mindfulness meditation for career

Mindfulness meditation: 6 ways it can help you achieve your career goals

Mindfulness meditation helps increase focus and alleviate stress thus improving productivity and performance.

No matter where we work or how high or low in the office hierarchy we belong to, career or professional goals appear daunting at times. Whether we are an intern or a CEO, whether we work with short-term goals or long-term goals, our stress levels are always grazing a dangerous surface. Since we spend a major part of our day involved in professional endeavours, it plays heavily not only on our time, but mind and energy too. To remain efficient, productive and achieve satisfaction out of our work, we need to remain focused. Distractions in the form of social media alerts, piling deadlines and unexpected behaviours can ruin our journey towards our career goals.

In this age of awareness and guided techniques, mindfulness meditation is particularly helpful in combating stress at work and achieving career goals. We often find the mind wavering to different situations, worrying about delayed tasks or fretting about others which is beyond our control. The workspace is often inundated with distractions and our mind gets sucked into it. Mindfulness meditation makes us aware of our present situation and helps in bringing the focus back to the present. It helps to maintain a calm state of mind leading to our wellbeing.

On stressful days, it is important to remember that our career goals and their achievement help us in our growth and give us a sense of accomplishment. A contrary situation simply generates stress. It thus becomes crucial to address the stress at workplace that impacts our productivity.

An International Journal of Well-being study found that mindfulness impacts our personal as well as professional goals. It also said that those who did not practice mindfulness meditation were more prone to stress, anxiety and depression. With a calm mind, we can aim at sharp focus to increase our productivity manifold. In the over competitive scenario of workplaces today, mindfulness meditation can yield astonishing results.

Soulveda shares a guide to understand how mindfulness meditation can help attain professional goals.

Improves Focus

If you are the kind who struggles to stay focussed on the task at hand, then know that you are not alone. Each one of us experiences this at some point during our professional journeys. With the omnipresence of social media and indiscriminate usage of devices, our attention spans have shortened. Getting into the habit of mindfulness meditation can bring back this much-needed focus by managing the unnecessary worrying over the past, leading us to be aware of our thoughts, emotions and breathing.

According to The Harvard Gazette, “Mindfulness teaches you the skill of paying attention to the present by noticing when your mind wanders off. Come back to your breath. It’s a place where we can rest and settle our minds.” This skill helps us remain focussed to fulfill our professional goals.

Stress Management

The fast pace of life, competitiveness in the professional arena and general rise in sharing of common resources adds to our stress levels. Due to imminent deadlines, overload of work and a few non-adjusting co-workers, anxiety is seen in most working people today. This anxiety plays a major hindrance in achieving one’s career goals. Not just mental wellbeing, it also impacts one’s physical health and is one of the major factors of lifestyle diseases like heart ailments.

Research finds that mindfulness meditation reduces stress and anxiety, improves attention, self-regulation and empathy in most people. Herbert Benson, the pioneer of scientific research on meditation, endorses its bouquet of benefits including reduced blood pressure, heart rate and brain activity. Choosing this technique thus helps manage workplace related stress better.

Conscious Choices

We have plenty of distractions in the form of 24*7 communication, social media content and chatty co-workers. It is advisable to make mindful choices every single day at work with a self-disciplined approach being most productive in such cases.

Mindfulness meditation trains the mind to stay in the moment. So when you have a task at hand, you can make a conscious decision to check the emails at a consolidated time later. Similarly, the smartphone can be muted. Even if a co-worker wants to take a snack or coffee break with you, you can politely decline or adjust the time to hangout once you have met the work deadline.

It is known that people turn to multi-tasking when they are overloaded with work. However, this approach leads to stress generation and a decline in productivity and quality of output. Intelligent judgement of prioritizing, handling one task at a time and accomplishing it with complete focus is what mindfulness meditation helps us get better at.

Increases acceptance

When we start to condition our mind to remain rooted in the present, we also begin to accept situations and that is half the battle won. Most of us struggle with the challenges a new situation throws at us. In this case, mindfulness mediation lets us acknowledge these racing thoughts instead of struggling to push them away. When there is no longer a struggle to nullify the thoughts, acceptance happens.

As these new thoughts are no longer impacting our functioning or productivity, the mind becomes ready to channelize itself towards more constructive tasks. Finally, our thought pattern moves to creative and positive thinking, enhancing productivity.

Enhances productivity                                                 

“Less mental clutter means more mental resources available for deep thinking,” explains Cal Newport in his book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a distracted world. In an ever increasing technology dependent world, remaining glued to a task and fulfilling it efficiently as well as effectively is an uphill task. When we practice mindfulness meditation, our mind responds and we acquire the much-needed discipline to remain in the present without getting distracted by external noise.

This practice is a major productivity booster. To achieve professional goals in such a dynamic world, a conditioned non-cluttered mind which remains focused is a pre-requisite. Certainly, each of us is tempted to check that mail or scroll through our phones just a little. But a meditative mind knows how to sift through the clutter.

Our mind can be a bed of beautiful and positive ideas when it functions uninterrupted, completely focused on the task. This habit leads to immense satisfaction and even appreciation from those who matter.

Helps attain work life balance

Can there be all work and no play? The classic proverb has a direct impact on the productivity of our work. Taking pauses in between long stretches of work, not carrying work outside the office and a non-working weekend are refreshing solutions to over-stressed physical and mental health. With mindfulness meditation, accomplishing tasks within the stipulated time frame along with quality output becomes even more achievable.

When one manages to strike a work-life balance through this practice, it lowers stress and anxiety levels and enhances productivity and fresh perspectives. Mindfulness meditation further helps achieve a lovely balance in life by making us stay focused and give our best shot in that moment.

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