People are incorporating more holistic practices and mindfulness practices into their daily lives. Meditation has become a buzz word and for many, the notion of meditation is collapsed with spirituality.
At it’s core, meditation is a tool and can be used as a practical tool in life and in business.
You likely know someone who has a meditation practice.
The word practice is key as meditation is something that serves best when done regularly and with a mentality of practicing rather than seeking to perfect. There is no perfect way to meditate, the goal is to practice it. This can be a challenging concept for Type A, Entrepreneurial folks.
Why should you join the trend and take on the practice of meditation?
Does it sound like it’s too time consuming and not worth the trouble?
If you think this way, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Not only is meditation most definitely worth the time and effort, but the rewards will speak for themselves.
First though, let’s get into what meditation really is. Some people think you have to be a highly spiritual person or an expert with a certification to your name to meditate. This is not the case. Meditation is available to everyone.
And, by the way, meditation rarely looks like the photos used here. But we’ll get to that…
The practice of meditation has been around for centuries. People have used it for religious purposes and cultural reasons. There are as many forms of meditation as there are practices.
The art and practice of meditation basically has one goal in mind – to slow down the mind. Especially in today’s culture, we all have such busy lifestyles and even busier minds. Stress levels are up, blood pressure is up and relaxation is down. This is where meditation comes into play.
The art and practice of meditation is one where you allow yourself and, most importantly, your mind to relax, rest, and rejuvenate itself. You take time to practice the art of breathing and quieting that voice in your head, what I call the monkey mind so that you can focus and receive inspiration or peace or whatever you wish to experience.
Like I said, this is something that takes time and practice.
There is most definitely a rich history and lineage behind meditation that can be explored in depth as part of a spiritual quest, and if you’re ready for and wanting that I can make recommendations to support that.
However, here, we’re examining how it can be used as a tool for business.
Benefits of Meditation
While some people might view meditation as some sort of woo woo practice which doesn’t really work, the truth of the matter is that there is power behind meditation. When a person meditates, your brain waves change. Meditation actually has the power to change your mind and mindset.
When someone meditates, their brain waves have the capacity to slow down. With proper breathing techniques, beta waves in the brain are more easily reduced. When the beta waves calm down and slow down, there’s sense of overall calm and well-being as an after effect.
Incoming information can be slowed down when meditating:
- Emotions are not as overwhelming
- Sensory input slows down
- Over-thinking ceases
- Information overload slows down
There are several parts of the brain which are positively impacted by meditation:
- Frontal lobe
- Parietal lobe
Imagine being able to control your brain to some degree and be able to relax, focus, have more clarity and receive inspiration at will. All this is possible through meditation.
Meditation is widely known to:
- Decrease anxiety
- Increase empathy
- Increase Focus
- Improve memory
- Unlock creativity
- Invite inspiration
- Interrupt obsessive thinking
- Improve quality of sleep
How to meditate
If you’ve never done it before meditation can seem very intimidating. I know when I first started I was thinking things like… How do I sit? What do I do with my hands? What do I think about? How long do I go for?
If you want to take it into a spiritual practice then there are many, many techniques and thoughts on ‘how to’ meditate. However from our context, looking at meditation as a tool in business, there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. I find this beautiful and refreshing since it seems like there is a right way to do so many things in business.
In the simplest terms, meditation is time spent alone with yourself, focusing your thoughts and energy on one thing.
I recommend you start with 3 minutes each day (that’s only 180 seconds people, you’ve got this!).
Here is exactly what to do:
- Sit comfortably in a quiet place where you are not likely to be disturbed
- No specific ‘pose’ or ‘position’ is required
- You may keep your eyes open, though it’s typically helpful to close them
- Set a timer for 3 minutes
- Take a deep breath and release
- Focus your thoughts and energy on your breathing
- Repeat until the timer goes off
Some people find that music or a guide supports them, you’re welcome to use this guided meditation if that serves you.
You could also do this in the shower, and instead of your breathing, spend the time focused on the feeling of water on your skin. Or while folding laundry, and focus on the people who wear those cloths and how much you love them. You get the idea. You just want to spend 3 minutes focusing your thoughts and energy on one, calming thing.
Now, of course, there’s much more to say about this. As I said at the beginning, meditation is a practice.
The most important thing to remember is to be gentle with yourself as you explore this new tool.