation practice can help you plug in and enjoy technology more. You will be in the right mindset, with less chance of error, more efficiency, and more productivity, leading to better results. The time away from devices means you can re-center and make more mindful decisions about your technology use.
Meditation in tech continues to grow, but it is essential to know how it can impact you too. Some people criticize tech’s use of mindfulness, which is why it is more important than ever to engage in mindfulness practice and evidence the results. The more leaders in tech who meditate, the better meditation in tech will be.
How To Get Started with a Meditation Practice
It is no secret that meditation practice benefits people, which is why humans have practiced meditation throughout the ages. But now, meditation is going mainstream for a reason; people need to unplug to plug in more consciously. It is no exception for those who work in tech or those part of the gaming community.
Meditation Accessories Helping you Unplug
You can try various meditation practices, but you might want to start with the one that lets you switch off devices for a while. To support your goal of establishing a meditation practice you can use meditation accessories. Ungloo’s Portable Meditation Chair or SIT3 Meditation Blocks are both great starting accessories.
The portable Ungloo Meditation chair is designed to support not only your back but your hips and knees as well. The backrest helps keep your spine in an upright supported position. It comes with two foam wedges to take off the pressure placed on your hips and knees while sitting in a cross legged position. The fact the Ungloo Box supports both knees, hips, and back is a major pro as most chairs in the industry only focus on supporting one area of the body. Both the chair and the blocks are easily adjustable.
So, no matter your body size you can find a position that fits you perfectly. Both the Ungloor Chair and the SIT3 Blocks are comfortable and customizable enough that they can easily be used for other functions as well, such as your new gaming chair. These chairs are lightweight. Weighing less than 8lbs. You can easily move it using the functional handle from your living room to your bedroom or office. Wherever you want to meditate this chair can be there. If you regularly need to plug in, then it’s important to regularly unplug with meditation. You can get everything you need to do with Ungloo. Get one at the Ungloo Store for a 10% off using the code Tech10.
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