Entrepreneurs are known for toughing it out and taking on multiple responsibilities. And even when you attempt to take a rest, your mind constantly gravitates towards a never-ending list of tasks and project goals.
It’s not easy for you to slow down, but for productivity and your health’s sake, taking a moment to rest is more beneficial than harmful.
You’re not going to turn into a hippie and in fact, you’ll be in some amazingly successful company. Steve Jobs was famous for meditating, Salesforce.com multi-billionaire Marc Benioff does it, and even Oprah is a strong advocate for meditation.
Before we get into how to meditate, let’s look at where it all began and whether or not it’s beneficial to your health.
Origins of Meditation
Meditation is practiced worldwide and in many different forms, but its roots extend back into the Bronze Age. Symbols of meditative poses were discovered on Indus Valley wall art that’s dated approximately 5,000 to 3,500 BCE.
Since then, meditation has been incorporated into many belief systems. For instance, Kabbalah and hitbodedut are meditative disciplines practiced in Judaism. And Christian monks practiced contemplation for centuries.
Nowadays, Eastern practices like meditation are even more commonly accepted in mainstream America. Courses and books highlighting its effectiveness in promoting balance, stress reduction and increased productivity are widely accessible – even companies like Google and Apple offer meditation classes for their employees.
The Proof is in the Science
Meditation isn’t a trend. There’s a reason why people have practiced it for thousands of years. Long-term meditation practice offers many outstanding health benefits.
- Emotion regulation – A mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course led to increased gray matter in the hippocampus. This area of the brain regulates emotion, influences a person’s foresight, past memories, and others’ viewpoints.
- Brain ages well – Individuals who’d meditated for an average of 20 years had higher volumes of gray matter in the brain. This suggests that instead of declining, their brains actually improved with age.
- Restful alertness– Meditative practice has an uncanny ability to bring you to a state of rest, while simultaneously increasing your sense of awareness. This practice helps clear your thoughts and balance yourself internally.
Meditative interventions have also been shown to help moderate sleeping and eating patterns, and decrease levels of anxiety and depression.
Is Meditation for You?
Potential benefits aside, you might be wondering, “Is meditation for me?” And considering the versatility of this practice, that question is understandable.
In Buddhism, meditation is used on one’s journey towards Enlightenment. And mainstream society sometimes associates meditative practice with an eclectic form of theology.
But you don’t have to subscribe to a belief system, master odd sitting positions, or learn complex breathing techniques to benefit from meditation.
In its simplest form, meditation is contemplation. It’s an act that promotes inaction – even if only for a brief moment. Meditation is a personal experience. And you can engage in it in your own way.
How to Meditate
The simplest step towards incorporating meditation into your daily (or weekly) routine is to make the choice to do it.
Set aside a few moments of your day. Find a quiet room (even your car will do). Sit still. Shut out all the noise. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Repeat the process until you feel relaxed, refocused and recharged. Even 10 minutes a day will benefit you.
Engage in meditation regularly to reap the long-term benefits of slow aging, mood regulation, clearer thought life, and high sleep quality.