Meditation – Catalyst for Productivity
We normally associate meditation with peace, calm, yoga and happy monks. But, can meditation really make one more productive? The answer is an overwhelming “YES” and there has been loads of research to back it up.
Meditation improves how we manage our focus and to works to enhance our memory capacity. An increased working memory results in more thinking power and the ability to complete more challenging tasks.
Meditation is one routine that many of the most successful people in the world have in common. It is used as a way of boosting innovation and competitiveness by performers, musicians, academics, engineers, and innovators such as Bill Gates, Will Smith, Tony Robbins, Oprah, Ray Dalio, Russel Brand, …
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes things worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things — that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.”Steve Jobs, Apple Co-Founder and visionary
Meditation is for all. That is, everybody who wants to achieve their highest potential, excel in whatever they do, and live life to the fullest.
Radically Improved Concentration and Focus
Meditation has been scientifically proven to bring immense benefits to our minds. With regular practice, your concentration will increase, ignoring distractions. We are bombarded with distractions continuously and often out of our control. But what we can control is how we react to those distractions. Meditation training teaches us how to remain focused and stay with the task at hand. Regardless of the type of meditation, what is common, is staying with the technique, be it coming back to the breath, mantra or body scan and let the invasive thoughts pass by. Through meditation practise we can apply the same discipline during our normal day.
A recent research was conducted to test the effect of meditation practice to increase memory power. Researchers led participants twice a week through a 30-minute meditation session and encouraged them to meditate at home. A few weeks later, they found something surprising – the participant’s working memory had improved by more than 30 percent on average. This meant that their minds could contain more than an average person by 30%.
Maybe 30% may sound like a small number, but that’s the difference between an average student and an A-Grade student.
The reason is twofold, improved concentration causing reduced interference and bigger brains. Our ability to learn and recall is hampered by memories interfering so our ability to suppress those, improves memory. MRI’s of meditators have shown that they have bigger hippocampi which is the part of the brain that regulates emotional and cognitive control.
Makes you Peaceful
According to a survey, the average human spends about 45.9% of their waking hours stressing upon about something else other other than what they are doing. This makes us far less successful and hampers our focus. This wandering mind has been directly correlated with decreased satisfaction in life.
Meditation practice has proven to make the mind calmer. Our breath is intimately connected to our state of mind— we have found in our lives that when we get angry, the breath has a certain frequency and speed to it, when we’re sad, the breath changes its pattern and duration, and when we’re happy, the breath travels at a different wavelength. This tells you that your state of mind depends on how you can breathe and control it. With meditation you learn to use your breath to calm you down in stressful situations.
Keeps you Mentally Fresh
Losing on break times or not taking enough breaks results in a decrease in productivity. When there are no mental breaks, and you are always thinking, analyzing, planning, and worrying, the mind has no chance to recharge. By Meditating, you improve your focusing stamina. It helps the mind to rejuvenate and recharge, with a new ability to concentrate intently.
During meditation one reaches a state of deep rest, which for many people in todays world never achieve even when asleep. A 20-minute-deep meditation can be as good for you as an extra two hours of sleep.
When stress is high in our body, division of focus, decision-making, working memory, and multitasking are compromised— all of which we need to be successful in life.
Cortisol, a stress hormone, is an indicator of stress levels. Both meditation and respiratory techniques have been shown to reduce cortisol significantly in our system as well as boost the function of the immune system allowing our mind and body function at its best.
Meditation is not difficult. There are numerous apps, guided meditations, that can be downloaded for free or available on your favourite music app and centres.
“In moments of madness, meditation has helped me find moments of serenity – and I would like to think that it would help provide young people a quiet haven in a not-so-quiet world… It’s a lifelong gift, something you can call on at any time… I think it’s a great thing.”Paul McCartney, The Beatles