When the phone is ringing, the kids are yelling, and the computer keeps dinging because you’ve got messages and e-mails, it can be nearly impossible to get any work done. Today’s modern world offers more distractions than ever before and that can make getting a specific job done a difficult proposition. Is it possible that by spending a regular amount of time in meditation on a daily basis, you could help your brain resist these distractions, allowing you to focus on the task at hand? A 2011 study from Yale indicates that this is a strong possibility.
You Can Modify Your Brain’s Network
Everyone can sit, daydream, and think about other stuff rather than what needs to get done and this is called the “default mode.” This default mode of the brain is actually linked to heightened levels of anxiety, attention issues, and even Alzheimer’s Disease. For people who meditate on a regular basis, the brain actually has the ability to change this default mode to reduce the mind’s distractions and increase a person’s overall focus. This is done because people who have meditated consistently over a period of time have their brains network other components of the mind together to help communicate that distractions are happening. This advanced level of networking helps more work be completed with a greater level of focus.
Meditation Can Lead To Greater Creativity
The brain has two basic networks: the default mode, as mentioned above, and the attentional mode. When one of these modes is on, then the other mode is off in a majority of people. This separates thinking and daydreaming from actual physical activity. In people who regularly meditate, this line of separation is blurred because the mind can actually work on taking the positive internal default chatter and apply it to the physical activity that is being done. This can allow for greater activity, longer focus, and a better overall work performance.
It’s About the Physical Practice of Meditation
Resting and meditation are two separate physical acts. In meditation, you are exercising your mind in a specific way. Resting means an attempt to cease most physical functions in order to focus more on the default mode. It is in the constant practice of meditation where these new networks can be built within the brain so that when resting or daydreaming starts, your brain can tell itself to get back to work.
It’s About Quality, Not Quantity
When it comes to meditation, it is the quality of the meditation attempt that is important and not the actual amount of time spent meditating. For many beginners, a 20 – 30 minute session is a good place to start so that the meditative experience can be adapted into a lifestyle. Some people find longer meditation sessions to be fulfilling, but many others find 5 – 10 minutes of meditation in the morning can help them get through an extremely stressful day, yet still be productive.
Meditation might be considered something religious or New Age, but as this study from Yale discovered, it can also be a practical way to have a better focus on the tasks that need to be completed. If you’re struggling to get through a difficult project, why not try some meditation for a few minutes to see how this practice might be able to help you?