Take one look at the nightly news and it’s obvious that the world is more complex and confusing than ever. People face a wide array of frightening new challenges — from deportation to extreme weather to heavy debt.
From working moms to refugees to members of the military, people from all walks of life are facing massive stressors that can impair health and well-being – which collectively affects the state of our society.
There is a simple solution that can help people around the world to embrace peace of mind, greater clarity and happiness in every single day – meditation is key! I’ve seen how just minutes a day can pave the way to an entirely new perspective, and existence.
Facing Challenges with Confidence
Meditation has enormous potential when it comes to releasing stress and helping people from every background release trauma, find empowerment, and reach their full potential.
Like brushing your teeth, eating healthy meals, and showering, meditation can be a quick part of daily self-care that can make a world of difference.
Here are a few of the remarkable transformations I’ve seen as people practiced SOS Method Special Formula Meditations and Discovery Programs in communities around the globe:
Previously a history teacher, Zola became a refugee after escaping from a prison in Zimbabwe. He was held captive for years — tortured and beaten — before some of his students helped him make a miraculous escape.
Even though he now lived safely in Botswana, he was still tormented by nightmares of the trauma he experienced, and lived in a constant state of despair.
When Zola discovered SOS Method, he found that he able to sleep through the night for the first time in 15 years. He had a sense of optimism and joy he hadn’t known since being separated from his family.
Today, Zola is thriving and teaching others how to bring this relief into their lives.
Like so many others in the Western world, Tara was working at a job she didn’t enjoy. And while she was unhappy, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. This created anxiety and confusion that were hugely detrimental to her personal development.
A friend suggested an SOS Method program, and although she doubted it could help – she immediately noticed how rapidly things began to change. As her fears began to subside, Tara became clear on what she wanted to do – and had the newfound courage to do it.
She gained the strength she needed to give notice at her unfulfilling job and apply for other work. Over the next weeks, Tara began to glow with self-confidence and enthusiasm. She found a new job that she loved, and made wonderful new friends.
Like most millennials, Juno was overworked and stressed, which led to some serious health problems. Her doctor suggested meditation, but her mind was always racing, and nothing seemed to work.
After finding the SOS Method online, however, she felt a shift with the first session. Juno said it was like a “wave of calm” had come over her.
At dinner that first evening, she wasn’t even bothered by her brother’s usual teasing. For the first time ever, she was able to just observe it and smile.
After a month of practicing SOS, Juno noticed that she actually became more productive. Beaming with delight she said, “It’s crazy, but I have more vitality than ever – and… I’m really calm.”
Changing the World One Person at a Time
These are just a handful of stories of how people were able to get their power back, and find greater joy in every day, just by spending a few minutes practicing SOS Method. Whether displaced refugees, overworked employees, stressed moms, or corporate executives — finding a meditation technique that is rapidly effective can have remarkable benefits in a person’s life.
Amazingly, 96.5% of the people using the SOS Method experience relaxation and a new vitality within minutes. Like any healthy habit, meditation is something that needs to become a part of your daily routine. And once it does — you’ll find a calm and clarity you never knew was possible.
Empowerment is a word that gets tossed around a lot, but what does it actually mean?
Fundamentally, self-empowerment is about confidence, inner peace, and acting in your own best interest — even when life throws you some serious curveballs.
It’s about aligning your thoughts and actions with your own highest good, i.e., being your own champion with every decision you make.
Stressors Are All Around You
In difficult times, it’s easy to lose faith in your own power. Everyone’s been there. When crappy stuff happens to you, it can feel like you have no control.
You get fired. Your girlfriend/boyfriend dumps you. Your car gets stolen. Life brings an endless array of stressful situations.
Even one scroll through social media can get your anxiety going, fueling that monkey mind and wreaking havoc on your mood.
But no matter what happens in the outside world, there’s one thing you can always control: your reaction to any given situation.
It’s Up to You
“There’s nothing more empowering than being able to help yourself in times of need.” – Marlise Karlin
All the great leaders throughout history have echoed this sentiment: peace comes from within. You’ll never be able to stop the storms of life, but you can stop yourself from being bounced around by them.
