How does a day in the life of the most successful entrepreneurs and CEOs look like? More often than not, we can assume that they are dealing with the stresses of taking on new projects, clients, and figuring out how to best solve unanticipated crises at work. Whether you define success as something measured in monetary gains or merely as a mindset, stress affects us all. To handle the stress that comes with any form of success, many of the most influential people in the world like Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Weiner, Bill Gates, and Paul McCartney prioritize finding calm in their hectic lives through meditation.
Meditation reduces stress, increases calmness and concentration, promotes relaxation, and elevates levels of happiness. It allows you to detach yourself from your emotions and find clarity in the present moment.
Your emotions are merely a reaction to a temporary external experience. If, for example, you got fired at work, you will often feel worried about the future, feel disappointed in yourself, or even feel resentment towards your employer. The truth is that your current state of unemployment is only temporary but dwelling on the emotions and constantly reliving the negative feelings that losing your job brings blocks you from thinking clearly and moving forward towards a wonderful new beginning. Our emotions are a reflection of our experiences but they do not define who we are. You may feel angry or stressed, but you are not angry or stressed. Meditation allows you to observe your emotions without judgment, thus allowing you to detach from them.
If you have been curious about meditation but never practiced, or have tried practicing but life got in the way, here’s your sign to give it another try. We compiled a beginner’s guide along with tips for you to use in your journey towards a more mindful self.
Get started…but how?
Meditation is available to us all and all that it requires is you and a quiet space. There is an endless amount of different apps, books, and videos to turn to for instruction but the best way to get started is to simply search “Guided Meditation” on Youtube. This way you can listen to several different types of mindfulness meditations without having to pay for a subscription– especially if you are just curious and are in the beginning stages of your practice. You will notice that you can also search after different themes whether it be a morning meditation, a short meditation, or guided meditations to relieve stress.
When and Where
We are all busy, so finding time to turn away from the world and instead tune in to our inner selves can be very difficult. This is why it is important to find time in your day that will not welcome any distractions. For example, many of the Fortune 500 leaders are known to work out in the early hours of the morning as opposed to during lunch or after work as this is the only time they do not need to worry about a phone call or crisis disrupting their workout. They are 100% present in all that they do. The same goes for meditating. When you first begin meditating, studies have found that it is more effective to practice first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed. Set aside a specific time in your day to meditate and try to stick to it.
There is also no time limit to meditation; most sources recommend anywhere 2-10 minutes to start and after some time, you can sit (or lie down) for 45 minutes to an hour or two if you’d like. It is up to you; observe how your mind and body react. There is no minimum or maximum time when it comes to meditation.
Although meditating can be done anywhere, some believe that it helps to have a specific place to meditate to rid yourself of unnecessary distractions. Once again, do what feels best for you. The purpose of mindful meditation is to observe your thoughts and be aware of what feels best for you.
People often worry that they will be unable to shut off their thoughts throughout their meditation. This is almost impossible. It is as natural for the mind to wander as it is for the lungs to breathe. It happens whether we ask it to or not. Mindful meditation is meant to make you mindful of your thoughts, to observe them. Not silence them.
When you first begin meditating, it is almost easiest to tune into a guided meditation. Put in your headphones and listen to the guide. What you will often notice is how they repeatedly instruct you to focus on your breath. As soon as you feel yourself to wander or daydream, take a breath, and redirect your focus back to your breathing.
Am I ”Zen” now?
Remember that mindful meditation is a practice towards becoming more mindful and should be applied to your everyday life, not just while you meditate.
Mindfulness refers to a state of being – it is the experience of being open, aware, and accepting (without judgment or criticism) in the present moment. Mindful meditation is the practice of being present in the moment which is meant to train us to live a more mindful life to better tackle stress, worry, and feelings of anger in a more effective and accepting way.
Meditation trains the brain to become less reactionary to the negative feedback and emotions that we face daily. It tames the brain’s emotional response and makes it easier to overcome a bad day at work, feelings of self-doubt, or negative experiences or people that, in the past, would have ruined our day.
If you find yourself drawn to the practice of meditation, start exploring different types of guided meditations as well. There are meditations for sleep (yes, you can meditate while you sleep), for anxiety and stress relief, for positive energy and mindset, and ones for finding inner peace. There are also guided meditations to meet your higher self and discover your purpose in life, meditations for manifesting the life you want, and finding self-love. For those who are on a more intense spiritual-journey, some meditations are aimed for you to relive moments in your past lives…but we can save that conversation for another time 😉
We wish you clarity and light through these uncertain times. You, as much as anyone else, deserve to find peace amid all of life’s chaos.
We want to hear about your experience! If you have already adopted meditation to your lifestyle, we want to know what benefits you feel it brings; or if you have recently tried it, we want to hear what you think about it, what difficulties you faced, how you felt afterward, and if you think you’ll try it again. Feel free to email us with any thoughts or questions!