Americans no longer meditate only during yoga retreats or other Zen-friendly destinations. Now mindfulness has gone mainstream… into the workplace.
Google, Goldman Sachs, and Medtronic have all introduced mindfulness practices.
Ten to 12 minutes are enough to boost creativity. To further verify that creativity is among the early benefits of mindfulness meditation, and to test how earlier findings could be applied to benefit idea generation in organizations, we set up an experiment at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Unlike the objectives of earlier research, we were interested in whether a few minutes of mindfulness mediation would be enough to boost creativity. One hundred twenty-nine participants (all of them students) were divided into three groups and assigned a creative task: Generate as many business ideas as possible for using drones.
Each of the three groups generated roughly the same number of ideas, and the length of the descriptions of the ideas was similar. The main difference was that meditators came up with a much wider range of ideas.
Starting to Meditate
The article even suggests these steps to help start meditation:
- Find a place where you won’t be disturbed.
- Sit in a comfortable position and set a timer.
- Gently close your eyes.
- Ask yourself what you are currently experiencing, and observe your feelings, sensations, and thoughts.
- Shift your attention to your body and spend a moment or two zooming in on the sensations in places that touch the chair or floor.
- Shift attention to your belly and observe your sensations. Focus on how it extends and falls with every breath.
- Observe your breathing some more without changing it.
- At some moment, your mind will naturally wander away.
- When you realize that your mind is no longer in the present, recognize it as a moment of awareness and shift your attention back to your breathing.
- Now focus on your whole body, observing your posture and face. When you are ready — or when the timer reminds you that you should get back to work — open your eyes.
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