Posted by: manjitsandhu | March 1, 2012

Can Meditation Help a Salesperson Close More Business?

Practitioners of meditation have proclaimed its benefits for centuries. Indeed, people all over the world successfully use this form of intentional contemplation on a daily basis to relax, to lower their stress, and even to enrich their inner lives. For many, particularly people engaged in the sales profession, the ongoing practice of meditation also results in unexpected benefits, including an enhanced ability to interact with and persuade customers.

To understand how the seemingly inward-looking practice of meditation can influence external factors such as business dealings, it helps if you have a sense of what meditation is and how it works. This intentional activity has many forms, some overtly spiritual, others resolutely secular, and still more falling somewhere in between. Although their mindsets may all differ, however, it is safe to say that they share the same goal: to help a person achieve inner balance or illumination. Practitioners do this through the use of physical and mental relaxation techniques ranging from absolute stillness to proscribed movements, total silence to chanted words or phrases. Regardless of the vehicles they use, however, proponents of meditation all endorse it as an amazingly effective tool to lower stress and restore physical, mental and emotional equilibrium.

Imagine a salesperson who is, so to speak, at the end of her rope. Intensely worried about her ability to close an important deal, she has not slept well for days. Her heart is racing, her thoughts are scattered, and scenarios of doom haunt her. When the time comes for the big meeting, her tension is palpable to everyone in the room. The customer cannot help but notice her anxiety and figure it into the equation of whether to sign on the dotted line.

What if this same salesperson were an ongoing practitioner of meditation? She would have a consistent regimen of physical and mental relaxation that would help her to clear the toxic and unproductive thoughts away, opening the door to a calmer and clearer outlook. With panic banished and her goals visible, she would have the wherewithal to prepare for her meeting, both externally and emotionally. Without a doubt, the woman who greeted the customer for that all-important meeting would project an air of confidence and self-possession, both about her abilities and the presentation she was about to make. Her inner balance, cemented strongly into a foundation of calm and well-being brought about through meditation, would remain throughout the meeting. For her, questions and objections would not be perceived as challenges; instead, they would become opportunities for explanation and illumination. If you were a client, would you have more confidence in the stressed-out salesperson or the calm and knowledgeable one?

In order to establish and maintain rapport with customers, it is vital that a salesperson understand his or her materials and how they can benefit the client. Yet, this is only part of what separates a mediocre seller from an excellent one. Customers “click” with sellers who project a genuine air of calm and confidence, with a minimum of anxiety or urgency. While meditation will not provide the “nuts and bolts” understanding of the products or services you are selling, it can furnish the underpinnings that will allow you to let your knowledge come through for all to see.

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Manjit Sandhu

Since the dawn of the twenty-first century, many scientists have come to a surprising conclusion: Eastern medical practices offer the same, if not more benefits, as western medications. Meditation, a well-known but relatively little understood Eastern practice, has become popular because of its tested ability to increase happiness, reduce blood pressure and reduce stress.  Scientists have now begin to explore meditation’s effects on the hormone oxytocin — the “love hormone.”

Oxytocin In Brief:

Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter in the brain, secreted from the walnut-sized pituitary gland that is the heart of the body’s endocrine system. For many years, doctors have known of oxytocin’s role in mammalian gestational and birthing periods. The hormone is known to be secreted during childbirth to help expand the cervix and to produce milk for breastfeeding.  In recent years, studies have shed more light on a lesser-known effect of the chemical: its affect on human relationships.

How It’s Produced:

Scientists have long known oxytocin is secreted from the pituitary gland during the times of childbirth or breastfeeding.  However, tests have shown the chemical is also produced during affectionate or intimate contact between people. Although the exact mechanism for the chemical’s production is still clouded, it is clear that when two attracted people touch, hug, or kiss, oxytocin is produced.  The result is an enhanced desire to be held or be close to another.

