We all know meditation can make us more peaceful, patient, relaxed and joyful. We know it lowers stress, anxiety and blood pressure. But did you know meditation can lead to better decision making?
In this article, I’ll tell you how it works and show you how to use meditation for better decision making.
Meditation Makes Us Smarter
Meditation makes us smarter?!?! It’s true! Meditation isn’t about shutting down our thoughts. It’s about becoming aware of our thoughts. Usually, when we go about our busy lives, we think our thoughts.
In meditation, without distractions we are able to simply observe our thoughts. This allows a greater intelligence to come into play. We are able to perceive our own mindset, notice our preconceived notions, and discover our biases.
The more we meditate, the wiser we become because we aren’t victims to our same old habitual thinking patterns. The more we become aware of our thoughts, the less they control us. We can perceive our own thoughts with clarity and we can choose the best path forward.
Only in this way can we stop reacting unconsciously to situations and instead we can make new, smarter, better choices. By bringing conscious awareness to our thoughts, meditation can lead to better decision making.
Meditation Gives Us the Opportunity to Reflect
Beyond learning to focus our mind, be more present and increase our patience, meditation gives us the time we need to fully reflect on any situation or circumstance.
More time spent sitting without distractions means more time for ideas to pop in our head. It gives us the time to play out various scenarios in our mind. We can see infinite possibilities and how best to proceed forward.
As Albert Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Einstein was not being modest. He knew that his true gift was being able to ponder, reflect, contemplate and focus better that anyone else of his time. Imagine if he knew about meditation!
The more we meditate on a particular dilemma, the better our decision making process becomes.
Meditation Leads to Better Decision Making Because We Think Better When We’re Calm
We all have experienced in our lives times of great stress and worry. We also know that in these times, we’re more likely to panic and make mistakes or bad decisions. This is so universal, that we literally call stock market crashes “panics” because so many people tend to sell, and often right before the market rebounds.
When we are at peace, we think clearer. In a relaxed state, our minds are able to make unemotional decisions that take into account much more than the narrow minded mental state of fear. We can think about the long term, short term, medium term consequences of our decisions with clarity and without bias. We can think about all the ways our decision could go wrong and how best to adjust for it.
In this way, the calmness from meditation leads to better decision making.
Higher Awareness from Meditation Leads to Better Decision Making
When we meditate, we experience moments of no thinking. While it’s not the goal, they will happen. The more we meditate, they will become longer and more frequent.
It is precisely in these moments that great insights and inspiration can enter our consciousness. That is because when we stop the linear process of constantly thinking one word at a time, we tap into a deeper understanding and wisdom that is vast and limitless.
We can understand and perceive so much more when we are not thinking and analyzing than when we do. We can sense in a single moment a little decision can cascade outward like a ripple causing countless repercussions and ramifications. Then suddenly, the best path forward will present itself clear as day.
Using Meditation for Better Decision Making
There is an ancient meditation practice that is still used today because of its amazing ability for decision making.
When you sit down to meditate, practice as you normally would for a few minutes. Then, focus on a decision you need to make. Really think about it now that you’re in this focused, relaxed state. Do that for a few minutes and then go back to your usual meditation practice.
Repeat this a few times, as many as you like. What you are doing is letting your consciousness communicate with your subconscious. Because meditation taps into our subconscious by bringing consciousness to it, we are able to use more of our mind to solve problems. Your thinking will be clearer, sharper, and more effective.
If you’re new to meditation, this Guide for Beginners is a great resource for getting started.
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