Women get a lot of attention for the stress they experience while juggling work and family responsibilities (and for good reason!). But, stress is not a gender-specific issue: Although they may be more reluctant to admit it, men struggle with the pressures of balancing work and family, too. This week, as we celebrate the wonderful men in our lives, why not give Dad (or Grandpa, or big brother, or Uncle Frank) a tool that will help manage stress and improve overall focus? We’re talking about meditation and mindfulness.

Dad scoffs at the idea of meditating, you say? The following facts may help persuade him:

  • According to a recent study by a University of Miami team, members of the military’s Special Operations Forces who took a month-long program in mindfulness training were able to improve their attention and working memory, skills that could not only sharpen their performance in high-stress situations, but could ultimately help save lives. In an article summarizing the research, Gen. Eric Shoomaker, M.D., 42nd Army Surgeon General and former commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command said the research team has “… demonstrated that mindfulness training may provide the best prospect for success in demanding work. As more people are engaged in critical roles and tasks in which attentiveness and working memory [are] keys to ensuring safety … mindfulness training is emerging as a powerful tool.
  • Visualization has long been an important part of game preparation for athletes. In recent years, however, many top sports pros have taken the practice a step further and engaged in meditation as a way to mentally prepare. A 2018 article posted on Zenful Spirit reported that basketball legends LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan, Olympic volleyball medalists Misty Mae-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, and the entire 2014 Superbowl-winning Seattle Seahawks team are among the many elite athletes who incorporated meditation into their training regimens. (The article also cited a moment when James actually meditated in the middle of a playoff game to regain focus!)

This Father’s Day, encourage the men in your life to explore how meditation and mindfulness can hone focus, increase attention span, and cultivate a sharper mental edge. Share a SimplaFYI Membership with them and find a vetted practitioner at preferred pricing. Visit SimplaFYI!

Carol Swanson is a health & wellbeing writer and can be reached at: cegoodswan@gmail.com