Health Tip – Aug. 21 – Meditation for Multitasking
Practicing meditation might make your workday less stressful and improve your memory and concentration. A new study from the University of Washington explored the effects of meditation on three groups of human resource managers.
To assess how well the participants dealt with stress before and after meditation training they all took a test of their ability to multitask that required using email, calendars, instant-messaging, the telephone and word processing tools. The researchers measured the speed and accuracy of the participants’ performances and recorded their self-reported stress levels.
Then, group one underwent eight weeks of mindfulness-based meditation training; group two received eight weeks of relaxation training and group three continued to work without any special training at all for eight weeks and then participated in the same meditation training as group one.
After training, group one reported lower levels of stress during the multitasking test, but group two did not. After group three completed mediation training, its members also reported lower levels of stress when tested. All told, meditation training enabled the participants to concentrate longer, spend more time on tasks and switch tasks less often, but they didn’t take any longer to complete the test.