The number one excuse for not meditating is a lack of time. People are too busy working towards their dream lives and in the process neglect the powerhouse of productivity- the brain.
What cardio exercises do for the heart, meditation does for the brain. And the more you exercise your brain, the better results it will yield.
Mindful meditation works towards strengthening the brain and therefore enhancing its functioning. For the uninitiated; mindful meditation represents that state of mind where you are completely aware of the present. It’s a state of living in the now.
So how does mindful meditation help increase productivity?
Meditation Improves Focus– The very basis of meditation is focus. Since our thoughts are so randomly scattered all over, it takes beginners a lot of discipline to practice mindful meditation.
No matter what meditation strategy you choose- from concentrating on your breathing to concentrating on ridding your mind of negative thoughts- focus is the first step towards getting it right. And this interplay between focus and meditation proves beneficial both ways.
The better you get at focusing on the object of your choice, the better you will get at meditating. And the more you meditate, the better your ability to focus gets.
A study conducted at the University of Washington on a group of people highlights the effect of meditation on focus. The group was divided into three subgroups, where one subgroup was made to undertake an 8 week-long mindful meditation course. All the subgroups were asked to go about their daily task, but the group that underwent meditation training showed a higher level of focus by switching less frequently between daily tasks.
Improves Emotional Health– Mindful meditation helps in emotional healing by letting go of the past. Not only focusing on the present prompts the brain to concentrate on the events of now but it also changes the thoughts in the subconscious mind.
Meditation helps the body to balance its neurochemical system, thus improving emotional health. When you are in control of your emotions, you are automatically more productive.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety– Anyone who has uttered the word stress has been bombarded by suggestions on meditation. In fact, meditation is one of the antidotes of stress.
Improved emotional health enables us to deal with negative emotions in a better way. A person in control of his emotions will seldom exaggerate negative ones. Another way meditation reduces stress instantly is by making the brain calmer and reducing the adrenaline rush in the body.
And how does this increase productivity? Think of stress as the nagging colleague who drops in at your cubicle whenever they want. They talk for hours, taking up your time and keeping you from doing work. This is how stress works on a mental level- it is a number one productivity killer.
Being equipped to deal with stress better translates into better productivity.
Improves Memory– Meditation, as already mentioned, is exercise for the brain, especially the cerebral cortex. This cortex is responsible for storing facts, learning, and sharp memory, and the more you exercise this outer cortex, the bigger it gets.
It’s no secret that memory and brain power can change the face of your career. From improved performance to taking sound decisions on the go, a healthier brain leads to higher productivity and efficiency.
Some easy meditation techniques
Easy Breathing Technique– This is the best option for beginners, and breathing-based meditation is simple. One technique is to concentrate on your breath and count them up to 100, or go lower if you find 100 an overwhelming number.
Self-Hypnosis videos– These videos are readily available on YouTube and are divided into levels to suit both beginners and practitioners. The video guides you to relax, imagine a positive thought, or simply connect with your inner self.
Sometimes, the video only has audio playing and at times there are visuals too. Mainly it is beautiful shots and pictures of nature like waterfall, green trees, and birds that are soothing to the brain and is an excellent relaxation technique when coupled with the audio.
Meditation music– Besides videos, there are specific meditation music podcasts that you can easily get on the web. Actually meditation techniques are subjective, some people favor these meditation audios while some say listening to jazz or even acoustic music is meditative for them. You have to find your fit.
The benefits of meditation are many. If the most successful people can devote more than 2 hours per day to meditating, you and I can definitely start with committing to 10 minutes of daily meditation.