As business owners, the daily pressure and stress we have to deal with is significant. Amongst our arsenal of business tools, we should have mechanisms to help us de-stress.
Meditation is a fantastic way to improve your health & wellbeing.
It can boost your mood and calm you down.
Also, it will help strengthen connections with the people around you.
It can, however, be difficult to figure out how to get started – so here are some tips to get you going.
But first, a couple of pointers:
- A few minutes of meditation each day can go a long way. Be disciplined. in building a habit of meditation.
- Be patient and treat yourself with kindness. Learn to pay attention to your breath and sit for meditation.
- Don’t let excuses get in the way . . .
- I just can’t stop thinking.
Your mind won’t automatically become thought-free. It’s not going to switch off by itself. It takes a lot of practice to become more aware of your thoughts, and better regulate them over time. Regular sitting will help you.
- It’s not for people like me.
Anyone can meditate. In fact, many business leaders meditate to keep their minds clear and improve productivity. This makes them more effective leaders for their companies.
- I don’t have time.
Anyone can find five to ten minutes each day. The de-stressing alone will improve your effectiveness so that you can make up that time, and more, during the day. Keeping up the habit of coming back every day so your brain can reap the benefits of meditation is vital.
Now that you’re ready to get started, here are my 10 suggestions to consider.
1) Find a specific space to meditate
It’s important to find a dedicated space to help you stay focused. So, choose a room or a space to use for all your meditation.
This consistency can help the body and mind feel more comfortable, making it easier to focus.
Keep the area clean and uncluttered. It is an opportunity to create a space that nourishes a more relaxed state of mind. It can also help make meditation feel special and important.
2) Decide what time you want to meditate; stick to it
It is easier to establish the practice as a habit when you schedule a time of the day to meditate. Also, you’ll be more likely to do it each day.
3) Don’t have any expectations when you start
Try not to go into each meditation with expectations of what you’re going to achieve, or how you will feel afterwards. Rather approach each meditation session as an opportunity to get to know your own mind better.
Meditation is not an instant solution to life’s problems.
Like any other form of exercise, it takes practice, effort, and consistency to reap the benefits.
4) Start slowly – with a few deep breaths
Jumping right into meditation after an intense day isn’t ideal. Taking a few deep breaths before you begin will trigger a relaxation response. This will allow you to start releasing the stresses and clutter of the day.
After three deep and slow breaths, your body and begins to feel more relaxed and at ease.
Then, as you start the meditation, return to breathing normally.
5) Just breathe
Paying attention to your breathing is important in meditation. Mindful breathing helps you to focus on the present so that your mind doesn’t wander. It can also lower stress levels in the body.
Meditation should not be complicated. Simply try to keep bringing your awareness back to your breath, over and over again.
You will not be able to completely stop yourself from thinking, so don’t be concerned when thoughts pop into your mind – it’s perfectly normal.
When you notice a thought arising, acknowledge it and then picture yourself taking it and pushing aside. Tell yourself you will deal with it later.
Then actively concentrate on your breathing:-
- feel the air coming in through your nose
- notice how it touches your throat
- pay attention to how your lungs and belly move
- listen to the noise it makes while exhaling
6) Try to limit your movement
You can meditate sitting in the lotus position, sitting on a chair or on the floor, or even lying down. Whatever position you choose, try not to let the position distract you.
It’s common to feel restless and want to change positions during the meditation but try not to unless you’re in pain or discomfort.
7) End meditation gradually
When you’re reaching the end of your meditation, gently begin to move your fingers and your toes. Then wiggle your hips and shoulder, and lastly, rotate your hands and feet.
You have just some time slowing your life down and creating a pause in your day. Try to gradually ease back into your routine, instead of immediately jumping straight into a stressful activity.
8) Be consistent with your sessions.
Like I mentioned earlier, meditation is not an instant solution to life’s problems. You need to be consistent to reap the benefits. Making it a daily practice will definitely result in reduced stress levels and a greater sense of wellbeing.
I recommend 10 to 15 minutes twice a day:
- first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up – to prepare for your day
- Within an hour of bed – to offload the strains of your day and generate positive thoughts to carry into you sleep-state.
9) Listen to your feelings
It’s normal to feel happy after meditating, but it’s also normal to feel a bit down.
Meditation brings up emotions; both good and bad.
This is perfectly normal. Take the time to recognise the feelings stirred up. They can teach you a lot about deep subconscious attachments.
Be sure to take a moment to thank yourself for making the effort to improve yourself.
10) Some days will be easier than others
Meditation is ultimately about learning how to treat yourself with kindness and respect. Irrespective of what you may be experiencing at any given moment.
Like any form of exercise, physical, mental or spiritual, some days will be easier than others. This could be for a variety of reasons, but don’t let it bother you – perfection is not the goal here; consistency is.
I hope these tips help you to start and build your practice of meditation, and that your journey is as fulfilling as possible.