Guest Author: Tina Daniels
Many people associate meditation with yoga class or with sitting for endless hours without moving, definitely not with the middle of the workday. But maybe they should. Even five minutes at a time of meditation can do wonders for your workday and your home life too. And five minutes is short enough that your boss won’t get mad at you for ignoring important work. Read on for some great reasons to build five-minute meditation breaks into your day.
1. Meditation increases our memory. A recent study showed that meditating for eight weeks was linked to having a higher density of gray matter, a part of the brain that helps with memory and learning. With all we have to keep in mind during the typical workday, who couldn’t use a little memory boost?
2. Meditation increases our attention span. Having trouble paying concentrating? Try meditating. By practicing keeping your focus on one thing at a time, such as your breath, you improve your ability to pay attention when it really matters, such as during a boring but important meeting.
3. Meditation improves our response to stress and emotion. Studies show that meditation actually changes the way our brain processes emotion, making us more resilient. And that’s not true just during meditation — the effects stay with you long after you’re done. The next time your boss yells at you, it’ll be like water off a duck’s back … well, almost.
4. Meditation gives your brain a true rest. When you take a break from work and go on social media, your brain is reading and analyzing what you’re seeing. This means it never really gets to rest, so when you get back to work you don’t feel refreshed. Meditation allows your brain to rest up so you can perform your best.
5. Meditation improves your cognitive processing. Perhaps because we’re better able to concentrate on what we’re doing and ignore distractions when we’re accustomed to meditating, people who meditate perform better on cognitive tasks. This means you’ll write better reports, come up with better responses in meetings, and do better on just about any project that comes your way.
So how do you get started? It’s not hard. Simply sit at your desk or in an empty conference room, if you’re more comfortable and close your eyes. Many people choose to focus on their breath going in and out of their body. Each time your mind wanders away from your breath, which it will, simply shift your focus back to your breath until your five minutes are up. Over time, it will get easier and easier.
There aren’t many activities that can do so much good in so short a time, so don’t miss out on the benefits of mindful meditation.
For additional stress reduction resources, check out the author’s Guide to Treating Anxiety with Yoga.
About the Author:
Tina Daniels writes about stress reduction and meditation for VapeWorld.
Image courtesy of (Craftyjoe) from FreeDigitalPhotos.net