Your mind can be the calm port in a raging tsunami — a place of peace and tranquility where you can reset and recharge, whatever comes your way. That’s what self-empowerment is all about.
Tools to Help You When You Need It Most
So how can you empower yourself and train your mind to work for you — instead of against you?
Meditation is all about coming to your own rescue; and SOS Method app offers Life Tools, Discovery Programs, and special formula Meditations to help you harness the power of your own mind and the ability to find empowerment in any situation.
If you’ve got a specific goal in mind, like improving your relationships, sharpening your focus, or relieving stress, the SOS Method app helps you explore the latest groundbreaking science plus wisdom from Eastern holistic traditions, all designed to help you meet unrealized goals.
Once you pick a track, the app offers beginning and advanced programs that you can listen to in under six minutes a day, where each audio is designed to help you achieve your aim.
Every SOS Method member starts with the 5 Day Essentials program, to clarify how the mind and body can actually support your goals, and set the stage for stress release and peace of mind with simple daily practice.
Following that, you have lots of options. There are the Discovery Series programs, which include an in-depth understanding of how to get Soothing Relief, Focus & Creativity, and Improve Relationships. There are even Guides for Moms, Dads, Kids, and Dogs!
Whatever it is you want to improve in your life, whatever habits or behaviors you want to change, these programs help you find self-empowerment and tweak your thoughts and behavior to meet the goals you seek.
The SOS Method app has more than 50 specialized meditations, each one with a specific focus or topic, and they range from just five to 11 minutes and some longer for sleep.
There are meditations for releasing stress, powering up when you need energy, drifting off to sleep, expanding your potential, and a whole host of others designed to help you build that mental muscle and stress free environment in your body.
They fall into categories including daily stress relief, calm, and inspiration, relax & deep sleep, uplift & revitalize, forgiveness & love, and many more.
The more you practice these meditations and explore the different options, the better you’ll be at helping yourself during difficult times.
The scientific concept of neuroplasticity demonstrates that you can physically change the way your brain works, rewiring your very neurons so they support healthier thoughts and actions.
Meditation is by far the best tool for creating new neural pathways — and finding self-empowerment in all areas of your life.
In addition to meditations and program tracks — the SOS Method app also offers targeted tools that are designed to come to the rescue during moments of acute stress or particular challenges – or to empower you to access that well of creativity and inspiration needed to meet your goals.
Each Power Tool has a three-step process, Explore, Listen, Engage which includes various meditations.
Some tools are for when you’re having a rough day, to help you shift your mental state into positivity to set the stage for an awesome day; some tools help you turn your dreams into action so they become a reality; and there are tools that support better communication to improve all the relationships in your life.
All of these specialized techniques are there to help you when you need them, so you can access immediate, tangible solutions to the issues you’re dealing with.
That’s the power of SOS Method; you don’t have to wait weeks or months to reap the benefits. You can find support for daily life — and anytime you need it most.
The hottest buzzword in the modern day work world also starts with a w: wellness.
From bad bosses to toxic co-workers to unsustainable hours — we’ve all had an unpleasant employment experience in one form or another. Everyone can relate to not wanting to get up and go to work in the morning.
There’s nothing worse than hating a job, and when it’s so bad that it gets in the way of personal wellness, the negativity has a ripple effect on our health, the people around us, and the companies we work for.
But the opposite is also true! When we spend 40+ hours a week in an environment that facilitates our health and wellbeing (and gives us the warm fuzzies), everyone wins.
Considering that we spend a quarter to a third of our life at work … it’s pretty important that it’s a positive experience.
Google Is All About It
Because workplace wellness has proven so important, it’s what cutting-edge organizations are all about these days.
When staffers are satisfied — so is the company’s bottom line. And when they’re not, well, the stockholders probably won’t be either.
Unfortunately, unhappy workers are everywhere. According to Mental Health America (MHA), 70% of people currently employed are searching for other jobs.
Less than one-third of Americans are happy with what they’re doing, and some are even actively sabotaging the success of their workplace. Ouch.
As the numbers above reflect, how employees feel about their work environment trickles down into everything, from medical costs to mental health status to absenteeism.
If a workplace is dysfunctional or overly stressful, everyone suffers.
