WEEK 2: MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION
Our first Self-Help September article focused on the importance of continuing education and building your skill-set as a business owner. This week, Primary Funding explores the education of your mind.
Do you ever find yourself thinking about one thing and suddenly having a completely random thought pop in your head? Or you’re trying to focus on a task, only to be interrupted by the buzz of a cell phone or a knock on your office door? Being a small business owner means you are likely pulled in a million different directions each day, with just as many interruptions. Being able to multi-task, work long hours and pour your heart into your company are pretty much job requirements.
So, how do you keep from going crazy when you need to constantly re-focus? Or how do you get a good night’s sleep when your mind is flying at the speed of light with your to-do list?
Enter the practice of being mindful, or mindfulness. Often associated with meditation, mindfulness is a Buddhist philosophy that has gained popularity in Western cultures in recent years. Mindfulness is designed to improve your focus and improve your overall well-being. By teaching your mind to reach a state of quiet, you can fully engage with the present, clear your mind of distractions, and ultimately, be in a better place to help your employees and business.
Like any new skill, there is a learning process. Being able to maintain focus and tune into your mindfulness throughout the day won’t come instantly. Have a plan, build up your practice and don’t be frustrated if it doesn’t come easily or naturally at first.
Mindfulness vs Meditation
Mindfulness is simply the practice of being present. It doesn’t necessarily mean emptying your mind, rather, it’s focusing on the thoughts of the moment and learning to stay focused on the positive and let go of negative, conditioned responses or emotions.
Meditation is the practice of breathing. The physical ability to focus on your breathing and your senses helps to clear your random thoughts and regain focus.
By practicing mindfulness and meditation together, you are focusing your mind and your body to the present state and understanding how to stay positive and productive.
There’s an App for That!
Although smartphones can be one of the worst offenders for distractions, they’re also a powerful tool and resource. To start your mindful journey, download a mindfulness and meditation app. Check out DevelopGoodHabits.com’s list of The 15 Best Meditation and Mindfulness Apps (updated for 2019). They give a brief synopsis of the app’s features and what type of person it can help.
Make It a Priority
Make time to practice your mindfulness and meditation. Set aside a few minutes each day to sit quietly and go through your mindfulness session. Create a safe and cozy spot without distractions. If you can’t do it every day, at least run through sessions a few times a week. It doesn’t take much time – maybe three to ten minutes total. Check out these meditation session ideas from radio.com. You may find yourself craving more time and increasing your sessions!
Bringing Mindfulness to Work
While work-life balance is not a new concept, the number of businesses that are willing to actually put this into practice for their employees is not huge. Monitoring employee productivity is relatively easy. Monitoring their overall emotional health and well-being in order to stay productive is not as easy! That’s why many companies are providing resources for employees to build emotional intelligence (EQ) skills, along with their day-to-day professional skills. Be a leader that encourages employees to take their mental health seriously.
Offer space or time for employees to engage in mindfulness sessions. Maybe you have an uninterrupted hour of quiet, or a room that employees can use to meditate or sit peacefully. By encouraging and taking part in the process, you are already instilling a positive change. Maybe even offer a yoga class if you have space in your office. Yoga poses and exercises are designed to reduce stress and improve well-being.
As you increase your time spent putting all of this into play, the process will become easier and easier. You should start to experience the benefits, like giving people your full attention, reducing your stress level, enabling focus and decreasing the amount of chatter in your head. You might also feel yourself being more creative!
Bon voyage on your mindfulness journey!