When I have a long and never-ending to-do list, I’m always so hurried, running around like a squirrel. The chaos messes up my attention and pushes me to make more mistakes than ever, for example, booking a flight for 9 AM and then going to check in and realizing it's a PM booking. Damn!
Good thing is I just heard some news that may help me and those who are like me: Meditation may offer a way to help people reduce mistakes.
The magical open monitoring meditation
We know there are many different forms of meditation, each can benefit people to some extent. The most common benefit is to help one focus on a single object.
Here is a little-known meditation called open monitoring meditation. It can help you focus on thoughts or sensations and thus make you better aware that if you are making a mistake.
In order to test the effect of open monitoring meditation, the researchers recruited more than 200 participants who had never done meditation before. The participants were first asked to do a 20-minute meditation, and then to complete a distraction test.
It turns out that after meditation, though the participants didn’t perform the test better, their brain sent a neural signal half a second after an error occurred. This suggests that doing meditation may lead to better awareness of your mistake.
"These findings are a strong demonstration of what just 20 minutes of meditation can do to enhance the brain's ability to detect and pay attention to mistakes," said co-author Jason Moser. "It makes us feel more confident in what mindfulness meditation might really be capable of for performance and daily functioning right there in the moment."
As meditation arouses increasing attention in recent years, more scientists are now studying the magic of meditation from a scientific perspective. Maybe in the future, we can understand meditation better and use it to avoid mistakes. I just hope next time when I book a wrong flight, I can find out a little bit earlier.