When it comes to meditation most people with the western mindset visualize a method of sitting in one position, listening to their inner self and to their breathing. Let us go a little deeper into it, why exactly does meditation help to improve our productivity and how it leads to a more successful life.
According to Psychology Today, the core of meditation is to turn our attention away from all the distraction and focus on the present moment.
However, there are two different approaches. One is bound to see the technique as the most important part of getting our mind settled and focused. The other approach routes more assets of meditation and shows you the facts through which the meditation can improve your performance and add to your more successful life.
In case one would look up the Wikipedia site on meditation the history of the ancient methods unfolds, right until recent time’s secular varieties of meditation.
First written evidence about the usage of meditation date from as early as the Hindu Vedas in India. The eastern part of the world has known many other forms of meditation as early as the 6th to 5th centuries BCE.
Other forms of meditation developed via Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, and early Buddhism. These all had their own views and methods on the subject. The western Christian way progressed from the 6th-century practice of Bible reading among Benedictine monks.
From 1950’s and 1960’s the secular meditation started to emphasize on stress reduction, relaxation, and self-improvement rather than focusing on spiritual growth according to a study. Research of meditation techniques started from 1931 and became extremely popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
As it is no two identical personalities there is not only one true method of reaching a state of mindfulness, relaxation. One would like to stick with more spiritual ways until someone else is more familiar with the neuroscientific approach.
Obstacles hindering meditation
We will be showcasing the benefits of daily meditation and mindfulness techniques this article later on, though even someone is aware of those benefits, some thoughts or limiting beliefs can build a barrier to even trying any of the techniques described later on.
Let us help you break some of these limits and liberate your mind to be able to get to a state of openness in order to try some of the recommended techniques with the help of an expert’s advice put on the probe.
Misbelief #1 – “I can’t clear my mind”
It is normal to feel like that, as nobody is able to completely clear their mind. Given that the complete clearness of mind is not possible, the aim in meditation is to become aware of distracting thoughts and to bring one’s attention back to the breath or a mantra. Do not force yourself and do not feel ashamed if you fail a couple of times.
Misbelief #2 – “I can’t sit still”
To be honest, that’s one of the most easily breakable barriers. Meditation never was, never is, never will be one posture only thing. You can find your best most liked posture which is either lying in bed or walking or standing up… You have to figure out which method works the best for you.
Misbelief #3 – “I get anxious”
To feel anxious for the first couple of times is also normal. As all the thoughts are coming up, it might scare you and push you too hard to face your own thoughts. To help ease the anxiousness learn some breathing practices to calm yourself down. Some exercise could also help ease your mind.
Misbelief #4 – “I don’t have time for that”
Parents and engaged professionals have this guilty thought mostly. Though if we realize, that proper self-care is not self-indulgence, then meditation is seen as an asset to reach the state of mind that makes us better parents and better workers. It is worth a try for every stakeholder.
Misbelief #5 – “ I can’t make it focus for 20 minutes”
Don’t worry, most of us cannot make it up to that length. It is completely fine even one minute per day for a start. The point is to establish the habit, which is reached best if you connect the meditation to some daily routine activities like starting the day or going to bed.
Misbelief #6 – “I do something else that is similar to meditation”
Actually, this misbelief is not certain or complete. Although it depends on how mindful you do practice it. For instance, making bike riding into meditation is great, but biking meditation, with its mindful attention to each movement of the leg, is very different from ordinary biking.
Misbelief #7 – “I won’t get the results as quickly as wanted”
This one is unfortunately not a misbelief. If you wanted to get some quick fix, a fast forward to stress less life, then meditation is not your best choice. Durable results come usually after at least 8-10 months of daily practice.
Benefits of taking a time-out
You are now probably wondering what does practicing the mind-calming methods give you in the long run. Emma M. Seppälä, a well-known meditation specialist, – author of the book The Happiness Tracks featured later in this article – gives a great overview of the benefits of daily meditation for a longer period of time. Let us summarize these according to her.
- It boosts your health
Meditation increases immune function decreases pain and decreases inflammation at the cellular level.
- It boosts your happiness
Practicing daily meditation increases positive emotions, while at the same time it decreases depression, anxiety, and stress.
- It boosts your social life
Through the habit of becoming more aware of our feelings and thoughts, we can increase social connection, emotional intelligence, be more compassionate and feel less lonely.
- It boosts your self-control
Focusing on your feelings and bodily sensations improve your ability to regulate your emotions, and your ability to introspect.
- It changes your brain
It is proven by UCLA researchers with MRI that meditation iincreases grey matter as the meditators’ brains have noticeably thicker tissue in the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain responsible for attention, emotion regulation, positive emotions, and self-control.
- It improves your productivity
As meditation iincreases your focus and attention as well as your memory, it provides you with more base for being creative and think outside the box (see research by J. Schooler).
The most successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common, they are able to focus on one thing deeply and multitask when the time comes for that. They are highly creative and usually don’t mind to think outside of the box as the best and most valuable business ideas come from that. And of course, a great memory is a most when it comes to knowing the competition and the market data.
Not stating that meditation is the only possible method to increase those skills needed for a successful life, or to run an eight-figure business, it can add to those areas one needs to nurture.
Now as we have seen its beneficial elements also and how meditation can help someone to lead a successful life, it is time to look into some techniques to boost productivity.
Shagun Arora is a Skin Specialist and Owner of Info Aging – A product review platform for skin care products.