I am yet to meet a working professional who does not like to take a shower or brush teeth before coming to office. Yes, sometimes crazy working hours or sub-zero winter temperatures may occasionally make us miss these necessary daily rituals, but I am sure there is no need for me to establish the importance of personal hygiene.
However, it surprises me a lot that such little importance is given to what is happening inside the human body other than the sensations of hunger or pain. People now consider stress, anxiety, anger issues and panic attacks as normal happenings in life. I do not wish to use statistics as a crutch to establish the need for internal emotional cleansing. There are ample of studies by reputed medical institutes published in world famous journals which prove that meditation is even more powerful than medication for sound emotional health.
Meditation is the internal bathing and cleansing of the mind
Five benefits in your work life if you meditate.
I will not prescribe you any particular kind of meditation because all of them are effective. Do not let your untrained mind give you excuses like lack of knowledge and proper technique is the reason why you cannot meditate. Buy a book on the subject of meditation or read a dozen of articles on the Internet and then you are all set to start. If your employer does not sponsor a meditation class for you, you can do it yourself. It is free, easy to do and a great habit that you must gift yourself.
You just need to find the form of meditation to which you can relate to the most. I follow a combination of – mindfulness, thoughtlessness, gratitude-based meditation, deep diaphragm breathing and concentration exercises.
You can read books and watch videos online about each of these techniques and adopt the one which works best for you. I would only like to prescribe a minimum duration of 30 minutes per day to start with. You can meditate in a standing posture, seated position or in the most crowded places but make sure you do not compromise your physical safety. Allow me to share certain professional benefits that you can manifest in your life through the habit of meditation. I can vouch for these benefits because I have personally experienced them in one way or the other.
1. Better decisions
A mind conditioned through meditation always responds to a situation calmly rather than reacting to it. The nasty client email or a rude email from a colleague will not blow your mind easily. You will now operate from a position of planned response rather than an unplanned execution. It is a powerful position to be in and very useful skill for business leaders. Your inner wisdom will navigate you to choose better projects and colleagues to work with.
2. Awakens creativity
There are various forms of meditation techniques that can unleash your creativity. One of them is the constant questioning method. I always calmly command myself what is the best, fastest and most effective way to complete my work. The fact that I communicate with my inner self through questions, it comes up with a lot of creative answers. As spooky as it may sound, but meditation grants you access to collective consciousness of the world. You will get strangely powerful ideas which you cannot attribute to your own knowledge seeking efforts. It is the universal consciousness sending you signals to improve your life. Be receptive and open to these creative sources.
3. Cordial relationships
People who meditate are very choosy about their professional battles. They know that some issues and people should be avoided rather than confronted. They have understood the futility of micromanagement in life and intervene only when the stakes are high and when action is the best plan. As a result, they are quiet beings who do not mess up their relationships or annoy people around them. Some people will always be annoyed with you even if you do not do anything. However, most of the bad relationships at work are a result of an ugly confrontation, a poorly worded email or phone call made with a rude tone. Meditation can help you direct and channellise your anger on issues rather than people. You will attack wrong behaviour rather than people and your relationships will get better in a significant manner.
4. Improved focus and productivity
When you practise mindfulness or thoughtlessness, you reach a state of now. You fall in love with action and do not get anxious about the results or outcome. This is the age old concept of work-therapy or living in a state of flow. When you learn to still your mind through certain breathing techniques, you take charge of your attention and the number of distractions in your professional life decrease too. You understand the difference between urgent and important and engage in high impact tasks. Your productivity zooms up and you get more accomplished in a day than most people do in that time frame.
5. Peak energy
Meditation releases energy of calmness and positivity that can be harnessed at your workplace. After every 1 hour at work, I take 10 deep breaths and exhale any negativity or stress which might have built up during the past one hour. Just takes a couple of minutes but it keeps me super productive for the hour. While coming back from work, I use certain breathing techniques to release any kind of stress and negativity that I might have unknowingly accumulated inside my mind. As surprising as it may sound, but I feel energetic and charged up at the end of the day too.
Meditation is one practice that I prescribe to all my readers and seminar participants because it has no side-effects. It clears your mind and oxygenates the body. Meditation is not just meant for the monks of the Himalayas. The truth is they need it less than us who live a professional life full of targets, deadlines and challenging situations.