5 Benefits of Meditation for Busy Entrepreneurs
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Creating and managing one’s own business is a rollercoaster of emotions. When your company is performing well you’ll feel that you’re surfing a wave of success, but on the flip side, you’ll also be working long hours and probably feel more anxious.
Stress relief meditation is an excellent method to help you manage any negative emotions and feel more in control of what’s happening around you.
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How do I recognise that I’m stressed?
It’s easy to keep working and pushing aside any negative feelings, but this will be detrimental to your mental and physical health in the long term.
So what are the tell tale signs of stress?
- An overwhelming feeling of worry or constant anxiety.
- Finding it hard to sleep, or you’re waking up during the night and can’t fall back asleep.
- Feeling overwhelmed, whether by big or small situations, and getting anxious about having to make decisions.
- Mood swings.
- Finding it difficult to concentrate.
- Short temper or general irritability.
- Low self esteem.
- Physically you may find that you are sweating more than usual, feeling exhausted or experiencing a rapid heartbeat.
If you’re feeling any of these sensations then it’s going to hinder your ability to make decisions and think with a sense of clarity.
Entrepreneurs are often required to make multiple decisions and oversee numerous, if not all aspects of the business.
The entrepreneurial mindset is unique: you have to be decisive, think creatively and often out-of-the-box, and take responsibility for any outcomes.
There’s also a steep learning curve from which you’ll have to learn from mistakes.
So how will stress relief meditation help?
When cracks start to show then it’s important to address any negative feelings.
Take a few moments to acknowledge what you’re feeling – are you anxious? Does it all feel too much?
Meditation will help you shift your perspective via simple techniques like breathing, and in doing so, you’ll increase your focus and have the capacity to address the crux of your stress.
Take for example, Bill who has just started a sandwich shop – he’s having to deal with training up new employees, while handling building permits for his new shop, setting up a website and all the social media handles, at the same time, his bread supplier has called to say he’s run out of brown bread.
Bill can feel his body temperature rising, heart beating faster and his brain feels ready to explode.
Stress Relief Breathing
An easy and almost immediate stress reliever is deep breathing. This technique is probably the best given that it’s a natural function.
- Start by taking a deep inhale through the nose, and note the feel of air in your body, concentrate on that sensation, and feel the ‘now’ or present.
- For five seconds, keep that deep breath in your body and slowly count “1…2…3…4…5.”
- Then exhale through the mouth. Make it a long exhale.
- Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, to calm down.
This very simple breathing exercise will help you block out the ‘noise’ and help your mind realign and focus on the present while giving you some clarity.
When you’re feeling calmer and more focused, then you’re ready to meet any challenge.
Mantras can be a word or phrase that’s personal to you which can help motivate or calm you. Repeating a mantra while breathing deeply, can often be very effective. You can try some of these mantras:
“My mind and body are calm.”
“I am in control. I can handle anything.”
Alternatively, focus on a favourite saying or passage from book or religious book like the bible. Repeat this over, until you feel relaxed.
Sometimes physically moving away from a situation can help you handle a situation better and readjust your focus.
Take a walk for a few minutes, engage in the deep breathing exercise and repeat a mantra.
There’s also something called a ‘walking meditation’, where you just need a small stretch of 10 to 15 paces. As you walk (a little slower than usual), just concentrate on the movement of your foot as it steps onto the ground, while noting the environment you’re in.
Doing this, will help bring your awareness to the present and give your mind the chance to compartmentalise, connect and prioritise emotions.
It’s not always possible to go outside, but that’s OK, maybe go to your office and take a few steps.
Take a stand
While it’s important to give yourself a few minutes to focus on yourself when you’re feeling stressed, it’s not always possible to just get up and leave.
In this case, stand up taller by imagining a thread pulling you up by the top of your head, and pull back your shoulders.
Firmly place your feet on the ground, roughly hip distance apart, and open your chest like you’re basking in the sun.
Take a deep breathe. This stance will remind your body that you’re not helpless, but you’re in charge and in control.
When you’re feeling stressed it’s hard to forget why you set up your business, or what the end goal is, but by intentionally focusing on your gratitude, it’ll help balance out any negative emotions especially amid any uncertainty.
Our brain naturally releases ‘happy hormones’ known as dopamine and serotonin when we feel grateful, making us feel lighter and happier inside.
- If you can, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit. If you’re happy with closing your eyes, then do so.
- Take a deep breath from the nose, into the lungs, and then out through your mouth.
- Repeat this five times.
- Now say out loud or internally, what you’re grateful for. For example: “I am grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful for the support from my family. I am grateful for my colleagues. I am grateful for being me.” The list is endless!
- Finish off, with a deep and long sigh from your mouth.
MindEasy founder & meditation teacher