What Depletes Oxytocin:

Oxytocin at its core lasts for only a fleeting period of time: around five to ten minutes at the maximum. This is because, like many endorphin-based hormones, oxytocin is produced to offer a small period of happiness or pleasure.  Our bodies are built to self-regulate so that we do not acclimate to the endorphin rush.  Thus, it works when it’s needed, but only when it’s needed.  Unfortunately, if a person suffers from severe stress or anxiety, the body also produces chemicals — such as cortisol — which effectively block oxytocin’s effects.  Where oxytocin produces positive feelings, the negative feelings generated from cortisol and similar hormones simply outweigh the oxytocin.
Oxytocin’s Effect on Relationships:

With new studies claiming oxytocin is an important hormone in human bonding, scientists have begun to evaluate its real effect on males and females in relationships.  It appears that touching and gazing are the most basic acts that can produce oxytocin.  While the trigger is not fully understood yet, the sensations produced by these actions cause the brain to begin producing oxytocin, which manifests as signficant or extreme longing in men, and a feeling of security and safety in women. Ultimately, as two individuals become more intimate, kissing and hugging, their brains produce more oxytocin.  In turn, this causes them to crave greater physical contact.  The hormone is an essential and valuable part of any emotional/physical relationship between human beings.
Meditation’s Role in Oxytocin Production:

Meditation can increase oxytocin’s effect on the body and greatly enhance the chemical’s beneficial effects.  The mechanism for this is well-understood: meditation reduces catalysts that produce cortisol, the “stresser” hormone.  Meditation reduces anxiety, fear, stress, shyness and other negative emotions associated with cortisol production.  In a double benefit, meditation reduces the causes of cortisol while increasing the frequency of oxytocin.  Without cortisol, oxytocin is free to provide its maximum benefit to the body.  It will not only have a much more potent effect but also a more frequent appearance.  In women, meditation greatly enhances the production of ocytocin.  In men, meditation increases testosterone production as well, creating an optimal balance that results in a companion who is both sensitive and manly, a trait women love.

Posted by: manjitsandhu | January 1, 2012

Can Meditation Really Improve Your Game of Golf?

Can meditation improve your game of Golf? Try playing a round with some Buddhist Monks and see.

In its purest form, golf can be termed meditation in action. As many who practice it will tell you, regular meditation improves nearly everything in your life. The conclusion many golfers are coming to these days is that meditation and golf can go hand in hand.

To the uninitiated, meditation means sitting in a dark room and doing nothing. Performed correctly though, meditation is excellent exercise for the body. When the body learns to relax in a meditative state, the energy in our body flows through us, instead of getting clotted behind tensed muscles.

When the body learns to breathe deeply and regularly, it uses and directs energy much more efficiently than normally. When our mind learns calmness the body responds in kind, becomes supple and gains endurance. The increased suppleness that meditation gives the body can aid in your golf stances. It can help you bend just that millimeter needed to sink your putt or avoid a hazard. Your swings can acquire more grace and power.

There is an old joke where a Buddhist Monk goes to the hot dog vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.” Isn’t this really what the golfer strives for? To become one with the club, moving as one, with directed force to send the ball where it is supposed to go. Enhanced concentration manifested as observation helps sense the speed and direction of the wind, the height and direction of the grass — in short, anything between you and the hole.
Feeling more at peace, another benefit of meditation, will aid in recognizing the lessons golf teaches us so that we do not simply obsess about the numbers on a score card. Added serenity and concentration will help to block out any distractions. Some may find themselves not caring about or reacting to their golfing buddies’ clever comments, which for some can improve their game immensely.  The fact is, meditation is not a religion.  Meditation is a discipline and a powerful tool that can enhance your inner and outer life and, in the process, help your game of golf.

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Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Have you ever noticed that people who meditate regularly possess a calm demeanor and glowing complexion? What is it that those people have learned that we have not yet mastered? Why are their faces bright and relaxed while ours are tense and worn?

Meditation naturally de-stresses a person. It is widely proven that a person who spends regular time in meditation and other purposeful spiritual activities tends to be less stressed, happier, and more able to cope with all of the demands of life. Many people who suffer from dark circles, wrinkles, stress lines, acne, and other complexion problems are simply too stressed. Lack of sleep, unbalanced emotions, and an over-abundance of work leads to a complexion that is neither healthy nor peaceful.

The art of meditation teaches one to be calm and entirely at peace. It teaches a person to put problems into perspective and stress under control. Meditation allows a person to rest, while properly approaching life’s demands and difficulties. It calms the heart beat, relaxes tension in muscles, and clears the mind of rapidly spinning thought processes.

For some, the meditation process can include movement and exercise such as Yoga or Pilates. This provides a benefit, not only for the mind, but also for the physical being. These calm, quiet movements strengthen and lengthen the body, relax the mind, and balance hormones. Other meditation processes include deep breathing, relaxed postures, or specific thinking practices.

