meditation for decision making

In this article, we will be looking at the 5 best meditations for decision-makers. If you’re a leader, manager or you just happen to wear the trousers, these meditations will help you make better decisions and to decide on whatever tough choices you’re facing.

There are very many powerful cognitive benefits of meditation.

One of the key ways meditation makes us more intelligent is that it improves your decision making skills.

In my guide to the best meditation techniques you can learn 31 styles of meditation and the amazing brain-benefits you get from them.

One such benefit is the fact that meditation improves decision making skills in as little as 15 minutes.Science proves it.

According to research at The Wharton School and INSEAD (“The Business School for the World”), as little as fifteen minutes a day practicing mindfulness meditation significantly improves decision making skills [1].

Benefits of meditation for decision-makers

Science shows that there are big benefits of meditation for decision makers.

One of the main causes of the inability to make a good choice (or any choice at all) is an inability to accept the facts.

Consider how many people:

These poor choices are often caused by a behaviour scientists call “sunk-cost bias,” which is essentially the unwillingness to deviate from a decision you have already invested time or resources into.

Researcher Andre Hafenbrack tells THE DAILY MEDITATION:

“People struggle to admit that they were wrong when a previous decision leads to a negative outcome. They prefer not to feel wasteful and don’t like to believe their original decision and original investment was a loss.” This behaviour then leads them to delude themselves into looking positively at bad decisions. “This causes them to lose more resources and more time.”

Using Mindfulness for choices

In their studies, Hafenback and his co-researchers discovered that we can use mindfulness to improve decision making. Mindfulness reduces the effects of the cognitive bias of “sunk cost mentality”, the idea that if we’ve been doing something for a long time we should continue it because we’ve spent so much time on it.  [Read: Mindfulness Meditation Tutorial]

Mindfulness does this by enabling us to see with more clarity and more acceptance.

“A brief period of mindfulness encourages individuals to make better decisions by considering the information available in the present moment while ignoring [the complications associated with ‘sunk cost bias’].”

The studies performed by INSEAD and The Wharton School tested the effect that 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation on decision making skills.

In the study, individuals discussed how they focus on the present moment and read ten sunk-cost scenarios—which included such scenarios as attending a music festival which had already been paid for, while illness made enjoyment unlikely.

The results of the test showed that after mindfulness meditation people were more focused on the present moment and were more likely to make better quality choices.

“Meditation reduces the amount of focus people place on the past and the future, and reduces negative emotions,” said Zoe Kinias, co-author of the research.

5 Best Meditation Techniques For Decision Makers

The following are the best meditations for decision-makers.

1: Vipassana

One of the problems you may experience when choosing what to do it that your mind throws up thoughts that are either unhelpful or just plain wrong.

These negative thoughts prevent you from thinking in objective ways, which is the key to making smart selections. Negativity can interrupt the decision-making process so you enter a cognitive rut, unable to choose.

If you are experiencing unhelpful thoughts that are stopping you from making a judgment-call, read my guide to Vipassana meditation. This techniques will make you more rational-minded.

As a meditation teacher, I often teach people mindfulness as a way to help them make important choices in life, decision like having a baby, leaving a job, leaving a marriage, and moving home. Vipassana helps because it gives us insight into the mind and helps us to see our thoughts more clearly.

2: Mindfulness-Based CBT

Sometimes your mind plays tricks on you when trying to make a choice. Mindfulness-Based CBT [Cognitive Behavioural Therapy] can help out.

Mindfulness CBT is a series of mental exercises designed to remove negative or unhelpful thoughts that are getting in your way.

To learn more about this, take a look at my tutorial on Mindfulness-Based CBT.

3: Mindfulness

Above we shared the science of why mindfulness helps decision making. And there is a helpful link up top for you to learn mindfulness. Give it a try. It’s definitely one of the best meditations for decision making. It will help with whatever puzzle you’re facing.

Buddha taught that one of the main reasons for suffering is ignorance, by which he meant the inability to understand the workings of the mind. As a meditation teacher, I often find that my meditation students are surprised by what the effect of mindfulness. It helps them to understand their thoughts and to see things more clearly, and they often tell me that it has helped them to make important decisions (and of course, I have experienced the same thing myself).

4:  Any relaxing technique

One of the main problems with making choices is that stress gets in the way. Our ability to form resolutions is inhibited by stress, according to Anthony J. Porcelli [Department of Psychology, Marquette University] and Mauricio R. Delgado [Department of Psychology, Rutgers University] [source].

Not only does stress prevent our brains from functioning at their peak, it also makes us dwell on the negative. One of the best solutions is to use relaxation techniques.

Read my article on relaxing meditations for more on this.

5: Creativity methods

When you’re really dwelling on a problem you tend to zero-in on one possibility instead of exploring all the options. Essentially what is happening is that divergent thinking is impaired (your ability to see things from different angles). This prevents you from thinking in creative ways and making smart decisions. The best solution to this is to use techniques that open your mind and make you more creative. [READ: Meditations For Creative Thinking]

6: Guided Meditation For Decision Making

Guided Meditation - Making A Decision Suzanne Robichaud, RCH


There are big benefits of meditation for decision makers. Meditation opens your mind so you can see the situation from different angles. And it also quells your stress so you are more able to relax and think rationally.

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