Luckily there’s an easy method that organizations (and employees) can employ to help minimize stress, enhance community and connection, and promote healthy habits.
Meditation Makes Everything Better
While things like exercise incentives, nap rooms, and healthy meals are all fantastic efforts by employers to improve the lives of their employees, arguably nothing is as effective as meditation — and with a generally smaller investment of money and time.
Just minutes a day can affect all aspects of a workplace, from the boss’ behavior to the ability of employees to focus to how often people come down with colds.
One study found that eight weeks of meditation training — in a high-stress work environment — made workers stay on tasks longer and helped their memories improve. They also reported fewer negative emotions after finishing tasks.
Researchers in another study looked at the effects of mindfulness training on employee wellbeing. They found that participants increased their mindfulness skills including observing and acting with awareness. Employees also reported higher levels of satisfaction with life, hope and lower anxiety.
And the myriad general benefits of meditation are well established: it helps people get happier, stay younger, decreases pain, decreases anxiety, improves learning and memory, makes memory better, boosts self-esteem, and improves health.
What Employers Can Do
For business owners and managers, encouraging mediation among employees (and higher-ups, too) is one of the best bets for improving company culture and work performance.
Workplace wellness starts at the top, after all!
As a perk, companies can offer a meditation subscription to all team members — and incorporate incentives to encourage everyone to make it a daily ritual. As leaders, it’s crucial to model healthy habits for employees.
SOS Method has meditations that are effective in only five minutes, so they can easily be incorporated into the office schedule to boost workplace wellness.
There are 50+ specialized meditations made with unique formula of music, words and tones that encourages daily use because they are so enjoyable. And, SOS Method’s 11 Discovery Programs can also be listened to daily in under 6 minutes; with something for literally every situation, individual, and need that helps to make life simpler and happier.
There are many ways to power up for more inspiration; meditate together at the beginning of meetings; have a meditation break in the afternoon when stress takes hold; and/or start the day with a meditation in the car on the way to work.
Get creative! There are countless ways to use meditation to motivate, encourage, and incentivize employees at all levels of responsibility.
What Employees Can Do
For those who don’t have access to employer-sponsored wellness meditation programs — have no fear. It’s still totally doable to incorporate meditation into a daily work routine and reap all the benefits.
It’s easy to jump into a quick meditation during a break, while taking a walk, or any five minute window of opportunity. Choose one that meets the current work-related need — stress release, powering up (energizing), focusing, etc., and fire up the SOS Method app. And doing an 11 or 22 minute at night to aid your sleep is also a great way to end your day.
The key component to seeing a positive change in daily work life is doing the meditations as often as you can. It gets easier to commit to it when you enjoy how they make you feel!
The benefits are endless, and life is too short to be miserable at work.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a totally devoted doggie mom or dad. Furkids are amazing, aren’t they? They give you unconditional love, oodles of cuddles, and so many belly laughs. Their very presence makes life as a human being so much more enjoyable.
Because doggos seem so carefree, it can be easy to forget that they’re susceptible to the same kinds of issues we are. In other words, dogs get stressed out and sick, just like you or me! Unfortunately, they can’t talk about it, so they show their humans how they’re feeling in other ways.
But don’t worry! There are tools that can keep your precious pup happy, healthy, and relaxed. And, they deserve the very best, don’t they?!
How Stress Manifests Itself in Dogs
Your dog is a member of the family, but unlike everyone else, he or she can’t talk about what’s bothering them. Instead, they generally exhibit their issues in negative behavior or physical problems.
According to PetCareRx, anxiety can manifest itself both subtly and overtly in your canine best buddy. As far as subtle signs, your dog might hide, seek comfort from you, shake or pant, or engage in excessive licking. When it comes to more overt behavior, your dog might bark or howl, act aggressive, try to escape, display excess energy, go to the bathroom in the house, destroy things, or even have panic attacks (yes, dogs can have them too!).
Sometimes it can be tough to determine what might be causing these symptoms in your dog, but it’s worth doing some investigation to find out. Does your dog bark excessively when you turn on a certain appliance (the scary vacuum)? Does she pant like crazy on the Fourth of July (fireworks)? Does he hide under the bed when Aunt Judy comes to visit? Usually your dog’s behavior can give you clues about what’s stressing them out, and sometimes you can remove or lessen the stressor to make life easier on them (maybe it’s time to stop inviting Aunt Judy over).