Meditators reap the rewards of comfortable sleep, balanced hormones, controlled stress, purposeful thoughts, proper perspective, and overall bodily health. We see a glowing complexion and a peaceful demeanor, but the person who meditates knows the many other benefits from his daily practices.

Regardless of how a person practices meditation, we are aware that those who take time to slow their thinking, focus on what matters, and relax in the midst of stress will walk away with a glowing face. A person who knows how to meditate knows how to re-charge. It is then not even a question as to why meditators possess a glowing complexion.

Visit our website for more details. Thanks for visiting. Manjit Sandhu

Try this two minute exercise to determine if you are heading towards a collapse in the near future.

This exercise has two steps. Please do not proceed to Step 2 till you have completed Step 1.

Step 1:

Take a blank (un ruled) piece of paper and write down a four to eight line paragraph on anything that comes to your mind.  Just write quickly without thinking.

Please Stop: Do not proceed to Step 2 till you have completed the exercise above.

Step 2:

Look at the slant of your words in the paragraph you penned in step 1. If all the words are slanting in the same direction (all inclined, all reclined or all vertical) you are potentially handling yourself well and are not heading towards a stress related collapse (you may still be stressed but seem to be handling it well)..

However, is you see a few words (two or more) inclined in the opposite direction as compared to the flow of the bulk of your writing, watch out, you may be heading towards a stress induced problem. The greater the number of words out of sync the more impending is the potential problem.

The science behind this exercise

Graphology is the science of handwriting analysis. StressGraphology TM is a technique developed by me twenty five years ago. This helps people identify traits in handwriting that are indicative of a stress related problem.

I have been teaching stress management for almost 30 years and have found no better self analysis tool to predict a possible stress induced problem than your handwriting.

During the process of writing your hand is under the direct control of your brain and any malfunctioning in the brain or mind can be easily pinpointed by the changes in your handwriting.

Change in incline is a sign of internal turmoil and this is the sign that a layperson can easily identify on their own through this two minute test. In addition to this simple exercise there are numerous subtle signs that a trained professional can pick up.

I would highly recommend that you review your handwriting sample at least once a month to identify telltale signs of an impending stress related problem.

Visit our website for more details. Thanks for visiting. Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | August 18, 2011

Can Meditation replace sleep?

In the last decade, the practice of meditation has moved into the mainstream.   With meditation’s growing and more generalized acceptance, there is increasing discussion about the possibility of meditation replacing sleep entirely. To understand fully the relationship between meditation and sleep, we must examine each to determine whether it is possible for meditation to supplant the body’s need for sleep.
Many people mistakenly confuse the rest benefits of meditation with those obtained from sleep.  Although complementary, they are vastly different.  To understand the synergy between sleeping and meditation we must first understand the differences.

Our bodies require sleep for rejuvenation and repair.  During sleep, we release hormones that help us grow, form white blood cells, avoid anemia, fight disease, strengthen the immune system, maintain proper body weight, produce skin cells and avoid premature aging.

Meditation, from the perspective of a layperson, is simply a period of altered consciousness when the brain slows down to a relaxed state. Using meditation, a sense of peacefulness, deep physical relaxation and mental clarity can be experienced in just a fraction of the amount of time required for a nap. Meditation produces a state of mental bliss and helps the mind relax, leading to the physical benefits associated with reduced stress. However, because a meditative state is a state of “mental wakefulness,” it does not help perform the physical repair and rejuvenation related tasks that happen only when the mind is asleep.  Attempting to replace sleep with meditation would eventually lead to memory loss, confusion, high blood pressure, weight gain – even a compromised immune system that leaves one’s body vulnerable to illnesses.

Utilized properly, meditation and sleep will complement each other. If you sleep well you can meditate deeper, and conversely if you meditate regularly, you can sleep much better.  Meditation allows the mind and body to experience deeper sleep and receive rest because the mind prepares the body to submerge into a deep sleep without a period of “cooling down.”  This helps prevent tossing and turning and increases REM sleep, which is critical to maintaining good health and facilitating the growth and rejuvenation of the physical body.

In a fast-paced society where people search for time short cuts, meditation cannot and should not replace sleep.  However, if regularly practiced, meditation will greatly enhance the quality of sleep and decrease the amount of it a body needs.

