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While the currents social changes and political developments increase the daily challenges for most companies, stress is on the rise. A study from 2019 examined 242 entrepreneurs on their mental health. 72% were directly or in directly affected by mental health problems compared to the control participants. 30% reported problems with depression, 29% with ADHD, and 12%with substance use.
Looking at these numbers it is clear that mental health and reducing stress is no longer something to postpone. And while stress reduction programs have been around for centuries this article offers a method that has been around for centuries but is only recently coming to the business world:Meditation.
Meditation is the practice of sitting quietly and observing oneself and one’s inner world for a chosen time. Often this sitting quietly comes with a simple, yet hard to practice exercise of observing and being mindful of what thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations arise. It not only includes the practice of paying attention but also the practice of remaining non-judgmental and non-reactive. The specific object of the observation for a meditation practice can differ depending on the meditation technique used.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress. With just 10minutes per day and small meditation breaks one can drastically increase their mental health and ultimately better their work performance.
And before anyone starts their meditation practice right one, there are some things to consider and to know about meditation to reduce stress.
What meditation can and can’t do
Meditation is not a magic tool that eliminates stress from work and life.Meditation rather is a tool to become more resilient to stress. That means that one should not start a meditation practice with the expectation to meditate for 10 minutes per day and then be able to work even harder.
Some entrepreneurs and founders deal with such high levels of stress and pressure that only a lifestyle change can decrease stress and improve mental health. Because no meditation practice in the world can compensate for a high-stress lifestyle. This lifestyle change can be focusing on only essential tasks and outsourcing unimportant things as well as including meditation into daily life.
Getting into the habit of paying attention to thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations will most likely increase the awareness of the intrinsic motivations, motives, and values. This can result in feeling more aligned with the business and thus feeling more motivated than ever to work, or it can result in feeling as though the current job is out of alignment with the intrinsic motivations, motives, and values. This can then lead to a change of direction in the job life.
In general, it has to be considered that mediation brings out what is suppressed and hidden in the mind. And while right now this sounds scary, it is a great opportunity for growth. Imagine that one can bring to light and resolve all the beliefs, habits, and negative self-talk that are preventing success. How would the business change if negative beliefs, habits, and negative self-talk are gone with the power of meditation? Only for the better.
That being said, how can founders use meditation to become resilient to stress and if wanted and if wanted, use meditation to bring light to all beliefs, habits, and negative self-talk that is preventing success?
The best way to become resilient to stress is to start the morning right. By implementing a daily 10-minute morning meditation into the routine, founders and entrepreneurs can cultivate mental clarity and relaxation. For this, there are dozens of meditation apps, millions of YouTube videos on meditation or meditation mentors.
And while there are so many meditations online and apps to implement a meditation practice, the downside is that they are mostly generic and for a broad audience. Rarely there are meditations and apps suited for the unique challenges of most founders and entrepreneurs.
That is why a meditation mentor with experience in business and startups is a great solution.
You can access multiple mindset and wellness mentors through MentorPass under the performance category.
Before an important meeting taking 5 minutes to do a quick meditation is amazing to get into the right level of confidence and motivation for the meeting and eliminate all doubts and negativity. The small meeting meditation can be a simple letting go meditation (https://lorelledehnhard.com/this-powerful-letting-go-quick-meditation-can-change-your-life/) or just a mental relaxation.
Entrepreneurs and founders are probably the groups of people who are most likely to skip a break.And while this can work for some years, not getting rest between intense hours of working can have a lasting negative effect on mental health.
Mindful breaks are short 5 minute breaks to refocus, get into a positive state of mind, and feel energized again. Starting the break by setting a timer for 5 minutes, closing the eyes or keeping them open, and just focusing on the breathing for some moments. Making sure to deeply inhale and use the exhale to release all tension and relax the body. Then after a few moments, taking out a sheet of paper or journal and answer the following questions:
1. What do I appreciate about myself?
2. What am I grateful for today?
3. What have I achieved so far?
When finished, one can simply return to work.
Doing this mindful break three times per day with different questions is recommended.
These 3 ways of building resilience to stress and increase focus, productivity, and mental clarity are great for every founder and entrepreneur with a big vision and an impact to make on the world.
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