How Meditation Maximizes Your Pandemic Productivity

If you’re feeling extra unproductive and inefficient these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. With 88% of companies asking their employees to work from home, parents navigating an unprecedented school season and the general chaos that is 2020, we’re all out of sorts. [1]

“So, how can I possibly focus while society is spinning in circles?” you ask.

The answer is meditation. Studies show that a few minutes of meditation per day can dramatically improve concentration, assist with memory retention and eliminate stress. Sounds promising, right? Let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits of meditation. [2][3]

How Meditation Boosts Productivity

Women working from home with desktop on her lap

Eliminate Stress

Whether at work, school or home, we all have stressors that knock us off our axis. Focusing inward on your breath during meditation can help reduce that stress, allowing you to refocus and get in the zone.[4]

But how does that work?

Meditation is all about noise-canceling. The deep, cleansing breaths help clear your head and cut through the static of everyday life. After a few minutes of contemplation and breathing, you’ll typically feel more present, self-aware, and able to take on even the most stressful situations.

Enhance Memory

Meditation can help improve your ability to retain information, both short and long-term. Frequent meditation increases blood flow to the brain’s cerebral cortex, supporting things like learning, concentration and memory. [5][6]

By flexing your brain’s memory muscles, your information storage mechanisms increase so that your brain can retain and store new memories now, and as you age. So, if you want to keep your mind and memory sharp, meditation is a great starting point.

Increase Executive Function

Executive functions are a myriad of mental skills that — when honed — can enhance your high-level productivity. Focus, organization, planning and multi-tasking are just a few examples of executive functions.

Meditation can help sharpen your executive functions. Regularly practicing mindfulness and breathing can help enhance your intellectual performance, overcome impulsiveness and regulate emotions. So, save a spot on your calendar for a few minutes of daily meditation, and you’ll be powering through proposals in no time. [7][8][9][10]

How to Meditate

Women practicing meditation at home

  1. Get comfortable and prepare to sit in silence for a few minutes. Set up a pillow to sit on in a quiet room where you can listen to yourself inhale and exhale.
  2. Concentrate on your breath. Keep your focus on each inhale and exhale. On your deep inhale, expand your stomach and then exhale slowly, elongating the out-breath as your belly contracts. Repeat this process for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Block out distractions. Your attention may try to wander to other places, but don’t let it. When you notice your thoughts attempting to go elsewhere, refocus on your breath.
  4. Open your eyes. Ease yourself back into awareness and take a moment to notice how your mind and body feel. Take note of your thoughts and emotions, then write them down to track your progress.

Sources:

[1] https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6088366/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277272/
[4] https://www.mayoclinic.org/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3541490/
[6] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3541488/
[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12872883/
[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15796665/
[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18727786/

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written by

Emma Cunningham

Emma Cunningham

Yoga Medicine® Therapeutic Specialist

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