Every day, you challenge yourself to push the boundaries of what’s possible. And, while bringing something new into the world is thrilling, the highs and lows inherent to the process can be mentally exhausting. You may have the best idea, the best execution strategy, and the most passion. But without a plan to keep your mental game in top shape, you’re setting yourself up for an unnecessary struggle that can ultimately cost you your business.
The most effective mental training out there today is mindfulness meditation. Thanks to the latest in neuroscience, scientists have repeatedly shown that practicing mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety. But, it doesn’t stop there. After 8 weeks of regular training, your brain literally changes and improves functions related to productivity, focus, creativity, and resilience. No wonder that start-ups to Fortune 500s alike have introduced some form of meditation for their teams. Getting started is easier than you think.
Here are 3 steps to introduce mindfulness meditation in your everyday life:
1) Book a regular time and place
If it’s not in the calendar, it’s not going to happen. Start by setting 30 minutes aside once a week (the meditation itself may only take 10-15 minutes), ideally in the same location. This regularity of time and space shows that your are serious about creating space for mental training in your past paced schedule.
2) Get support
Whether everyone is a beginners or veterans of mindfulness, it’s helpful to have someone guide the venture into mindfulness meditation. Listen to an online guided meditation like Headspace or bring in a coach. One of the biggest questions people have is “am I doing it right?” Having someone available not only to teach technique, but to share experience, outline the benefits of meditation and answer questions, can be extremely valuable.
3) Switch-off on weekends
Use the weekends to switch off from work-related projects and client needs. Try making yourself unavailable by silencing or entirely ignoring email notifications. Detach from the various screens vying for your attention and resist the urge to instantly reply to every inbound email, especially on this 3 Day weekend. If this challenge seems unrealistic, try setting a quote or boundary. Instead of replying to every inquiry that comes in, make five a hard stop and then switch off. Feel like clients will get worried and continue spamming you? Create an automated email response saying something absurd like, “Not available this weekend. Will catch up on Monday. Enjoy the holiday.” Who knows, this might just inspire an entire revolution of mindfulness and restoration.
2 ways mindfulness can make you a more successful entrepreneur:
1. Clear creative blocks
Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of the present moment without judgement. By strengthening this ability, your brain learns new habits that increase calm, improve focus and prevent stress. Regular meditation has been proven to literally change your brain.
2. Perform better under pressure and communicate more effectively
Meditation can improve your emotional intelligence or EI, the ability to recognize, evaluate, and manage emotions. Mindfulness practices also enhance your sense of compassion, which allows you to understand and deal with an opposing viewpoint more effectively. Reaching this state of clarity and focus facilitates more natural conversations with others. Entrepreneurs have even attributed higher confidence levels during presentations and pitches to regular meditation.
What are you doing to reset this 3 Day Weekend?