They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And while that may be true, there are, undoubtedly, days where work can feel like, well… work. This is why practicing meditation can be seriously beneficial. It can help you de-stress and clear your mind so you can start fresh every single day.
Neglecting to take care of yourself and your mind not only negatively impacts your mental health and overall well-being but also affects how you perform at work, too. By incorporating meditation into your daily life, you can take care of yourself and level up in the workplace—and it will only take a couple of minutes out of your day. Keep on reading to learn exactly how meditation can help you at work.
Boosts focus and brain function
The entire goal of meditation is to be fully present in the moment and to bring yourself back to the present moment gently if your mind does wander. This gentle training of bringing your mind back to what’s right in front of you during meditation will inadvertently carry over to your life outside of it.
Being fully present at and for work will boost your focus, increase your productivity and maximize your time management. Much like monotasking, when you’re focused solely on the task at hand, you’re bound to do better; you’re less likely to make mistakes and forget things. Plus, staying focused on one thing rather than 10 helps you stay more organized. In addition, when you’re fully present and focused, your brain will function at a higher level, which can help with things such as problem-solving, decision-making, crisis management, critical thinking, and memory loss.
Want to impress your boss by coming up with an idea that’s outside the box? Meditation can help with that. When we meditate, we distance ourselves from our thoughts and feelings, which in turn creates and opens up space for new thoughts and feelings to enter. By opening up ourselves and our minds, we can allow creative and bold insights to enter our lives, and our unique self-expression can be liberated.
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Helps you sleep better
It’s no secret that not getting the proper amount of rest can seriously mess with you. Everyone needs sleep in order for their brain and body to function properly. That said, most of us know all too well that there are some nights when sleep comes easier than others, and on the nights when sleep doesn’t come easily, we often wake up feeling less motivated and excited to take on the day and have more difficulty staying focused on one thing. This can ultimately make work feel a lot harder than it actually is.
Meditation can help you sleep better because it naturally balances out chemicals that are vital to sleep, like serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin—AKA the sleep hormone. It also helps you learn how to better separate the events of the day and the next day so you can relax your mind and get your beauty rest. When you wake up feeling rested, refreshed, and renewed, you’ll be on your A-game at work.
We’re often our own worst critics, but through meditation, we’re taught to examine our innermost thoughts and feelings without judgment. This practice helps boost self-love and compassion for ourselves, which in turn increases confidence. When you’re feeling confident in yourself, that confidence will translate into your work. You’ll feel more comfortable speaking up or bringing new ideas to the table because you’re more trusting of yourself and your mind, and you’ll work better overall. Plus, you can also better manifest things for yourself and your career when you believe that you’re worthy of and deserve them.
Reduces stress and manage anxiety
Whenever we feel stressed or anxious, our brain essentially tells our body that there’s an emergency, and our body then responds accordingly by releasing fight or flight emotions. Unsurprisingly, this flood of emotions can make it extremely difficult to concentrate on or get any work done. Meditation, though, directly counters these emotions and restores the body and mind to a calm, restful, and emotionally stable state by lowering our heart rate and blood pressure and slowing down our breathing. This helps train our minds to ward off fight-or-flight emotions and makes it easier for us to get through work and whatever challenge we’re facing because our mind isn’t flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. We also end up making better work-related decisions because we’re not basing them on pure emotion.
In addition, whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, meditation can help you cut through outside noise and get to the heart of what’s really bothering you; you can see things more clearly and work through them better. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed at work, use the principles of meditation to calm down. Take 3-5 long, deep breaths to break away from fight-or-flight emotions, slow down your heart rate, and clear your mind.
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Helps strengthen professional relationships
Meditating allows you to get more in touch with yourself and your emotions, which in turn can help with your communication skills. Naturally, it’s easier to articulate whatever you’re thinking or feeling when you understand it. It also helps improve your self-awareness, and when you’re more self-aware, you’re more mindful of how you respond to things. This means that you’re less likely to be extremely reactive or take things the wrong way.
Additionally, meditation is a grounding exercise that’s known to boost overall mood in general. Inner peace radiates outward, and your energy is calmer, friendlier, and more welcoming. When you’re happy and authentically yourself, people (including that boss you’re trying to impress!) are more likely to be drawn to you.
Keeps you moving forward
Sometimes when things are eating away at you or weighing heavily on your mind, it can be hard to release them, but through meditation, you can find a way to clear your mind and let them go. Meditation lets you examine and deal with your problems for a certain amount of time (like while you’re meditating), but after that, however, you can box up whatever’s bothering you for the time being and take it out at a later time. This isn’t suppressing your emotions—in fact, it’s doing quite the opposite: You’re simply setting aside things that don’t serve you at the present moment, and when the time is right, you’ll come back and deal with them accordingly. This will help you better manage your workload when you’re not feeling your best. Your productivity, output, and overall job performance won’t take a hit, either.
Practicing meditation regularly can help you refocus and regroup, release pent-up emotions and stress, and gain clarity and insight into yourself and whatever’s going on in your life. A lot of people find meditation intimidating, but there are numerous tools—like books such as Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor, YouTube videos by experts like Tara Brach, or apps like Headspace or Calm—to help you get started. If you don’t have those tools available to you, you can simply breathe and try to focus solely on your breath in the present moment. You can also try journaling whatever comes to mind when you’re done meditating, too. This can help you further expand on any insights or creative ideas you received while meditating.
Remember that practice makes perfect, and meditating will only get easier over time. Stick with it, though, and you’ll find yourself in a happier, calmer, and more emotionally stable state more often. By reaching a heightened state of awareness and higher consciousness through meditation, you can level up and unlock the best version of yourself—inside and outside of work.