Posted by: manjitsandhu | July 1, 2011

Can Meditation Help You Fall Asleep Quicker?

Many people in today’s busy and stressful world are affected by insomnia and other sleep disorders. While severe sleep disorders may require a visit to a sleep specialty physician and prescription medication, for less severe cases there are many simple and natural techniques for better sleep you can try on your own. One of the most workable of these techniques is Color Meditation.

A common reason healthy people have trouble falling to sleep is that their mind simply will not “turn off” thinking about the events of this day, tomorrow, or the future. Color Meditation is an excellent way to deal with this problem.

There are many forms of meditation, you will have to experiment a bit to find the one that works for you for issues other than sleep. It is also important for people of faith to realize that while meditation is part of many religions, meditation in and of itself is simply a mental technique and not a form of worship, and the practice of this meditation technique will not conflict with your faith, no matter what it is.

Here are some basic guidelines to practice Color Meditation for better sleep. Prior to going to bed, find a quiet room free of harsh lighting and noise. Next, get into a comfortable sitting position. This can be sitting cross-legged on the floor in a traditional yoga pose, or sitting normally on a comfortable chair or even lying down on your bed can be workable for this form of meditation. (Meditation teachers sometimes caution not to meditate lying down, as it may lead to falling asleep, but since sleep is our goal here, that is perfectly fine!). Place your hands comfortably, either in your lap or by your side. Close your eyes and relax, while breathing deeply and slowly through your nose. As you breathe in, imagine the color of the air being inhaled to be green and it turns to blue as you breathe out. Try to focus only on the colors as you breathe in and out. You will notice that as you perform this Color Meditation exercise, your mind will wander. When the mind wanders just return your focus to the color of the breath and the thoughts will automatically subside. Soon you should be in a relaxed state conducive to deep and restful sleep.

Posted by: manjitsandhu | June 1, 2011

Does Stress Really Destroy Employee Morale?

Extreme amounts of stress in the work place can easily destroy morale.   Different individuals will handle significant stress in a variety of ways.  Some thrive as more and more is piled onto their shoulders for them to fight against. Others will crumble under the heavy weight additional stress brings them.  The type of work environment normally present is also an important factor: a normally stress-free environment can quickly become a morass when high stress circumstances arise.

Managing employees effectively can be a daunting task for any supervisor.  It is critical for a supervisor to manage stress effectively in order that they may monitor and help employees.  Of course, some stress during the regular workday is normal, but the need — real or perceived — to produce quality work on time and effectively can weigh heavily on employees as they complete their duties.  With little or no warning, stress can become such a heavy burden that it begins to demoralize or even incapacitate employees.
Fortunately, stress indicators abound for the observant manager.  Absenteeism is a common problem as individuals begin to value their peace of mind over the need for a full paycheck. This can also include increased use of sick and personal time for no apparent reason. Breaks and lunches may become stretched further and further as the individual begins to care less about responsibility and more about minimizing negative feelings or depression.

When identified in many employees, as opposed to just one or two, these indicators suggest a company-wide, spiraling problem.  Negativity begets negativity, and managers can expect to see serious morale issues will be exhibited across several employees.
Active, anticipatory management can help to reduce the negative impact of stress in the work place. When stress indicators surface, supervisors quickly can begin identifying the source of the problem.  Encouraging an active open door environment will allow employees to approach managers about problems or issues that have arisen in the workplace.
Any decrease of employee morale must be addressed quickly; unanswered, morale problems will cause drastic problems for the company over both the short and long-term. Ultimately, the company will end up  spend more money replacing employees than on correcting the stress factors, and easing extra stressors that are not part of the normal job. Setting aside a company’s obligations to employees, studies demonstrate happy workers not only perform better but miss less work during the work year, leading to added productivity and profitability for the company.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Your company conference room is ready. Fresh coffee is brewing. A delicious selection of bagels and pastries is spread on a side table. You and your coworkers are all gathered, and your customer has just entered the room. The next few minutes will determine whether she will choose to put her trust in your company or explore other options from your competition. As the main presenter, you feel a stab of apprehension. Have you prepared your materials sufficiently? Will your customer understand the thrust of your discussion? Worst of all, will your fear get the best of you, ruining all of the groundwork you have so carefully laid? Will your trepidation manifest itself in the body language you convey? Will your customer lose faith in your message because of your stage fright?

