3 Ways Meditation Can Help Your Career

When you imagine moving up the corporate ladder, you probably envision yourself working harder, faster, and smarter.  While that may be true, you'd probably be surprised to discover that a meditation practice can give you an edge.

Research shows that meditation offers a number of benefits that can improve on-the-job performance.  Specifically, meditation has been shown to:

  1. Improve Your Focus.  According to research, our minds wander about 50% of the time.  Think about how much more productive you could be if you were able to maintain your focus and devote 100% of your attention to any given task.  With meditation, you can.  Studies show that meditation not only boosts our ability to concentrate but it also improves memory.

  2. Strengthen Creativity.  As an executive, you're probably confronted with new business problems on a regular basis.  When these types of challenges occur, it's important to be able to devise creative solutions.  This is where divergent thinking comes in.  Divergent thinking refers to our ability to think of a number of possible solutions to a given problem.

    Meditation has been shown to strengthen this skill.  For instance, in one study, participants were told to engage in open monitoring meditation, a form of meditation where the practitioner becomes aware of thoughts and feelings but observes them with detachment.  After engaging in this type of meditation, the study participants performed better at a divergent thinking task.

  3. Reduce Stress & Anxiety.  The higher you rise up the corporate ladder, the more stressful your job tends to be.  However, by developing a meditation practice, you'll be better able to handle the stress and anxiety that often causes people to burn out.  Research shows that meditators produce less cortisol, the hormone associated with stress.  They also experience lower levels of anxiety and fatigue.