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Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of showing trust, leadership, and patience in their role. They know the elements of good decision making and are seasoned experts in time management.
However, there is one less-discussed tool that entrepreneurs can use to improve their performance in almost any area that matters: mindfulness meditation.
What is mindfulness meditation?
Mindfulness refers to a state of consciousness defined by awareness of the present moment. If you pay attention, you won't be distracted by fears about the past or worries about the future. Your internal dialogue is not chattering – you are simply tuned to the present with no other distractions.
Mindfulness meditation, in a broader sense, is a practice designed to help you achieve mindfulness consistently. There are a variety of different styles and practices that need to be considered. However, most follow a similar formula: find something to focus on and focus on that place of attention. When a distracting thought enters your mind, simply acknowledge it, accept it, and let go of it without judgment or further consideration.
To some people, this can appear like inhaling 10 times followed by 10 exhalations. Others prefer to focus on a mantra or something visual, like a flickering candle flame. Either way, mindfulness meditation is very easy to learn. Any amateur can start with the basics. However, if you want more in-depth coverage, there is no shortage of online courses to help you learn the basics. As an entrepreneur, why should you practice mindfulness meditation? Here are some of the benefits:
The most touted benefit of mindfulness meditation is its ability to reduce stress. When you are under a lot of pressure or have a lot of work on your plate, you can take a few minutes to practice mindfulness. When you're done, you are likely to feel more in control and less adversely affected by those around you.
Reduced heart rate and susceptibility to heart disease
Around 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States and is even higher in stressful positions such as entrepreneurship. Mindfulness meditation can improve your heart health, and regular exercise can lower your heart rate to help you lead a healthier, stress-free lifestyle that supports lower rates of heart disease.
Did you know that mindfulness meditation can increase your productivity? When you get rid of distractions, you can focus more easily on the task at hand. Your mind will not babble with restless thoughts, nor will you feel drawn in many directions at once. Instead, you can invest your time and attention in what matters most.
Related: The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs
One of the most important roles an entrepreneur embodies is that of a key decision maker. It is your responsibility to make the decisions that will make your business a success. Mindfulness meditation equips you with better tools and a better mentality for making these decisions. Not only will you remove distractions that could interfere with your thought process, but you will also distill your emotions so that you are less prone to impulsive actions.
Patience and emotional intelligence
Even a few minutes of mindfulness meditation can help you develop patience and sharpen your emotional intelligence. When you are at your limit, mindfulness will help you slow down and get an overview of the situation. It can also help you reflect on others and better empathize with them.
Related: 7 Proven Ways Of Meditating To Prepare You For Success
Sleep deprivation can turn even the most intelligent, productive, and capable entrepreneurs into unproductive, depressed shadows of their former selves. The real tragedy is that many entrepreneurs try so hard that they find it difficult to get the sleep they need. Often times, entrepreneurs are too distracted, stressed out, and overworked to rest effectively. Mindfulness meditation, especially right before bed, can make it much easier to fall and fall asleep throughout the night.
Getting started with mindfulness meditation
You don't have to spend hours attending classes or revising your lifestyle to practice mindfulness. Instead, you can start with just 10 minutes a day – or even less. Spending a few minutes centering your mind and letting go of distracting thoughts can reap its numerous benefits. Gradually, if you agree, you can meditate longer and see even more benefits.
Everything starts with a single lesson of practice. If every entrepreneur had devoted themselves to mindfulness meditation, we would see a lot more patience, confident decision-making, and team building from top to bottom.
Related: 8 Mental Disciplines Stronger Than Self-Doubt