When you’re contracting your services, there’s no room for error. So, if you find yourself forgetting things, or making simple mistakes when you’re in a hurry, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and re-think the way you go about your day. A new study from Michigan State University (MSU) – the largest of its kind to-date – has found that 20 minutes of meditation can help you become less error-prone. Published in Brain Sciences, researchers tested how meditation that focuses awareness on feelings, thoughts or sensations going on in the body altered brain activity in a way that suggests increased error recognition. This form of meditation, known as ‘open monitoring meditation’, is in contrast to meditating by focussing on a single object. Incredibly, they observed that in just one session of guided meditation, changes occurred in the brain activity of non-meditators. To undertake this study, more than 200 participants, who had never meditated before, were taken through a 20-minute open-monitoring meditation exercise while the researchers measured brain activity through electroencephalography or EEG. Then, they completed a computerised distraction test. EEG measures brain activity at the millisecond level, which enabled the researchers to get precise measures of neural activity straight after mistakes were made, compared to correct responses. “A certain neural signal occurs about half a second after an error called the error positivity, which is linked to conscious error recognition. We found that the strength of this signal is increased in the meditators relative to controls,” wrote Jeff Lin, MSU psychology doctoral candidate and study co-author. While the meditators didn’t have immediate improvements to actual task performance, the researchers’ findings offer a promising window into the potential of sustained meditation. “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,” co-author Jason Moser said. “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.” Make time to take time The beginning of a new year is a great time to re-set the clock by initiating change that will improve productivity and quality of life. So why not take steps now to make time for meditation and mental health. At the Ayers Group, we have spent over 20 years developing an online solution that can take care of all the mundane day-to-day tasks associated with being a contractor. Backed up by real people, our solution provides everything you need to manage your contracts, meet your contractual obligations, grow your wealth and take time out. Talk to an expert at The Ayers Group today.