Getting a small business off the ground can leave owners with a lot of anxiety-filled days and sleepless nights. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that excess stress can negatively affect productivity and lead to the development of a host of costly illnesses. Founders owe it to themselves and their companies to partake in proven stress-relieving practices like mindfulness meditation. Here are a few tips on how to get started.
While mindfulness meditation might seem difficult to learn to the uninitiated, putting yourself in a mental state in which you are fully engaged with the present moment can be achieved in a number of different ways. Yoga and wellness brand Gaiam has a simple four-step guide that helps meditators clear their minds by having them focusing intently on their breathing. The Gaiam method is ideal for beginners as it calls for short three-minute meditation sessions.
Body scan meditation
Body scan meditation is another way to practice mindfulness that can work well for beginners. As this Huffington Post piece details, it involves secluding yourself in a comfortable place, steadying your breathing and directing all your attention to your bodily sensations. Over the course of a five-minute session, body scan meditation helps practitioners slowly release all the stress-related tension that makes restful sleep difficult.
Mindful.org outlines an excellent guided meditation technique for mindfulness novices. In addition to outlining a meditation method that induces relaxation by fusing breathing and body scan techniques, the site also provides three and five-minute guided meditation podcasts that will help beginners sharpen their concentration while also detaching themselves from negative emotions.
The Mayo Clinic recommends using sensory meditation to reduce stress and improve cognition. In an example the clinic provides, mindfulness practitioners should bring a small bit of food into their meditation space and explore it fully with all five senses. During a 15 to 20-minute sensory meditation session, you learn to better engage with the world by gaining a deeper understanding of your personal relationship with food.
Positive Psychology offers a range of mindfulness meditation tips and techniques, one of the best of which is mindful seeing. The practice calls for meditators to find a quiet place in which they can see out a window. However, instead of following the natural instinct to catalog everything you see, mindful seeing is about observing abstractions like textures, colors, and movements. This 5 to 15-minute exercise can be very useful to clear your mind of distracting and distressing thoughts and feelings.
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For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Detroit.