It is no secret that meditation is one of the best, natural ways to reduce stress, anxiety, clear your mind, and support overall well being.
But what about your professional career and success?
Yup, it can help with that too.
In fact, one of the most agreed upon commonalities that link very successful people together is a daily meditation practice. Oprah, Paul McCartney and Steve Jobs are just a few household names who credit their daily mindfulness practice to continued success.
How is it that taking time out of a busy day to sit and focus on breath can contribute to continuous professional success?
Well, sitting and doing (almost) nothing can help you do a whole lot more when you actually do sit down to do something.
Here are some of the most notable ways that meditation can help you in your busy work days and professional lives -
Benefit 1: Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Reducing stress and anxiety is the first step to improving your professional career. Meditation taps into your parasympathetic nervous system, which has the most significant role in mitigating stress and anxiety.
A Harvard study found that meditating decreases activation of the part of our brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for responding to fear and stressful situations.
When the amygdala is activated, it sends a flood of hormones to get us out of the dangerous, stressful situation. While this can be super helpful in the wild, where we might need to fight a bear or flee from a mountain lion, it only comes out as stress and anxiety in our modern 9 to 5 day jobs.
All those stress hormones that circulate in the body without any release end up eating away at our mental, physical and emotional health, making us one urgent email away from a nervous breakdown.
By reducing your stress and anxiety levels, you help your overall well being, clear your mind and reduce wear & tear on your body.
Benefit 2: Increase Productivity
A regular meditation practice improves concentration and focus, which is pretty essential to professional success. Meditation trains your brain to deflect distractions with ninja-like precision, thus increasing your attention span. This can be extremely useful to help build on your digital mindfulness, especially with all the notifications that distract us everyday.
One UCLA study found that a regular meditation practice connects neurotransmitters from both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, bringing more symmetry between a person’s ability to use both sides of the brain.
This connection increases productivity by allowing you to tackle more difficult tasks in a shorter span of time, because more brain power means more productivity.
Benfits 3: Improve Decision Making Skills
In gaining the ability to block out distractions and reduce stress, you can move through the day with a clear, efficient mind.
Not only that, meditation also helps build neural connections in the brain that allow for prolonged focus without being led down the rabbit hole of distractions.
With more neural connections in the areas of the brain responsible for focus and fewer distractions while you think, your decision making skills become a force to be reckoned with.
Benefits 4: Increase Creativity and Problem Solving Skills
With a consistent meditation practice, we are better able to solve problems quickly and effectively.
Meditation connects both sides of the brain, bringing together both the analytical side and the creative side. Tapping into both sides of the brain in this way allows you to be more creative while also being more analytical.
Basically, your problem-solving skills increase tenfold.
And being able to solve problems quickly and easily will give you a major competitive advantage over your non-meditative peers.
Benefits 5: Improve Communication Skills
One of the most important aspects of a healthy work environment is (healthy) communication between colleagues. That applies to friendships and relationships out of work too.
And yes, meditation helps with that.
Practicing meditation helps build more efficient flows of communication between team members, which helps foster stronger working relationships.
Defogging your mind of mental chatter and focusing on the task at hand ensures that you can clearly communicate your ideas and points. It also means that you'd be more mindful with your words and less likely to jump to conclusions. Or make wrong assumptions when you’re working with others, which is a pretty common office drama that many people inevitably face.
Bringing mindfulness to the workspace through meditation allows you to be open to all avenues of communication with your co-workers.
Let’s Get Started
So where do we begin? What is a little, productive step you can take to incorporate this into your daily lives? To live your best lives, together.
Try taking just one minute each morning and each night to meditate in a comfortable place, maybe with the help of an app like Calm, Headspace or with music (like a beautiful kirtan).
Bring your focus to the breath. Clear any writing on the slate of your mind. Let your mind settle into a quiet, contemplative space.
Recharge, rejuvenate and reboot.
And don’t worry. There are tons of different meditation styles to choose from, so you can easily find one that fits you and your personal schedule. If you’d like some help getting started, you can check out Mooji’s Invitation to Freedom, or pop by a mindfulness studio near you.
To enjoy the benefits of mindfulness, you do not always have to sit in one position. You can opt for moving meditation such as taking walks, long runs or moving into a flow with Yoga. Even surfing can be your way of zen. Find your fit and what suits you.
A meditation retreat is another great way to deepen your meditation practice...and a lot of them are in unspeakably beautiful places. (Hello, Bali!).
Read more: What to look out for in your next escapade
However you begin your meditation practice, may it be as life-changing as it is for the millions already meditating - elevating and bringing success to all aspects of your life.
Article contributed by Marquis Matson of BookRetreats.com - handpicked yoga retreats and yoga teacher trainings all over the world, giving you access to real reviews and a best price guarantee.
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