Mind Over Money: This MD practises meditation and yoga 3-4 times a week to find inner peace and clarity

In today's fast-paced and demanding corporate environment, maintaining mental fitness is essential, especially for those in leadership roles. Sanjeet Dawar, Managing Director at CRIF High Mark, exemplifies this balance through his dedicated approach to mental well-being.

In an interview with ETMarkets, Dawar shares his strategies for staying mentally fit, the importance of mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation, and the critical role of regular physical activity in his routine.

He also discusses the impact of mental fitness on effective leadership and offers valuable advice on recognizing and addressing mental fatigue.

Dawar's journey underscores the necessity of mental and physical health in sustaining both personal well-being and professional success. Edited Excerpts:

Q) Thanks for being a part of the segment. How do you keep yourself mentally fit?

A) Being mentally fit is crucial. I make a conscious attempt to take care of my mental well-being. I practise meditation and yoga three to four times a week to find inner peace and clarity.

Going for regular walks helps me refresh both my body and mind. I also find comfort in reading different genres and listening to soothing music like old classics and ghazals.

And to keep things fresh and exciting, I make sure to engage with the younger generation, which brings in new perspectives and ideas.

This holistic approach, combining physical activity, mindfulness, intellectual stimulation, and social interaction, is the foundation of my mental fitness routine.

Q) Yoga is indeed a disciplined way of keeping physically and mentally fit. Is there any specific form of Yoga that you do and what is the frequency and time that you give it on a daily/weekly basis?

A) Absolutely, yoga is a disciplined practice that benefits both the body and mind. I follow the traditional form of yoga, which includes Pranayam (breathing exercises), Asanas (physical postures), and Dharana (concentration techniques).

These practices help me maintain physical flexibility, strength, and mental clarity. I usually have yoga sessions three to four times a week, where I do a balanced mix of Pranayam, Asanas, and Dharana.

The frequency of my yoga practice provides consistency while allowing flexibility to accommodate other commitments.

Q) We also understand that you go for long walks. Is there any target that you have set for yourself daily? For example – people have a target of say 10,000 steps daily etc.

A) Walking serves not only as a physical exercise for enhancing my overall well-being but also provides me with valuable “me time”. Although I don't have a specific step count target like the popular 10,000 steps, I stay active by walking around the workspace and being actively involved in the workplace.

This ensures that I have continuous activity throughout the day. On weekends, I take longer walks of around 30 to 45 minutes. This gives me more time to enjoy walking, appreciate nature, and feel refreshed both physically and mentally.

Setting a daily target gives me direction and helps ensure focus on physical activity amidst my other responsibilities.

Q) How important is it for someone who is in a leadership role to keep mentally fit?

A) For someone in a leadership role, mental fitness is a top priority. Leadership roles are inherently demanding as they involve tough decision-making and managing high levels of stress.

Without mental fitness, sustaining oneself in such a demanding role becomes challenging. Moreover, the ability to make sound judgments, especially at senior levels, is compromised when one's mental well-being is neglected.

A compromised well-being can also hinder one’s ability to navigate a rapidly changing business environment both inside and outside the organisation.

Leaders must prioritise their mental fitness to effectively handle complexity, enhance their overall effectiveness, and contribute to the success of the organisation.

Q) Any signs which you have seen of mental fatigue that one should keep a note of?

A) Signs of mental fatigue are crucial to recognise, as they can greatly impact one's well-being and performance. A clear indicator is a noticeable decrease in energy levels, making it difficult to keep up with the demands of work or daily life.

Additionally, heightened irritability, anxiety, and the feeling of demotivation may surface more frequently, indicating a potential imbalance.

It's essential to heed these warning signs and take appropriate action. Seek medical advice for mental or physical fatigue.

It's concerning to witness the prevalence of stress-related issues, particularly among young individuals in the workplace. Managing work related stress is a critical area of work. Ensure you prioritise self-care.

This could involve activities such as travelling, pursuing hobbies, or spending quality time with family and friends. Recognising signs of mental fatigue and addressing them promptly is essential for safeguarding mental health and ensuring long-term resilience.

Q) What pushed you into mental fitness – was there a trigger point?

A) Around five or six years ago, I noticed concerning health trends like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and borderline sugar problems becoming common.

However, it was three years ago when I tragically lost a close family member at a young age that I realised the gravity of neglecting my health. This event served as a great trigger, prompting me to prioritise both mental and physical well-being.

Sanjeet Dawar
Managing Director, CRIF High Mark

Source : mint genie, 25th May Mumbai