How meditation improves your productivity

I’m sure you have heard many times that meditation is good for you. If you are anything like me, that might not have made you try it anyway.

Or, you might give it a go now and then but can’t really see what the fuss is all about.

It has not truly change a lot in your life.

The same way that practicing yoga didn’t all of a sudden transform you into Mother Theresa or gave you the bum of a Lululemon model.

Actually, most people will do either of these spiritual practices randomly for decades without really noticing a big change in their lives.

The changes are subtle to begin with maybe, but there is one single thing that makes all the difference. And that is CONSISTENCY.

Sorry to make you work, but it’s true.

I have already more than one article about the importance of routine and also consistency so this is not what I will focus on here. There is something else that will improve your productivity when it comes to meditation.

And that is, learning to not take your thoughts for your reality.

This concept is widely expressed in the self help world but even if it sounds good, you don’t actually buy the idea unless you have practiced meditation for a while. Because, just like anything else, you need the experience to trust the concept.

Here is how it works.

We hear that our thoughts are not our reality and we say “oh yes, that is so true”. But the second we get a disturbing thought in our head, our reason goes out the window and fear takes over. It’s the famous “fight or flight (freeze too)” mode that takes over and any new and creative thought will not be prioritised. Instead, what we have always “known” to be true will take the lead. It means that when I see some teenage girls laugh and point at me, my stress levels might rise and the thoughts go along with it. I might wonder what is wrong, did I forget to put my pants on, am I looking ridiculous or do I have toilet paper stuck to my shoe. If I then say “my thoughts are not my reality” it will probably not make the seeking of what’s wrong go away.

(To ensure that you agree with me: if that would work, I would be able to convince myself that “maybe they’re not laughing at me” or I will think “silly teenage girls” or “whatever it is, I’m still me and valuable and wonderful as I am”. See the difference?)

When you practice meditation, you quickly understand that you will never make the “thoughts stop”. Thoughts will always be there but you begin to notice after a while that not only can you chose to let them pass, you can also change them since you’re not reacting to them anymore.

To meditate is actually to increase your capacity to concentrate. It looks a little like this: you’re sitting in your meditation and you begin to simply feel the benefits as the body relaxes more and more. It’s an harmonious sensation and it brings a lot of pleasure and you feel light and in a good mood. However, while you’re experiencing these sensations, you can tell that there are a million thoughts running through the mind as well. But the better you become at focusing on those sensations instead, the more you increase your capacity to focus. Certain days it goes better than others, for sure but you are constantly progressing as time passes.

So let me get to where it helps with productivity.

In this extremely distracting society, everything around you is created to attract your attention. Most of us know by know that social media really is based on that concept and that attention attraction is a currency worth more than anything else. The reason we can feel at the end of a day as if we didn’t manage to do anything is mainly linked to this. We probably did do some stuff but because we got interrupted so often by different media, it feels as if we didn’t do anything.

Have you ever had the good intention of creating lots of stuff, budgets, tables, ads, content or what else and sat down in front of your computer but within seconds you’ve been distracted and either forgot what you were supposed to do or just lost some of that “flow” feeling that inspired you in the first place?

That is normal, even if social media isn’t to blame in this moment. Because you associate on a constant speed, everything that your sensory organs perceive with past experiences or planned ideas. So it might be a book on your desk that you still haven’t opened that brings to mind the person who lent it to you and that you really need to call them. Or it’s the empty breakfast bowl and spoon that either will make you feel hungry, or on the contrary too full or, if it wasn’t yours, create an irritation for who ever dared to leave it there.

See what I mean?

We all have the capacity of the yogi to stay on our path but unless we train ourselves to do it, we will not realise that we can. Just like when I sat down to meditate and I have a focus which is that super nice relaxation that begins the deepened practice of concentration, I can sit down in front of my laptop and stay in my flow of inspiration for what I’m about to do without letting the crazy monkey in my mind take the lead.

And oh, well here is where consistency comes back into the picture anyway. Because of course, the more I do, the better I become at it.

Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