Entrepreneurs and business leaders have busy and often stressful lives. At times, you just need some time out and headspace away from the chaos and strains of business life. How helpful would it be to feel relaxed and calm, whenever you need it? What might it be like to have some peace of mind and respite from the busyness? How good will it be to have more clarity, creativity and focus? What if you could take a ‘holiday in your head’? All of this can be achieved through meditation. And all of it is particularly helpful to people running businesses.
A Vast Array of Benefits
The many physical and emotional benefits of regular meditation have been scientifically proven. They include stress-reduction, control of anxiety, decreased blood pressure, improved sleep, greater emotional stability, improved mood and behaviour, emotional wellbeing, increased self-awareness, reduced memory loss, increased empathy and kindness, addiction-control, and pain management – amongst many others.
Whilst these are all helpful, the mental benefits of meditation are particularly useful to entrepreneurs and business leaders: greater clarity and peace of mind; developing your intuition and unleashing creativity; increasing your happiness; a better attention span and improved memory. Meditation enables you to focus, which sharpens your mind – and increased relaxation helps to expand your mind and thinking abilities. You can also use meditation for visualisation purposes, to help you with your vision, goal-setting and self-motivation.
Additionally, meditation helps you to gain a sense of purpose, wholeness, expansion and connectedness, spiritually. Through learning more about yourself, and changing your perspective on life, meditation will even precipitate real personal transformation.
Thanks to all these benefits, your problems decrease, because you gain a better perspective, and when relaxed and open-minded, solutions come easily to you.
Wow! With all these benefits – why aren’t we all meditating? How do we do it?
‘How do I meditate?’ is a common question. Western interest in using this ancient eastern practice demonstrates just how out of alignment we have become – with increasing numbers of people suffering from anxiety, depression, stress and other mental health conditions. Traditional western medicine fails to tackle the root cause of these conditions. So, now we look for answers beyond what our local GP and pharmacist can offer: exploring ancient practices that don’t just reduce symptoms but get to the cause, resolving the very things responsible for our discomfort.
Despite the growing popularity of meditation, it can be difficult to know where to begin. You may struggle to determine the difference between the numerous types of meditation, ranging from mindfulness, guided, zen, transcendental, visualisation, affirmations, mantra, vipassana, yoga, and even hypnosis. There are many different forms of meditation and most of them don’t need you to have any special equipment or space.
Different options are suitable for beginners, to ease you into the practice of meditation so you can experience the benefits of this ancient gift. Start with short meditations, to get used to the process (and you can more easily fit them into your schedule). Then, once you’re comfortable with it, build up the time.
The easiest ones for beginners are guided meditations and mindfulness.
Start by listening to guided meditations. This means that a voice guides you through the process and provides instruction on what to do, or what to imagine. So you can just concentrate on the voice giving you instructions or telling you a story. They may take you on a walk through a forest, or somewhere in nature.
Once you’ve practised with guided meditations, you can try ‘unguided’ meditation, without a voice or instructions – just meditate to music or watch a candle-flame.
This means being fully present in the moment, so your mind is only filled with the sensory information around you right now – what you feel, hear, smell, taste and see. It’s a great way to switch off from the past and the future, or anything that’s usually on your mind. There are many mindfulness meditations available, or you can practise it by doing mindfulness exercises and techniques yourself.
There is a huge range of resources available online. A quick search will provide you with whatever you need. For example, UCLA has a range of free mindfulness meditations and resources available to download – as well as their own app.
Below, I have detailed my recommendations for meditation resources that are publicly available and suitable for beginners. Here you can access information, videos, audio meditations and resources to start you out on your meditation journey.
This popular platform is a great source of meditation videos, music and gurus sharing their knowledge and expertise on the subject. YouTube contains millions of videos, ranging from short 1- to 5-minute guided meditations taking you through every step of the process, to 8-12 hour long videos containing some of the deepest affirmations and the most beautiful, relaxing meditation music. I would recommend subscribing to Nu Meditation, which has one of the largest followings on YouTube – and for good reason, since the quality of their videos and graphics are pretty special. YouTube is always my first choice in preparing for my morning or evening meditation.
If you want to start meditating, select a form of meditation based on whatever you want to get out of it – relaxation, focus, abundance, pain-relief, success. Whatever kind of meditation you need, simply write some keywords in their search box, and select. Here are some examples:
Meditation for Focus:
Headspace Mini meditation: Find your focus – 1 minute
5-Minute Meditation You Can Do Anywhere – 5 minutes
Meditation for Relaxation:
Guided Meditation – Blissful Deep Relaxation – 20 minutes
Meditation for Business
Guided Meditation for Work and Business Success – 13 minutes, guided visualisation for every morning.
Guided Meditation for Entrepreneurs (Visualize Your Success) – 14 minutes, including introductory explanation.
Program Your Mind for Growth, Success & Prosperity Affirmations for Entrepreneurs while you sleep! – 3+ hours.
Every entrepreneur carries a smart phone these days – which makes meditation accessible wherever you are. There are tons of meditation, relaxation and visualisation apps available; but I want to share a few that I’ve personally used, so I’m confident in recommending them for meditation at all levels.
Headspace – a great website and one of the biggest meditation apps available today, for good reason. A perfect choice if you want to learn the essentials of meditation.
Calm – very easy to use, with handy features such as the guided ‘Daily Calm’ sessions that help you to relax and be present.
Insight timer – a web-based community, taking a slightly different approach, because it acts as a social network for meditators. Along with its app (via Apple or Google), it offers a free library of around 30,000 meditations, so this app should definitely keep you in the present – forever!
3. Eventbrite and Meetup
These sites enable you to access virtual or real-life meditation events like classes, group meetings, workshops and courses – where you can learn meditation in real-time and participate along with others in a community of likeminded people. Some events are free, some charge fees. Some are online events – particularly useful during the pandemic – which can be accessed from anywhere. Others are events local to you (especially Meetup which involves you adding your postcode or location. But if there’s nothing local to you – just search for wider, online events).
Just add ‘meditation’ into the search engine for both
Once you’re familiar with the process of meditation, you can use the techniques anywhere for short periods in your working day: at your desk, or you can even use mindfulness while walking to meetings. You can practice for just a few minutes, daily. The greatest benefits come from regular practice, so set some time aside every morning to gear you up for the day, or to relax at night.