The art of meditation has been practiced by great leaders, thinkers and warriors for centuries in eastern cultures such as India, China, and Japan. Monks and emperors alike have employed meditative practice to their daily lives to sharpen their minds and gain insight that would otherwise elude them. In the same way, many western CEOs and business people have attributed their success and ability to make tough decisions to their meditative practice. While many people have thought about meditating in order to improve their personal life, few consider the numerous benefits it can bring to their professional life. Find out more about Zen business acumen by learning how meditation can help your business. Let’s begin by examining what meditation is and how it affects your mind and body.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is the application of the principle of mindfulness to one’s thought processes. Mindfulness is the Buddhist teaching of focusing one’s awareness and attention on the ever-present moment while simultaneously acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, bodily sensations and thoughts.
There are various physical processes attached to mindfulness meditation. You might employ techniques such as controlled breathing to focus solely on the sensations of your breath. You could use a mantra, a single repeated thought or saying a few words over and over to focus your mind. Silence also serves as a focal point. You could try remaining seated with proper posture on the floor or using a meditation stool to achieve mindfulness.
The fundamental concept at play for meditation in general though is the focus of your will and thought upon what is happening in the now while accepting the past and future without dwelling on them.
How Does Meditation Help Your Business?
There are many different ways the daily practice of mindfulness can add to your business. This is mostly due to the fact that mindfulness meditation sharpens your perception, concentration, and memory. Mindfulness meditation is also highly beneficial to your self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Meditation allows practitioners to untangle unhealthy or unproductive mindsets to the point that they no longer need those old ways of thinking. Discover a few of the academically and scientifically tangible benefits of meditation on your business and professional life.
Build and Maintain Resilience
Scientific studies of meditation have shown that daily practice has the potential to reduce anxiety in practitioners. This allows them to perform better, even under stress. The mindful awareness of the “now” may help practitioners deal with crises by curtailing spiraling thoughts and worries before they take control. When the pressure is on at work or a crisis arises, the meditative thinker can remain cool under fire. Many studies also indicate that people coping with or recovering from trauma benefit greatly from regular meditative practice. Meditation helps them to direct their thoughts towards healthier spaces and patterns of behavior.
Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
Recent brain-imaging studies of meditation practitioners show evidence that regular meditation contributes to superior emotional control. Take the time to focus on and examine your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis. When you do this, you learn to find the root causes of why you feel what you feel and how to change your mindset to accept and cope with those feelings.
Patience and Paying Attention
Meditation also teaches patience and the true nature of listening. Instead of simply waiting to speak, meditation demands that you listen with the whole mind. The more practice a person has with giving something their complete attention, the greater their understanding of the expressed emotions and thoughts of others. This “consciousness through listening” is especially important in the development of empathy, which is an essential business skill for developing strong business relationships with staff and clients.
New creativity research has found that people discover their best insights and reach their greatest breakthroughs when their mind is in a meditative, relaxed mindset. This is largely attributed to the fact that meditation requires divergent thinking in our problem-solving. An open mind can consider and accept as many solutions to a problem as possible. This “open-mindedness,” or willingness to accept solutions outside our comfort zone or normal realm of thought, is essential for creatives and business leaders alike.
Develop Better Relationships
When we get stressed, our perspective of others and our ability to empathize with them narrows considerably. This can have a profound negative impact on everyone’s performance, including your own. Regular meditative practice allows you to focus on directing your emotions positively while allowing yourself to feel compassion for others. It is this compassionate mindset that inspires teams to work harder and stress less because they know that they are understood and supported, even when they struggle. A good business leader knows the value of compassion, and meditation is one key to developing strong compassion for others.
The list of potential benefits that meditation brings to business leaders and individual professional lives is long and varied. These are just a few of the ways a daily meditative practice allows you to stress less, empathize more, improve your ability to make judgment calls, and allow you to live a more fulfilling and productive life.
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