by Szymon Pelechowicz; Purpose Fairy
What would you give for more time in your life?
The ability to do more in less time has always been a fundamental human desire. Because of that, it can seem counterintuitive to develop a meditation practice.
You already have trouble making time to sort the laundry, make dinner and exercise. And you think you should make time to meditate?
Bear with us as we explain why this makes sense.
Here are 8 ways in which meditation can actually make you more productive and also improve the quality of your life.
1. Meditation Improves Your Focus and Memory
You may think that studying, learning and working can all help keep your brain working optimally throughout your life. However, sometimes our brain grows when we’re not bombarding it.
Experts say that technology may be harming our attention and capacity to store information.
Meditation can help with that.
One study looked at test scores earned over time by participants who took a mindfulness and meditation class versus participants who took a nutrition class. The researchers found that the group that learned how to meditate showed improvements in scores on several types of tests.
Meditation alters the physical structure of the brain. The size of the blood vessels in the brain increases and more blood is transported to the brain. The cerebral cortex also thickens.
2. Meditation Helps You Live Longer
With more years in your life, you can be more productive, right?
Meditation can add years to your life. A University of Pennsylvania study found that repeating a mantra creates vibrations that disconnect the mind from the body. This allows the body to become more relaxed and evenly regulated.
Try this guided meditation to elevate your vibration.
People who meditate have also been found to have more telomerase than those who don’t. Telomerase is an enzyme that keeps chromosomes from deteriorating, which is one cause of aging. When your DNA is protected, the rate at which you age slows down.
People with higher telomerase levels also tend to have better psychological wellbeing. When you’re balanced psychologically, you’re less stressed. Research has consistently shown that stress can be a factor in health problems like heart disease, obesity, and stroke.
3. Meditation Gives You a Break That Helps You Work Less
You may be thinking, “What? Working less isn’t increasing my productivity.”
Many people don’t take the time to meditate simply because they feel more productive when they’re working hard. However, leisure time researchers say that multitasking and working longer hours don’t necessarily indicate that you’re getting more done.
In fact, one of the downfalls of working all the time is that you don’t achieve more than someone who works in a more focused mindful manner. You also don’t get to take advantage of leisure time, because you feel like you’re always working.
Taking time out of your busy day to meditate can help you get all of your work done in a more efficient manner, leaving you with more time to enjoy life too.
4. Meditation Organizes Your Mind
We often run through life without stopping to organize our thoughts. When our minds become filled with so much information, we can feel confused, overwhelmed or foggy. This doesn’t help us with our productivity.
Just like your computer works more efficiently after you defragment it, so do you. Meditation allows you to organize the information in your brain, creating more space for learning and processing information.
5. Meditation Keeps You From Procrastinating
Be honest; how much time do you spend scrolling through social media? You tell yourself that you’re just hopping on to check one thing, and you spend the next hour blindly scrolling. This type of procrastination takes a toll on your productivity.
Instead of doing those activities that suck away your time, what if you meditated? You would probably spend less time meditating than you do wasting time in other ways. Also, you would become more aware of the time that you do have and the ways in which you can realistically spend it.
6. Meditation Encourages “Right Thought”
The idea of right thought comes from the Buddhist principle that meditation creates clear intentions. This allows you to see your path and move through it more clearly, preventing you from wasting time on activities or even thought processes that are unproductive.
7. Meditation Teaches You To Push On Through
Meditating isn’t always easy. It can be challenging to rid yourself of the fluster of thoughts that crowd your brain at any given moment. Developing a consistent meditation practice takes patience and perseverance.
Over time, however, you end up learning how to breathe through the difficult situation. You understand how to regulate your breathing and better control your mental and emotional responses to stressful circumstances. It helps you get through other demanding situations in your life with more ease and grace.
8.Meditation Makes You More Creative
Meditation allows you to think more flexibly. What should you do when life doesn’t go as planned? Instead of letting obstacles get in your way, you can come up with more creative solutions when your ways of thinking allow for flexibility.
When you’re stuck in a particular way of thinking, you don’t tend to move forward. The creative thinking that is encouraged by meditation helps you get through life with more ease and efficiency.
But what does being more productive really mean?
Before you trade in your three cups of coffee for a new meditation practice, stop to consider what productivity really means to you. Do you have to do so much laundry?
Most of us have way too much on our to-do lists, and the majority of what we hope to accomplish isn’t going to fulfill us or change our lives significantly.
Productivity doesn’t have to mean working more. Productivity doesn’t have to mean never taking breaks or never relaxing.
Productivity should be about using your mind efficiently and creatively in order to live your life in a more rewarding manner.
When you’re more mindful about the way you live your life, you will become more productive when necessary, allowing you to make better use of the time that you do have.
Is it really more time you want? Do you need to get so much more done, or do you just want to be more efficient and mindful in the way you live your life? If you’re doing it for the right reasons, you can turn meditation into a daily habit.