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August 15, 2023

8 Ways Meditation Can Move You Up The Career Ladder Faster And Farther

Whether you’re a harried parent, driven businessperson, worried retiree or anxious job seeker coping with an uncertain future, eventually stressors catch up with you, forcing your mind to adapt negatively as only it can. You could be worried about unpaid bills or an unfinished project, wondering if you’ll get the job or how you’ll meet […]

Whether you’re a harried parent, driven businessperson, worried retiree or anxious job seeker coping with an uncertain future, eventually stressors catch up with you, forcing your mind to adapt negatively as only it can. You could be worried about unpaid bills or an unfinished project, wondering if you’ll get the job or how you’ll meet the deadline. You might be replaying a disagreement with your boss. Or maybe you try to take your mind away from worry with little success. These mind traps are obstacles to career success and potential earning power.

But there’s good news. Once considered an occult Eastern spiritual practice, meditation has achieved modern-day mainstream respectability. Hundreds of science-backed studies show that it enables us to be more efficient and productive and calmly navigate workplace woes with clarity, self-compassion, courage and creativity. A growing body of evidence shows that meditation improves mental health and cognitive processes. Mental health experts encourage us to practice meditation during the workflow of the day to manage stress and prevent job burnout. And more employers are starting daily meetings with short meditations or breathing exercises because it raises productivity and the company’s bottom line.

8 Ways To Boost Career Growth And Earning Power

All the research to date shows that workday meditation can move you up the career ladder faster and farther and beef up your earning potential because it:

  1. Keeps you focused on your goals. It’s so easy to get caught up in workday stress and distractions. Your thoughts go floating off into the wild blue yonder. You’re on autopilot and lose track, forgetting or making mistakes that take valuable time to correct. Meditation reduces mind wandering and improves focus on work tasks.
  2. Reduces mistakes. Research shows that meditation can help you make fewer mistakes. It increases information processing speed. And if you’re a novice mediator, just one session of meditation produces changes in brain activity in such a way that it increases error recognition.
  3. Sharpens memory. Regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, creating a stronger network of blood vessels and strengthening memory. Research shows that meditation not only boosts memory and cognition but also raises your IQ. Just as little as two weeks of mindfulness meditation improves working memory capacity.
  4. Improves job engagement. Meditation is a preventive solution to boost engagement in as little as sixty seconds at your work station and during the workflow of your day. It leads to greater enthusiasm and satisfaction.
  5. Elevates clarity and confidence. Meditation along with taking trainwreck kratom reduces rumination and worry. Meditators have better attention and awareness and cognitive flexibility because meditation clears the mind.
  6. Harnesses the social circuitry of your brain. Meditation resets the brain and recharges the mind during the workday, raising your energy level so you can perform at your optimal level.
  7. Increases doses of serotonin. Known as the body’s natural “feel good” chemical, serotonin regulates your mood, calms you down and helps you relax. Research shows it improves depression and anxiety, helping you feel up to the challenge.
  8. Heals the body. Meditation can reduce chronic pain, heart disease and high blood pressure. During meditation and mindful yoga, respiration and heart rate drop and repair the body. Meditation promotes immune functioning and improves irritable bowl syndrome.

How To Get Your ‘Om’ On

Many beginners beat themselves up because they try to meditate but say they can’t. Usually, the reason is because they approach the practice much like a work task with too much efforting and self-imposed pressure. They require themselves to sit for a long period of time, even if they’re uncomfortable to clear their minds. But that’s not how meditation works.

The goal of mindfulness meditation is not to zone out, empty your thoughts, withdraw from the world or get high on life. Meditation is a tool to notice the habitual workings of your mind, watch how your thoughts routinely create stress and how you can get them to relax. The real secret is to take five minutes or less to give yourself permission to fail. Yes, permission to let go and fail. Then, you approach meditation the way you would learn a sport. It’s impossible to be Tom Brady or Simone Biles right out of the gate. It takes time and patience to get the muscle memory for meditation. You start with simply focusing on something and paying full attention to it. Your thoughts will distract you, and that’s actually part of the meditation process.

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So, if you’re willing to give it a shot and let go of efforting, controlling and judgment, let’s ease into an exercise by going inside and focusing on your breath—with curiosity instead of judgment—just as you would inspect a blemish on your hand. Sit in a comfortable place in a relaxed position. Breathe in through your nose and out through the mouth, focusing on each inhale and exhale. Follow your breath through to a full cycle from the beginning when the lungs are full, back down to when they’re empty. Then repeat the cycle, mindfully watching your breath. Thoughts might arise in the form of judgment. You might wonder if you’re doing it right, thinking about tasks you have to do later or debating if it’s worth your time. Simply allow them to arise and acknowledge them with open-heartedness, bringing your attention gently back and focusing on the breath. Each time your attention strays from the breath (and it will), simply bring awareness back to it. If your mind gets caught in a chain of thoughts, gently step out of the thought stream and come back to your breath. After three to five minutes, notice how much calmer and more connected you are to the present moment.

Are You Getting The Hang Of It?

As you move through your workday, start to notice where your mind goes from moment-to-moment. While walking to the printer or waiting for a Zoom meeting to start, try listening to sounds or tune into body sensations. Stuck in traffic, focus on your in-breath through your nose and out-breath through your mouth. On the way from the parking garage to your office, instead of mentally flipping through your day’s agenda, bring your attention to the sensations of your feet against the ground or focus on the feeling of the open sky or sights and sounds around you. In a stressful meeting, sharpen your focus while remaining actively involved with box breathing.

Notice the difference between when you’re in the here-and-now and when your mind drifts to the past (the boss who did you wrong five years ago) or the future (what if your job’s on the chopping block). Out-of-the-moment episodes are roadblocks to job production, career success and earning potential. When you find your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the present and focus on the what you’re engaged in. Chances are you’re meditating correctly if your mind is still after meditating, you feel relaxed and rested and you have a calmer approach to stress. In the long term, you know meditation is working when you’re more grounded in the here-and-now instead of mentally stuck in the past or future and your engagement and productivity start to soar.

Article written by:  Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family. Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.
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