You know that you have devoted a great deal of time and effort into just what you will say and how you will say it. Yet, your heart begins to race and your throat tightens with fear. Your heart races and beads of sweat appear on your forehead. After all, so much rides on the success of this presentation.

It is at this very moment that you realize how your practice of meditation can actually alleviate your anxiety. Each day, you have devoted a set amount of time to clearing your mind of worries and superficialities. You have found that this regular practice has enabled you to see the bigger picture. In fact, you have noticed an enhanced ability to clarify your goals and to attain them. In a flash, you recognize that the skills you have developed in your daily practice will be invaluable as you speak to your important customer. The tranquility that you feel each time you meditate does not disappear when you resume your other daily activities. Indeed, friends and acquaintances have commented that you seem so much more peaceful and calm lately. Maybe things won’t be so bad after all.

Is this a miracle? Is it some sort of hippie magic or mind control? In short, the answer is no. Instead, the meditation you have been practicing acts as a vehicle that will enable you to think more clearly, focus with more acuity, and banish the destructive negative thoughts that can turn even the most carefully wrought presentation into a shambles. Far from a magic bullet, the hours you have spent in daily quiet reflection have strengthened your “discipline muscle,” as it were. Just as a trained athlete can withstand the rigors of a marathon in spite of his pre-race nervousness, the practitioner of meditation can employ the skills he has honed to survive the anxieties of daily life. Furthermore, someone who meditates regularly often exudes a quiet confidence and charisma that is palpable and compelling to friends and strangers alike.

Squaring your shoulders with renewed purpose, you begin to take the deep, healing breaths that have sustained you in your meditation practice. Your vision clears and the logic of your presentation is projected onto the movie screen of your mind in bold and clear colors. Because you and your colleagues have labored long and hard to make this presentation excellent, all that remains is to communicate your confidence to the customer eagerly taking in your every word. Thanks to the structure and clarity that daily meditation has furnished, you can make your points concisely, free of distracting fears and anxieties.

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Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | April 1, 2011

Can Meditation Help You Become a Better Employee?

If you’re like most of us, you spend almost a third of your life at work. Like it or not, the workplace environment you inhabit and help to create has an overwhelming influence on most aspects of your existence, from how you feel about yourself to your attitude toward your job and your colleagues and clients. The good news is that you are not a helpless victim of your workplace milieu. In fact, engaging in an activity as simple and straightforward as regular meditation can be the catalyst for a positive ripple effect that will benefit you and those with whom you work and interact every day.

Some people mistakenly believe that a commitment to meditation requires that you live like a hermit in a mountain cave or, at the very least, devote several hours a day to complicated yogic practices. In reality, a meditation practice can be quite simple and it can be customized to complement even the busiest lifestyle. Indeed, meditation is just a fancy way to describe mindfulness. Put another way, it describes any number of strategies that people have developed that enable them to clear and still their minds. Many regular practitioners of meditation find that they are more relaxed, less subject to stress, and more able to think clearly.

Imagine how you, too, could see compelling results after practicing meditation for just a few weeks or months. Thanks to your newfound practice, you are much less stressed, and have even found that you sleep more deeply and soundly. Consequently, what might once have turned into a confrontation with a colleague now simply rolls off your back. Customer concerns are transformed from exhausting obstacles into challenges that you can help to overcome. Your improved outlook and spirits may also have inspired you to take on some new projects, earning you extra points with your boss.

Your meditation practice is even beginning to be the catalyst for some subtle but noticeable positive changes in the mood of your entire workplace. Just as one “toxic” employee can poison the mood of the whole office, one energized and positive worker can have a galvanizing, positive effect on the attitudes and productivity of everyone working there. Hard as it may be to believe, those few minutes of mindful meditation that you practice every day can actually begin to bathe your colleagues and even your customers in the glow. Considering the amount of time and energy you are expending in your workplace, what better gift could you give to everyone around you—and even yourself? For little or no money, you can set in motion a process that will help you and your colleagues become more productive, enhance goodwill among you, and enable you to transfer this positive energy to your customers. Simply by committing to spend a few minutes each day in quiet, mind-clearing contemplation, you really can change your entire life, your point of view, and even those around you.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

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