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How Meditation Can Help to Improve Your Productivity

How Meditation Can Help to Improve Your Productivity

As business competition is rising tremendously, being innovative and productive is the best choice for employees who want to retain their jobs. Employees who work hard and devote more and more time to being productive end up becoming very stressed. Stressful minds will never be productive and in most case, the employee will start hating their job. You can improve your productivity when your mind is at peace and that will only occur with tools like meditation and yoga. Meditation is a state of mind where you think about nothing. It has historical value and is considered to be a gateway of cosmic energy. It provides clarity in thoughts that result in a tension-free and blissful life.

Meditation is a simple, effective method that can help you to improve your productivity.  If you are completely relaxed and stress-free, then your mind will also work more effectively. The right side of our brain, which is responsible for creating new ideas, will work actively when you do meditation regularly. As a result, you will be able to produce new designs and ideas for your business. It might sound bizarre that you can improve your productivity just by sitting quietly and alone, but it’s true. The most surprising fact is that this short time will improve your entire day. So, regularly invest some time into meditation so that you can gain some fruitful results in return. Meditation has great soothing as well as relaxing effects. Lets us discuss some of the important benefits of Meditation.

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Benefits of Meditations:

  • Meditation has great recharging capacity.
  • Meditation can improve focus and memory.
  • You will be energetic throughout a day just by doing half an hour meditation.
  • Meditation increases the blood circulation of your brain.
  • Regular practice of meditation will slow down aging.
  • With meditation, you have better planning capacity.
  • Meditation is the best stress reliever, and it doesn’t cost a penny
  • Meditation will enhance your creativity.

It’s really needless to say; it has been scientifically proven that meditation provides immense benefits to our minds. Regular practice of meditation will increase your concentration power which leads to an increase in productivity. If you are meditating regularly, you will be able to do more work with in the same amount of time.

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How to do Meditation?

The basic idea of meditation is very simple; you just need to concentrate on your breath. First sit straight on plane surface and focus on breathing in and breathing out. If it’s your first time, and you are unable to focus on your breath, don’t worry. Just try it again. It’s not so easy that you just close your eyes and meditate right away. Regular practice is necessary; if you lose your concentration, you must bring your attention back to your inhale and exhale until the meditation is over. In short, meditation is all about focus, concentration and attention.

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If you are a newbie and are having trouble concentrating during meditation, I recommend going for guided meditation. You can find various guided meditation audio available online. Just follow the instruction and focus on your breathing. With regular practice, you will be able to start concentrating on and enjoying your meditation. Small sessions that combine pranayama and meditation can give the best results in terms of health and peace of mind.

What to do while meditating?

Keep your mind cool and breathe calmly. Your total attention should be given to your breathing. While meditating, observe your conscious strength, and you will experience outstanding peace. But remember, your breathing process must be effortless. The speed of your breathing doesn’t matter; the important thing is that it should be natural.  Inflow and outflow of breathing is a natural process, so don’t ever try to pressure yourself.

Last but not least, meditation has numerous benefits to your health. With meditation, your productivity will be enhanced to the ultimate level and you will be refreshed all the day. It will also enable you to work with full energy and concentration. Invest some time into mediation to be active and productive; it will be well worth it.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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