4 Ways a Meditation Practice Can Benefit You and Your Business
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a van down by the river on a remote island, you’ve probably heard of meditation. It seems like everyone’s talking about it, from Oprah and Lady Gaga to 50 Cent, Hugh Jackman, and various high-powered CEOs. A whole industry has flourished on it, with countless businesses offering meditation classes, coaching, and retreats.
This wasn’t the case when I was growing up in the 80s. My dear dad had been turned on to meditation and yoga in the early 70s before I was born – so it’s always been a part of my life. I’m not saying I participated in it…but it was always there.
While the other dads verbally sparred over whether the Cardinals or the Twins would win the World Series, my dad was talking about Universal Consciousness and how to tap into it.
When the other dads were talking about the season finale of Cheers, mine would say something like, “when the ego dies, the soul awakens”.
Oh, the horror!
Other dads would go away for the weekend on golf trips…but my dad would go to meditation retreats. You get the picture.
Good Lord, it was so embarrassing!
My dad was the weird dad. No one else was talking about these things. No one. And although I hate to admit it, it was super annoying, and I was simply not receptive to it.
It took getting punched in the face by a breast cancer diagnosis many years later for me to finally listen to him and start my own practice – sorry, Pop! And although I know it sounds cliche, I’m grateful that my cancer experience pointed me in this direction.
Meditation has blessed me with many benefits and is a cornerstone of my personal development. The benefits of meditation have been well documented. But did you ever consider how meditation could help you in your business?
This was a pleasant surprise for me when I started my practice. Read on to find out how starting a meditation practice could help you take your business to the next level.
1) Meditation can improve your memory and concentration
You did it. You made the leap from being someone else’s employee to the owner of your very own business. Yay! But now that you don’t have someone else telling you what to do, you feel a bit…lost.
Where should you be focusing your efforts?
Who should you call first?
What was it that needed to get done by Wednesday morning?
Where the hell is your cat?!
A regular meditation practice could improve your cognition – which includes memory and concentration. These two things will help any business owner run their business better and more efficiently.
It happens to all of us. Overwhelm from balancing home life and business life. It can be difficult when you feel like you’re keeping too many balls in the air.
Starting a regular meditation practice could help with this. One study shows that even a short 13 minute daily meditation for eight weeks could improve memory and concentration scores in non-experienced meditators.
You don’t have to block off two hours for chanting mantras while holding a crystal – unless, of course, that’s your sort of thing. This is a very accessible practice.
2) Meditation can reduce stress
We all know that stress is a killer. They even say it’s a silent killer. This means that you may not even realize what stress is doing to your body. Especially if you’re so used to living that amped-up, stressed kind of lifestyle. You get used to it….and feel like it’s normal. You don’t even realize what is going on behind the scenes in your body.
When you are under stress, two key hormones are released – adrenaline and cortisol. The good news is these two hormones will get you out of a jam when you are in an acute stressful situation – like running away from a rabid dog. However, when you are chronically stressed, and these hormones hang around for too long, damage can be done.
Chronic stress could possibly contribute to:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Immune system suppression – which can lead to illnesses such as cancer
Skin conditions like eczema
Anxiety and/or depression
Trouble focusing, remembering, or feeling unmotivated
Now I don’t know about you, but these seem like terrible conditions under which to run a successful business! Lucky for you, there’s a possible solution – a meditation practice may be able to ease some of these problems.
I can tell you that I learned the hard way how stress can be a silent killer. I was always super healthy. I was always conscious of what I was eating. I don’t smoke. I barely drink. Physical fitness is one of my hobbies…I’ve never been overweight. And yet – I ended up with cancer!
Looking back, I can clearly see that I was mismanaging stress. In my opinion, that was the reason my body fell out of balance. I won’t be making that mistake again. Do NOT underestimate the negative effects stress can have on your body.
Even brief instruction in simple meditation techniques can improve perceived stress in healthy adults. As the saying goes, “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – or perceive it.
Meditation can help curb emotional reactions. So instead of freaking out when things are going wrong in your business, you’ll be more likely to remain cool as a cucumber. This calmness will lead you to more clarity and better decision-making.
3) Meditation can boost your confidence
A lot of us struggle with self-confidence. And do you know the #1 reason people have low self-confidence? Negative self-talk! Yes. That annoying little voice most of us are familiar with. That voice that seems to “keep you company” all day and won’t shut the hell up!
How would you like to send that little buzzkill packing – or at least sedate it, lessen its impact?
Start a meditation practice.
Meditation helps to train your brain to disassociate from that voice in your head – create some distance between you and that voice if you will. Because, after all – you are not that voice you hear in your head! You are the one that hears it…kind of trippy, I know.
So what does this have to do with business? That little voice causes you to second guess yourself and come off as not so confident. This can be smelled a mile away!
Once you can disassociate from that voice, its effect on you is neutralized. You will come off as more sure of yourself and confident. Warning: this may cause you to start crushing discovery calls and increasing sales. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.
In my experience, meditation has helped to reduce the chatter in my head – including negative self-talk. I find I am less nervous on sales calls…and not as negatively affected if things don’t go as planned. This separation between you and the thoughts in your head may help you to act more confidently.
4) Using visualization techniques in meditation could attract more success to your business
Ok – so now we are in full-on “woo woo” territory. In visualization meditation, we envision desired outcomes or goals. For example, you could imagine where you see your business in five years, the kind of people you want to do business with, all the amazing things you’ll do with all the money, etc.
Let your mind run free! This kind of practice can enhance your creativity – help you to think outside the box. After all – you’re in your imagination…there is no box!
This kind of visualization practice could help you harness the power of the law of attraction. This idea was made famous by Rhonda Byrne in her book The Secret. The main premise is that thoughts emit energy and act like a magnet for similar energy. Good thoughts will attract good things, bad thoughts will attract negative things.
I know this may sound ridiculous to some. But keep in mind that professional athletes have been doing visualization meditations for years to achieve peak performance. There’s no reason you can’t harness this same power for your business.
I love to incorporate visualization during my before-bedtime meditation. I’ll usually start with a few minutes of deep breathing exercises, then settle into visualizing successful outcomes for my business – or my life in general. I like to fall asleep with these pleasant thoughts in the hope that I am baking these thoughts into my subconscious. Who wouldn’t want to marinate all night in positive vibes?
How can I fit meditation into my life?
This is absolutely doable. Seriously. You don’t have to start big. You can start with just ten minutes in the morning and work your way up from there. Do it before bed if you prefer.
Just like tennis shoes and bras, meditation is not a one size fits all kind of thing.
You could go with a guided meditation if you feel like you need more direction.
A mantra meditation could help you to calm your mind and to dip into that magical creative space.
If you’re ready for longer, more advanced meditations, you could look into Dr. Joe Dispenza – one of my favorites.
You could even do walking meditations.
The point is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money or take special classes. There are many free meditation apps – like Insight Timer – and tons of meditations available on YouTube. We are lucky to live in a time where this ancient practice and wisdom are totally accessible.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to leverage this 5,000-year-old practice to take you and your business to the next level!
About the Author: Marisol is a talented health and wellness copywriter and cancer survivor.