For centuries, we have known about meditation, however it has only been the last few decades that significant research has been spent studying the benefits, both physically and mentally, of meditation and mindfulness.
No longer some far edge alternative thing, meditation is used by world leaders and business leaders through to workers and students, even children, around the globe.
Benefits of meditation
Many leaders meditate because they know there are many physical and emotional benefits of regular meditation. Some of these include;
Sharpens your focus
Meditation gives you a clear mind, and helps makes you more focussed, especially in tasks that involve concentration for medium to long periods.
The relaxation of even just 10 minutes per day has been shown to cause a reduction in stress.
Improves your health
Overall physical health, including cardiovascular and heart health has been proven to be improved through regular meditation.
The National Sleep Foundation shares knowledge around how meditation has been proven to help with insomnia and general sleep hygiene.
In 2012, a study showed that “open-monitoring meditation was far more effective in stimulating divergent thinking, a key driver of creativity. Not surprisingly, the study also showed that focused-attention meditation was more strongly related to convergent thinking, which is important for narrowing options and formulating a workable solution.”
Meditation also helps with building confidence, and is very useful for students and young adults in building more confident processes,
A number of recent research reports have shown that meditation has helped reduce anxiety in people of all ages and backgrounds.
How to meditate
Find a comfortable place you can sit, either on a cushion, cross legged on floor or in a chair. Don’t lie down, as this may cause you to go drowsy.
Whilst sitting quietly, adjust your posture and close your eyes.
Start relaxing your muscles, from your head to your feet. Be very conscious about each part of your body.
A lot of people simply count breaths. Breathe in through the nose, and out trough the mouth, softly and steadily.
Do this for 5 to 10 minutes per day to begin with, and slowly build up for longer periods.
There are a number of mobile and web applications that will help with meditation. My favourite is Insight Timer, however there are plenty of them out there to choose from.
Meditation mobile apps
Here are six apps designed to help beginners through to advanced meditators, get more from their meditation practice. These will help any leaders meditate from no knowledge to expert.
The Mindfulness App
Further meditation reading
There is plenty of material out there about meditation, and great reasons for leaders meditate. A few of our favourites are;
Try meditation every day for a few weeks, and see how it fits with your lifestyle. You may find that the benefits will slowly appear and you will become a meditation regular in no time at all.
Enjoy the process and the journey to better leadership and an improved lifestyle, and here’s to more peaceful and relaxing moments in your life.