4 Ways Meditation Can Make You a More Effective Business OwnerMany great leaders meditate. Here are some of the benefits they get (that you could get, too.)
Want to be the type of leader who is calm in a crisis, makes smart decisions and maintains focus amid everyday chaos? Try meditation.
Here are four benefits of meditation that can positively impact your life as business owner.
Lower stress and anxiety
Meditation is most commonly used for managing anxiety, stress and fear. Taming these feelings can improve your decision making, your interactions with your staff and more.
Joanne Newell is the owner of the Center for Energy Healing in Roswell, Georgia and leads meditations as a part of her practice. When you’re anxious, she said, “all of a sudden, every decision and situation we find ourselves in is causing fear and stress. The body responds to that the same way as danger.”
But with meditation, even after you’re finished, said Newell, “you’re much more centered, much more grounded,” she said. “That sense of calmness and peace carries over.”
A bigger-picture perspective
When you meditate, you are better able to step back from your current situation and get perspective on the big picture — which is especially helpful when things go wrong.
“Just sitting within that space, within that realm of meditation, allows you to come to a point where you feel like whatever the worst is going to be, it’s okay.”
Meditation can also help you understand balance and what is important to you, said Newell. “Yes, the business is important, but you’ve got a personal life. If that is sacrificed the business will suffer too. So it creates that sense of, ‘there’s more to me than this.’”
Increased clarity of thought
Allison Abrams, psychotherapist and mindfulness coach with Leading Minds Executive Coaching, explained, “If you’re caught up in your emotions, it’s hard to really listen and rationally try to work on a problem.” Meditation, she said, enables you to be a better business person.
According to Abrams, “Once you’ve become more relaxed and changed your mindset, you become more focused and are more able to access the executive functioning part of your brain, which is where all of those business skills come in — you know, critical decision making, strategic thinking, marketing, all of those decisions that you really need to be present for and have focus for.”
Newell said she personally meditates for clarity of thought. “As a business owner, when I don’t know a decision to make, I will sit in meditation with the intention of an answer coming through. Does the answer always come through right when I sit down in that moment? No, it doesn’t always. But it may be the next day or the next couple of days because I have made that space in my mind for it.”
Better crisis management
Abrams said a big part of her work is teaching clients to regulate and cope with their emotions, allowing them to respond to stressful situations in healthier ways.
Meditation trains your mind to come back into the moment. If you meditate regularly, when your day hits a snag “you can more easily access that concentrated breathing or those techniques. It makes it easier for you to handle life’s stressors,” said Abrams.
Simply being more aware of what you’re experiencing emotionally and physically — something meditation teaches — can also help you keep stress from getting the better of you, Abrams explained.
“Start to notice if your heart’s beating really fast or your body’s really tense. Notice it, be without judgement, and relax. Relax the parts of your body that are tense. If you’re feeling anxious, just notice the anxiety. Become curious about it so that it doesn’t overtake you.” -Allison Abrams
Noticing what your mind and body are experiencing “makes it easier for you to function or to access your best self because you’re not overcome as much by these mysterious emotions.”
Newell cautioned against evaluating meditation based on your first experience. “Give yourself two weeks or a month and do it every single day before you make a true judgement of what meditation is or if it benefits you. People will say, ‘Well, it didn’t work for me because I can’t quiet my mind.’ Well, of course you can’t quiet your mind,” she chuckled. “That’s why you do meditation.”