You can find several articles on the Internet about the scientific benefits of meditation or mindfulness. In this post I want to tell you about the benefits I have personally experienced and why I believe you should start, too.
First of all, let me clarify that I am not a Tibetan monk nor a meditation guru, far from me. I do not intend to retire on the mountains nor to isolate from the rest of the world (I think solitude would drive me nuts!)
On the contrary. What I want to tell you about is a simple mindfulness practice that I have adopted at the beginning of 2015 and that has had an enormous impact on my business. Here is how you can also use it.
TRY MINDUFULNESS IN SMALL STEPS
When I started I did 10 minutes a day, and they already seemed too much to me! How could I stay still for 10 minutes and concentrate not to think of anything?
Soon I discovered that I did not have to make an effort not to think, but that I could let my thoughts flow naturally, and observe them without judgement.
The same way as when you stand on the pavement and observe the cars passing by. Imagine those cars are your thoughts. And you simply watch them go by, without stopping on anyone of them.
The feeling I get is to no longer be a whole with my thoughts. It’s like I can see them passing by with a natural detachment, knowing that I am not my thoughts. Being able not to identify with them makes me feel free: it is wonderful!
And what’s most beautiful about this, is accepting that it is ok to have many thoughts, and it is ok to let them flow, let them go, without letting anxiety, fear or worries overwhelm you.
Like when you look with curiosity at a new object or an exotic animal: you observe how it’s done and how it behaves, then you move on.
THE BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
I tell you immediately. First of all, practising mindfulness has been like taking a daily shower for my thoughts. You know how you feel when you have done a lot of sports; you sweat and feel all clammy. Imagine the same happening with your thoughts. When you have all those thoughts and worries on you, they annoy you.
Here is when 10-20 minutes of mindfulness per day help me wash away those thoughts and I feel fresh, clean and regenerated.
This is not all, though. This mental shower allows me to approach my business every day with increased clarity. I take all the time I need to observe my activity and to consciously decide what must be done, how to organise the day and what needs to be prioritized.
It certainly helps to have a planning strategy, but the mind-set remains basic to make it work.
Besides, meditation gives me a big energetic charge. It helps me to be more concentrated and focused on what I am doing. This way, I avoid all distractions and don’t get lost in day-to-day insignificancy. Productivity benefits a lot!
I also feel generally more serene and relaxed. When I start feeling nervous because something is not going right, I rush to do my mindfulness session, and when I open my eyes again, I feel like a new person.
Last but not least, since I started mindfulness meditation, I feel more apt to observe the beautiful side of life, and I appreciate the little moments of the present. This allows me to feel grateful and happy for what happens every day.
I could no longer live without my meditation, it has become a regular practice and I consider it a very powerful tool to help me grow my business:)
HOW TO START? HERE ARE SOME APPS THAT CAN HELP YOU
I started out looking for the least expensive solutions, and then I turned to free apps for iPhone. The first one was Relax with Andrew Jonhson, but after a while his voice made me nervous (personal perception).
I then tried Calm, which used some music in the background. Music distracted me, though.
So I tried the free track of Omnama.it with binaural beats. I must say I liked this one a lot, but I was looking for something more targeted.
Eventually I discovered Headspace, which I have been using regularly for almost one and a half year. For me, it has been fundamental to find tracks without background music, with a present but non-insisting voice, alternate to moments of silence.
I liked Headspace so much, that I subscribed to it monthly, and I now moved on to the yearly subscription.
If you are curious about mindfulness meditation, I suggest you to personally try what is available out there, so as to understand what is more suitable to your needs. And start with something simple, even 2 to 3 minutes per day are fine.
Anhexpat (Anh Thu Nguyen)
This article was originally published in italian in Il Mondo di Anh and has been translated by Claudiaexpat for ExpatWomen at Work with the permission of the author.