How Meditation Can Make You Better at Your Job

These three meditations can help you focus on your work, not your anxiety.

Written by Nadene Cherry
Published on Oct. 06, 2023
How Meditation Can Make You Better at Your Job
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You’ve probably heard of meditation for more inner peace and less stress. You might have even tried meditation once or twice in the past. But have you considered meditation as a way to improve your performance at work? If not, now is your time to try meditation again.

3 Meditations for Better Job Performance

  1. Labeling Your Thoughts meditation. Acknowledge your thoughts, label them, then set them aside.
  2. Setting Your Temperature meditation. Stay comfortable even during times of conflict.
  3. Metta meditation. See the human beings in your coworkers and develop compassion toward them.

When I started practicing these three types of meditation, my performance at work doubled in a single year. My leaders were puzzled when I told them my explosive sales growth had nothing to do with working harder and everything to do with taking purposeful pauses.

Meditation improves your performance at work by accessing parts of your brain responsible for executive decision making, improving memory capacity, boosting creativity and enhancing focus. When practiced consistently, this focused attention turns into quality work and successful results.

Here are three types of meditation to improve your performance at work.

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Labeling Your Thoughts Meditation

Thoughts hold power. They can propel you forward or hold you back at work. Take, for instance, that dumb thing you said on last week’s conference call that makes you afraid to speak up about your great idea on the next call because you think you’ll be judged. Before you know it, you’re swirling in thoughts and stories, most of which are not even true. 

Thoughts about something that may happen in the future or that did happen in the past can keep you from showing up as your best self at work.

Thoughts about something that may happen in the future or that did happen in the past can keep you from showing up as your best self 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, notice for a few minutes the thoughts popping up into your awareness. Instead of following their storyline, apply a soft, mental label to the thought, then return to what you are doing in the present moment. 

For example, if you notice angry or anxious feelings, gently apply the label anger, anxiety and return to what you are doing. This meditation reclaims your power from your thoughts.

 

Setting Your Temperature Meditation

When you show up to any meeting, you take on qualities either of a thermostat leader or a thermometer leader. Consider the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermometer reflects the temperature of the room and lacks the intelligence to move it up or down depending on its environment. A thermostat determines the temperature of the room, intentionally adjusting depending on the environment and needs of the room. 

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 shift from a reactive thermometer leader to an intentional thermostat leader: neutral, aware and connected to everything unfolding in the meeting. A thermostat leader remains at a comfortable temperature inside of conflict, when unexpected changes arise or when a colleague brings a frantic energy into the meeting. 

To set your temperature as a thermostat leader, close your eyes and check in with your inner thermostat. Reflect on what number you are at this moment and what number would bring you closer to peace. Take a few deep breaths and feel yourself moving closer to your peaceful thermostat number. Repeat this mantra silently: “I set my temperature.” This is the practice of a thermostat leader.

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Metta Meditation 

If you are experiencing conflict at work with a colleague, coworker, or client, try metta meditation. Metta meditation, also known as loving-kindness, helps you become aware of your own judgmental thoughts and also develop greater compassion for the other person. By first cultivating a sense of understanding and kindness toward ourselves, then extending those well-wishes outward, we move from narrow views to expanded empathy. 

Metta meditation slows our immediate judgments and allows us to develop a deeper understanding, which often strengthens a strained work relationship. 

Choose one meditation and practice it before work each day for two weeks. You will notice a positive shift in your inner peace and outer performance.

Before your next important meeting, take 10 minutes, close your eyes and silently repeat these phrases first toward yourself then toward the other person: May I/you be safe, May I/you be happy, May I/you be healthy, may I/you be free from suffering. When we see the human being in the other person instead of simply a human doing, we open to more ways of connecting on our common goal.

Choose one meditation and practice it before work each day for two weeks. You will notice a positive shift in your inner peace and outer performance.

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