These three health meditations can help you focus on your work, not your worries.
You’ve probably heard of meditation for greater inner peace and less stress. You may have tried meditation once or twice before. But have you considered contemplation as a way to ameliorate your performance at work? If not, now is your time to try contemplation again.Read more: Radish Health Benefits: From controlling high BP to providing relief from constipation, these are the 5 big benefits of eating radish.
3 Health Meditations for Better Performance on the Job
- Focus on labeling your thoughts. Acknowledge your thoughts, label them, then put them aside.
- Pay attention to setting your temperature. Be comfortable even in times of struggle.
- Meta meditation. See your co-workers as human beings and cultivate compassion for them.
When I started practicing these three types of meditation, my performance at work doubled within a year. My leader was shocked when I told him that my explosive sales growth had nothing to do with hard work and taking purposeful breaks.
Meditation improves your performance at work by accessing the parts of your brain responsible for making operational decisions, improving memory capacity, increasing creativity, and increasing focus. When practiced consistently, this focused attention translates into quality work and successful results.
Focus on labeling your thoughts
Thoughts have power. They can push you forward or hold you back at work. For example, the stupid thing you said on the conference call last week makes you afraid to talk about your great idea on the next call because you think you’ll be judged. Before you know it, you’re reeling in ideas and stories, most of which aren’t even true.
Thinking about what could happen in the future or what happened in the past can prevent you from performing at your best at work. If this is your situation, then labeling your thoughts is the meditation for you. It allows you to refocus your attention, return to the present moment, and create your best work.
To practice, with eyes open or closed, focus on the thoughts that come into your awareness for a few minutes. Instead of following their story, put a soft, mental label on the thought, then return to what you’re doing in the present moment.
For example, if you notice feelings of anger or anxiety, gently label the anger, anxiety, and return to what you were doing. This meditation reclaims your power from your thoughts.
Set your temperature focus
When you come to a meeting, you adopt the qualities of a thermostat leader or a thermometer leader. Consider the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermometer reflects the temperature of a room and lacks the intelligence to move it up or down based on its environment. A thermostat sets the room temperature by deliberately adjusting it based on the room’s environment and needs.
You want to be a thermostat leader—someone who can cool down a hot, pressure-filled boardroom or heat up a low-energy, slow-moving meeting.
Setting your temperature allows us to move from the reactive thermometer leader to the intentional thermostat leader: neutral, aware, and connected to everything happening in the meeting. A thermostat leader stays at a comfortable temperature during conflict, when unexpected changes occur, or when coworkers bring frenetic energy to a meeting.
To set your temperature as a thermostat leader, close your eyes and check in with your internal thermostat. Consider which number you are in right now and which number will bring you closer to peace. Take a few deep breaths and feel as you approach your calm thermostat number. Repeat this mantra quietly: “I have set my temperature.” This thermostat is the practice of the leader.
If you’re experiencing conflict with a colleague, colleague, or client at work, try meta meditation. Meta meditation, also known as loving-kindness, helps you become aware of your own judgmental thoughts and develop more compassion for the other person. By first developing a sense of understanding and compassion for ourselves, then extending that goodwill outward, we move from narrow-mindedness to expansive empathy.
Meta-focus slows down our immediate judgment and allows us to develop deeper understanding, which often strengthens strained work relationships.
Before your next important meeting, take 10 minutes, close your eyes, and silently repeat these phrases first to yourself and then to the other person: May I/You be safe, May I/You be happy, May I/You be healthy, May I/ May you be healthy/May you be free from suffering. When we see the human being in another person rather than just a human act, we open up more avenues of connection to our common goal.