In the middle of the most important test of his life, David found himself wandering away. Not physically; no he was stuck in a classroom with a teacher monitoring every movement. His brain was the one wandering off. A question on the test about rodents set him to thinking - of the filthy bar he spent the previous evening in, about the girl he met there; who reminded him of his girlfriend in high school and how they would try unsuccessfully to get into bars way back when, and on and on and on.
It must have been ten minutes or more that he sat there, pencil idle in his hands, while his classmates powered through the important mid-term exam. By the time he snapped out of his daydreaming, there was no way David was going to complete the exam on time. He failed it miserably.
The following week his professor asked him to stick around for a few minutes after class. He wanted to discuss David’s daydreaming. He had seen David’s potential - when he was focused, David was as sharp as a knife, surpassing all of his classmates.
Dr. Reavis had a proposal for David: meditation.
Like so many, David had heard about meditation and associated it with monks and hippies. But Dr. Reavis was insistent that regular meditation would help him knock out that nasty daydreaming habit, as well as reduce the stress from David’s nocturnal party lifestyle.
Dr.Reavis was onto something. A 2013 study by researchers at the University of California, located in Santa Barbara, found that students who practiced mindfulness meditation were more focused and performed much better on their tests.
Mindfulness meditation focuses on corralling the mind and its incessant thoughts by finding total awareness of the mind-body connection. When the mind begins to float away from the task at hand, mindfulness is being able to steer it back to where it needs to be. Mindfulness meditation trains folks like David to have that ability.
Like the students in the research, David meditated four days a week. By the time his final rolled around, he was in complete control of his mind. He aced the test. It is results like this, that meditation is so popular in corporate America, as well as schools, hospitals, churches, and countless other organizations.
There are spas and centers where you can learn the practice, but there are also a few things you can do on your own to get some mindfulness of your own:
- Find a quiet place (which is pretty standard in all forms of meditation)
- Assume a comfortable, but not too comfortable position (cross legged with straightened back is obviously common)
- Focus on the mechanics of breathing - the expanding lungs and rib cage upon inhaling, the relaxing of muscles and stillness upon exhaling
- If you find your brain wandering away, pull it back to yourself. Do this over and over again; just like a sport or profession, the more practice you get at reeling in your thoughts, the better you'll become at it.
If you do this routine daily, for just 10 minutes or more regularly, you'll see results. You will find you are more productive at work, more focused on the important things at home, even entertainment will be more enjoyable because you'll be able to immerse yourself in it.
If you are a student, like our friend David, you’ll nail your tests, or at least not spend half your allotted time daydreaming about bars.
Really, we can't say enough about the benefits of meditation. Read our blog long enough and you’ll see why we promote the practice of meditation. Speaking of benefits, sign up for our elite program today and you'll learn much more about this ancient and beneficial practice.
Do you currently have a meditation routine? Have meditation tips? Let’s hear them in the comments!Subscribe to Read More