17 Ways Meditation Can Make You More Productive.This blog post is on meditation and how it may help us to become more productive. It will be discussed what mediation is, what causes unproductivity and how mediation may relate to overcoming unproductivity. Moreover, meditation’s relations to anxiety and stress will be looked into. Here, it is important to point out that this blog post is for educational purposes. BrainZyme is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any medical disorder. If you have concerns about meditation, and in particular anxiety and stress, then I’d highly recommend you see a Doctor.
Table of Contents- What is meditation?
- Meditation benefits
- Meditation for anxiety
- Meditation for stress
- Meditation tips
What is meditation?Meditation has a long history of being practised to focus or clear the mind, increase self-awareness, ultimately leading to a calm and relaxing state.
There is an abundance of practices of meditation and today, we know that what experienced meditators have experienced hundreds of years ago, has a biological basis found in both brain and body.
Nowadays, people are more and more interested in trying out meditation - it is no longer limited to yogis and affiliated with spirituality.
Instead, athletes, CEOs, and politicians are getting into this ancients technique of mindfulness.
Causes of unproductivityOne common cause of unproductivity is a lack of concentration and focus on the task at hand.
This goes hand in hand with a lack of time management and goal setting.
Similarly, when experiencing these situations, one might get stressed or concerned, further putting off the work.
Especially when perceiving the task as not intrinsically rewarding, procrastination seems to be another key factor causing unproductivity.
These causes might not prohibit you from performing the task or working on the project, however, they will limit your efficiency and the quality of the outcome.
As we will see below, meditation can make a substantial difference in overcoming some of these factors.
Meditation benefitsAs illustrated in the video above, meditation seems to have great benefits for both body and mind.
We will go into a bit more detail in the following sections, but for now, the focus will be on meditation’s effect on the default mode network and the brain waves.
1. Default mode networkThe video above highlights that research is still going on in terms of what the default mode network actually is and what its purpose is.
However, it seems to be the case that during meditation, this network is involved to lead to increased memory, self-awareness, and goal-setting.
Regardless, of what the exactly leads to this activation, the effects of increases memory, self-awareness, and goal-setting should be in particularly helpful when it comes to overcoming some of the causes of unproductivity mentioned above.
2. Time managementThey should allow you to manage your time efficiently, by understanding what work needs to be done, and by setting realistic and achievable goals and adding those to your time schedule.
3. Decreased beta wavesSimilarly, meditation has been associated with decreased beta waves in the brain, that are associated with active thought.
This may seem intuitive when thinking about meditation in terms of calming the minds.
4. Increased alpha wavesAt the same time, meditation has been associated with increased levels of the slower alpha waves.
These are correlated with relaxation, potentially leading to reduced feelings of negative mood.
5. Increased gamma waves
It seems that while not actively focussing on your direct surrounding, planning your day etc., during meditation you will still be focussed and concentrated and thus mindful of your experience.
Meditation for anxiety
6. Decreased symptoms of anxietyMeditation seems to be associated with increased activity in brain areas associated with both decreased anxiety and increased pain tolerance.
Similarly, researchers have suggested that it might ease symptoms of anxiety. However, that does not make meditation a treatment.
In fact, it could be that people meditating generally experience lower levels of anxiety than people not meditating, rather than the meditation itself making a substantial difference.
Moreover, while meditation may ease the symptoms of anxiety, it will not tackle the root of the issue.
7. Meaningful relaxation
Another aspect worth considering is that in order to be productive and to use your time efficiently, taking breaks is important.
Practising relaxation when you get a 30 min break or before you go to work or uni might be a way to structure your day even more effectively.
Meditation for stress
8. Decreased blood pressureBlood pressure significantly lowered due to the relaxing nature of meditation.
9. Stable heart rateThe effect of meditation on bodily functions associated with a stress response seems to be a bit clearer.
Meditation has been associated with decreased blood pressure and a stable heart rate, ensuring a regulated transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body.
10. Increased activity of telomeraseFurthermore, reducing stress via meditation is likely to lead to a higher activity of telomerase.
Telomerase is an enzyme that will bind to the telomeres and elongate them. Telomeres are the end bits of the DNA, and their function is to protect the DNA.
While the stress hormone cortisol is associated with shortening the telomeres, meditation seems to be having the opposite effect.
Importantly, shortened telomeres lead to adverse health outcomes, meaning that meditation may have a positive effect on health overall - all other things being equal.
11. Feeling relaxedThese health benefits of meditation should have the overall effect of making the practising individual feel more relaxed and less stressed.
12. Coping with stressIf practised on a regular basis, meditation and mindfulness could even become a personal coping mechanism allowing the individual to calm down in the situation that was perceived to be stressful.
13. Grey matterIn terms of effects that mediation might have on the brain in relation to stress, research has indicated a substantial amount of benefits.
It has been suggested that grey matter in areas associated with learning, memory, and emotion could become more dense, while grey matter in the amygdala may decrease.
The amygdala is associated with fear and stress responses, for example, blood pressure.
14. Premotor cortexIncreased functionality of the premotor cortex.
15. Insular cortexSimilarly, during meditation, the premotor cortex and the insular cortex seem to show increased activity.
This may be significant as the premotor cortex regulates attention and the insular cortex is involved with an awareness of both the bodily functions breathing and heartbeat, and as well as emotional self-awareness.
Increased awareness may lead to perceiving potentially stressful situations differently.
16. Increased awareness
Meditation tipsThe most important tip when it comes to meditation is to (a) get started, but to (b) not expect miracles.
17. PracticeMeditation is different from everyday practices and may need time to get used to. Learning the techniques and finding the ones you feel comfortable with may take time.
Similarly, the research on meditation is still ongoing and some of the findings could only be identified in practised meditators.
It seems that for some of the benefits mentioned above, the experience is required.
Supplements to aid in meditation are becoming increasingly more popular.
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This is due to the inclusion of a large amount of L-Theanine. This can help calm your mind to aid in meditation.
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- AsapSCIENCE. (n.d.). The Scientific Power of Meditation. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw71zanwMnY
- Hidden secret of immortality enzyme telomerase: Can we stay young forever, or even recapture lost youth? (n.d.). Retrieved 28 February 2019, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180227142114.htm
- tortilus. (n.d.). A Brief Introduction to the Default Mode Network. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A-RqZzd2JU