If the stressor isn’t quite so easy to determine though, you might need to look elsewhere for the root of the problem.
Your Stress Levels Affect Them, Too
Dogs don’t have bills to pay or work stress to deal with, but they do pick up on what you’re going through. If you’re dealing with some nightmarish stuff at the office, it’s likely little Spot will absorb some of that energy.
Researchers in Austria recently determined that dogs get stressed by picking up anxiety and negativity from their owners. More than 100 dogs and their guardians underwent tests, including saliva samples to measure cortisol, the stress hormone. The owners were assessed for five major hallmarks of personality: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness. The dogs’ personalities were also assessed. One of the researchers, Dr. Iris Schoberl, of the University of Vienna, said both owners and dogs influenced each other’s coping mechanisms, with the human partner being more influential than the dog.
“Our results nicely fit to experience from practice: owners and dogs are social dyads [a group of two], and they influence each other’s stress coping,” she told BBC News. Overall they concluded that dogs are sensitive to their owners’ emotional states, and may even replicate those states!
And your dog picking up on human stress can have real consequences. Studies have even connected hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) — a serious stomach illness in dogs — to stress levels in their owners. And amazingly, one study showed that stress can even cause premature greying in dogs, just like in people!
Luckily, the symbiosis between you and your dog works both ways. If you know how to chill, your dog will pick up on that as well. In other words, strategies to help you decompress can also work for your furry friend; many dog owners today have found that meditation is as helpful for their dogs as it is for them.
How You Can Help
If you’re worried about your dog being stressed, there are lots of things you can do to help them relax. Here are a few ideas:
Learn how to Meditate together. Did you know that dogs can be incredibly effected by certain types of meditation?! SOS Method has a Happy Dog series designed specifically to help your four legged friend get to that warm, fuzzy place of calm and relaxation. And it works for you, too! Both you and your pooch can sit through the meditations together, with him or her sitting on your lap (depending on size!) or close by. Through specially formulated music and vocals, the meditations help your pet’s cortisol levels plummet. Dog owners are using this series to improve the quality of life for their beloved companions – and themselves. As one dog owner shared after doing the SOS, “My dog, Scooter, was constantly yapping, and jumping on people when I got him. But after listening to SOS Method meditations he began to be more calm. Everyone has noticed the change, even my trainer!”
Remember, the healing goes both ways! The natural body chemical, oxytocin is sparked in meditation. It has powerful effects in both our dog’s body and ours; it increases a state of readiness to heal, and also to grow new cells. This predisposes us to an environment where we can be healthier. And, meditation is one super simple way to help us and our dogs get happier and healthier day by day.
Pet them. Think about how much you love a good massage … that’s what petting is to your canine companion! Stroke him or her gently on the neck, back, or tummy. Think of it as a mini massage for the sake of mental health. A soft touch can work wonders!
Try a holistic therapy. Lots of pet owners enjoy the many new things on the market today that help your dog get calmer; Nutri-Vet Pet Eze, Richard’s Organics Pet Calm, or Dr. Harvey’s Relax & Stress Herbal Dog Supplement. There are treats, wafers, drops, and supplements, all of which include natural ingredients like chamomile, ginger root, and tryptophan and promise to help your pup relax. See if any of the above work for you — just make sure to stick to formulas that are verified safe for use by doggos.
Go for a run. Sometimes the best way to get rid of anxious energy is to run it out! Take your pooch out for a quick jog around the block — or longer if he’s extra energetic! If you have a frail or older dog, you might want to stick to a fast walk. Either way, take in the neighborhood and let your dog pee on everything he sees. It’s his way of saying hi, after all.
After releasing excess negative energy, it’s a good time for a quick and soothing or inspiring meditation, to get back to that ongoing healing state of mind. How amazing that today we can find wellness benefits that support us and those we love most!
Turn on the news anytime and one thing becomes perfectly clear: everyone’s talking about healthcare. From Instagram to the steps of Capitol Hill.
