Imagine yourself having that moment where you can’t stop fretting about how much work you have to complete in so little time. Now imagine someone telling you that meditating will help you in this situation. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to throw your arms up in that person’s face and ask how reducing your allotted time by even more (through meditation) will help you get more done! It may seem counterintuitive, but this person’s advice may actually be right.
First, I’m sure we’ve all heard that practicing meditation can reduce stress. Yes, this is true, but meditation does so much more than this. When you engage in meditation, your brain is prompted to release neurotransmitters that help you feel focused, aware, and at peace. The effects of these neurotransmitters can do quite a bit to further your productivity in the workplace (source: LinkedIn):
- Concentration. When you achieve the state of focus and centeredness made possible through meditation, you are in a mental state to be more concentrated when you’re doing your work. Not only can you accomplish more in a given period of time, but you’ll probably also listen better in meetings, read more efficiently, and express your ideas better in writing.
- Creativity. Research also shows that meditation supports creative activities. In his LinkedIn article, Dr. Deepak Chopra explains that we have anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day, but most of them are thoughts that we have had before. Meditation allows you to reach a heightened state of awareness where you become more open to new ideas, thoughts, and perspectives. This becomes a great breeding ground for creativity.
- Powerful. Although feeling a little bit of stress or anxiety can prompt your fight-or-flight response to perform well, feeling too much stress has a very detrimental effect on your work. When you overwhelmed by your stress, such that there is nothing you can do to accomplish what you need to do, you assume an attitude of defeat and stop caring as much about your work, because you’ve already decided that you can’t do it. Engaging in meditation on a regular basis can help prevent you from reaching this point of stress.
So next time you’re in a work crunch, think twice before laughing at the person that suggests meditating. You may be able to work more productively and, in the end, finish more work even though you took a break to meditate.
Also, if you’re working on shooting your video resume, consider meditating before your shoot. If you’re in a mental state where you can think more calmly and clearly, you’ll be in a better position to speak gracefully about yourself rather than stuttering your way through your pitch.