10 minutes of mindfulness can make you more creative

Employees who take part in a ten-minute mindfulness session are more likely to generate original ideas, new research from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) reveals.

Researchers Emma Schootstra, Dirk Deichmann and Evgenia Dolgova found that employees who participated in guided mindfulness meditation for just ten minutes, generated a 22% wider range of ideas, compared to those who took part in fake meditation, or just “relaxed”.

Participants of the study were asked to present as many business ideas for the use of drones as they could within a limited time. One third had a guided meditation session, one third had a fake meditation session, and one third were just told to “relax and let their thoughts flow freely”. Although all three groups produced roughly the same number of ideas, the group that took part in guided mindfulness meditation produced significantly more inventive uses for drones, such as washing windows, extinguishing fires and even feeding giraffes.

According to the researchers, mindfulness essentially removes our innate “fight or flight” response, meaning that meditating participants feel significantly less restless, nervous and irritated, allowing them to focus on being creative.

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