Could meditation help your career?
Taking time out of your hectic schedule to meditate, learning to quieten your brain from the constant onslaught of information, could actually help your career. It may seem counter-intuitive to stop when you have so much to do, but meditating has some proven benefits, allowing you to take control and understand yourself and your colleagues with a renewed clarity - ideal for those in a position of management.
When workloads get too much, that presentation leaves you speechless and impending deadlines mean you start dropping the ball, it's because your hypothalamus has taken over from the more productive prefrontal cortex. The cause of "fight or flight" response, when under pressure, it can leave your mind feeling like it is being attacked and out of control.
Meditation lets you reverse this process. You can actually learn to let your prefrontal cortex drive, even in seemingly stressful situations, therefore boosting your effectiveness, especially during critical projects.
Become an objective observer
Our lives are largely based on routine, patterns that govern the way we do things and how our days are likely to pan out - how we sleep, get to work, deal with everyday situations. Immersed in these actions and reactions it can be hard to see which are useful and which not, and even harder to change them.
By meditating, you can learn to take a look inwards from the outside and detect patterns in your life that are not productive - working on "urgent" short tasks rather than concentrating on long-term and possibly more important goals, for example. Understanding these blips in your productivity will help you iron them out and permanently become more effective.
Numerous studies have shown that meditation increases compassion, which can have an extremely positive effect on leadership ability. If your co-workers feel that you understand them and care about their needs they'll be more likely to co-operate, helping you build high-performing teams that love what they do.
With the modern brain bombarded with information constantly, thanks to the ever-present internet and high-pressure work environments, meditating to get ahead in your career could be more important than ever. It doesn't have to take up too much time, emptying your mind by as little as 10 minutes a day can make a real difference - learn to switch off to get much more switched on!
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