Why meditation is so important to you

A young woman meditating at home. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

When you think of productivity, you automatically think of it as producing more work in a shorter period of time. But how does meditation, which requires your full attention on a specific object while ignoring everything around you, help you be more productive?

Studies have shown that meditation is linked to structural changes in areas of the brain, which are also associated with increased focus and better decision making. Yahoo Life SEA has compiled a list of five ways meditation can help you improve your performance at work, and hopefully you’ll add meditation to your daily routine afterward.

1. Reduce stress

One of the main reasons people meditate is because it is an effective stress management tool that they can easily incorporate into their daily life.

Stressed people are usually unable to make informed decisions, and the blurring of their minds can cause poor performance at work or in life. However, research has shown that after just eight weeks of regular meditation, the amygdala, which is important for regulating feelings such as anxiety and stress, shrinks in size, causing stress levels to drop. With less stress affecting you on a daily basis, you will be able to see an increase in your productivity.

2. Better and longer concentration

We are easily distracted by our surroundings, which is especially evident during the work from home pandemic, where we have to share a workspace with others at home, juggling work and parenting at the same time.

Meditation helps you by teaching you to focus on just one thing, be it your breath, a mantra, or an object, and to silence other thoughts. Familiarizing yourself with this can help you focus better on other areas of life, such as working and paying attention for a longer period of time.

Young asian businessman taking note next to laptop on wooden table

A businessman taking notes. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

3. Less procrastination

When you can concentrate better and for longer periods of time, you will find that you procrastinate less because your mind is less likely to be distracted. However, according to Better Humans trainer Tony, “your mind is expected to wander, so don’t feel bad when that happens.”

Instead, with meditation, “you catch your mind wandering and then bring your focus back to your breathing” which will help you “practice a consciousness-focus loop”. This allows you to catch up faster when procrastinating, allowing you to focus on what’s at hand instead of wasting time.

4. Increased self-discipline

To get more done in less time, you need to cultivate strong self-discipline, especially to keep yourself from prioritizing other things over those that matter. Research on meditation has shown that it helps increase regional density of gray matter in the brain, which is associated with willpower and self-discipline.

According to Headspace, “meditation is a practice of self-discipline itself” simply because “showing up regularly to sit with the mind is what strengthens our discipline and our sense of commitment.”

5. Better decision-making skills

Being more productive also means you need to have better decision making skills, deciding what is most important and your goal for the day.

Meditation trains you to be more aware of your inner thoughts and feelings, giving you more control over your emotions and urges. This control helps you strategize better at work and not let your feelings dictate your decisions.

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