It’s definitely a non-partisan issue – healthcare is important to all of us; rich, poor, young and old. We all want to live longer, healthier lives. So, what can we do while confusion continues to play out on the hill?
Everyone knows meditation is beneficial, but just HOW beneficial is it? And, is it worth the time to find one that works for you? More than one journal review on mindfulness meditation techniques has concluded that it has major potential as a positive healthcare intervention:
“The higher quality studies have shown statistically significant results in mitigating psychological stress, depressive recurrence and pain. These studies have also demonstrated statistically significant increases in spirituality and positive health measures,” writes researcher Hilary Abbey.
Authors from Duke, Kaiser Permanente, Harvard, and Yale, among others, contributed to a another journal article that points to a remarkable amount of evidence on the positive health effects of meditation programs.
In a world where we’re struggling for the funds to insure healthcare coverage for a growing population, meditation is easy, inexpensive, and so beneficial.
Cutting Costs and Changing Lives
You might be wondering — does meditation ACTUALLY reduce healthcare costs? The simple answer is YES. There are many studies that have analyzed this for years, and they agree: meditation saves big bucks.
One paper evaluated various studies of meditation and cardiovascular disease and found that meditation “may be responsible for reductions of 80% or greater in medical insurance claims and payments to physicians.” That’s incredible considering that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death; by 2030 they’re expected to cost the U.S. more than $818 billion annually.
Helping People Get Healthier
Cancer: Another study examined the effects of mindfulness meditation on a group of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The women who meditated had
- better immune system biomarkers
- reduced stress hormones
- improved quality of life
- better coping skills.
Considering cancer costs the U.S. around $87.8 billion in direct medical costs per year, these benefits are invaluable.
Depression is an illness that takes a massive financial toll on society, estimated at a whopping $210 billion per year. A meditation-based intervention for depression was shown to be better at preventing relapse than antidepressants — and a meditation-based stress reduction program was found to successfully treat anxiety disorders, as well.
Wellness at Work and Reducing the Bottom Line
When we’re talking about healthcare costs, employers often carry a large share of the financial burden. When meditation is part of an employee wellness program, it can make a world of difference to the company’s budget. And to the wellbeing and productivity of each employee.
So how much — exactly — can meditation and wellness efforts cut costs for businesses and employers? Johnson & Johnson estimates that wellness programs have saved the organization $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.
Healthier Employees, Higher Profits
Many companies today are realizing that meditation can make a big difference to their bottom line and the many benefits it brings; healthier employees mean more profits. The Huffington Post reported on the focus of Promega — a major biotech company. “Promega is among the increasing ranks of companies that have come to embrace so-called mindfulness activities — concentrated meditation aimed at sharpening focus and reducing stress — in a bid to improve the well-being of their workforces and, by extension, the bottom line,”
Healthcare giant Aetna is another example. After realizing that workers in its most stressful jobs were racking up healthcare bills that exceeded those of other employees by around $2,000 a year, they ended up reducing costs by seven percent — “a savings the CEO pegs in part to limiting stress through meditation and yoga.”
When wellness programs are added to health benefits plans, it can change the company culture for the better, people are happier, and profits increase. It’s a win win all the way around. One company, SOS Method, provided meditations, practical tools and Discovery Series programs to (bla bla Safari camps. ____name of woman and position – reported that, “ give her quote from video.” Everyone, from the staff to the CEO’s, were excited by how easily they could incorporate SOS into their daily lives.
More top level management is catching on — just ask all of the CEOs who are into the practice. Executive Management Associates CEO Nancy Slomowitz, for example, began offering meditation classes to staffers and reduced her company’s health insurance costs.
Creating a Sustainable, Happy Future
Around $3.2 trillion is spent on healthcare every year in the U.S. That’s a staggering number. Imagine if we all embraced meditation as a form of preventative care? How much money would we save? How many lives would be changed?
Clearly, meditation is more than just a nice idea; it’s a demonstrably effective means of lowering healthcare costs and developing a needed happiness quotient into the welfare of each person. On a society-wide level, this is a game-changer! Maybe the healthcare concerns of today are actually creating the perfect storm to bring about healthier happier lives for us all.