There are countless researched and documented benefits to meditation from lowering blood pressure and chronic pain to helping alleviate anxiety and depression, but how does this affect business? Is sitting completely still and focusing on your breathing really a productive use of time? Here are three common misconceptions about mindfulness and meditation followed by the reasons meditation is just good business.
Myth: Meditation is sitting still not doing anything.
Fact: Meditation is training your brain to focus on the present moment.
Many people think meditation is the equivalent of a quick nap. You sit still, relax, and turn your brain off. In actuality, meditation can be very difficult. By continually focusing on something in the present moment like your breath, the sound around you, or a specific sensation, you are exercising your brain to come back to the present. You’re internal thoughts while meditating may look something like this: I am never going to figure out how to… just focus on your breath. Or, If only we could close that one big deal then we could… just focus on your breath. I have to clean the house this afternoon before the kids get home because I know I… just focus on your breath.
The next time your meeting agenda gets thrown out the window, you’re brain may start running away with ideas and emotions, but you’ll be able to bring it back to focus because you’ve been training your brain for a moment like this.
Myth: Meditation focuses too much on emotion and inhibits objectivity.
Fact: Meditation trains us to recognize our emotions, accept them, and investigate them to form a deeper understanding of the present situation.
Some people think meditation can turn us into people too concerned with emotion and not concerned enough about the success of the business. In actuality, meditation allows us to recognize our emotions, accept them, and then choose whether or not to use that emotion in our response.
By meditating you focus on letting your emotions be as they are. If you feel angry, you accept it and focus on the present. Once again, you are training your brain.
The next time an employee comes in late and unprepared you can avoid an overly emotional reaction. Your brain will be trained to recognize your emotion, accept it, and make a conscious decision on how to proceed based on what is best for your business.
Myth: Meditation is too much thinking and not enough action.
Fact: Meditation trains our brain to focus on the present situation, allowing us to recognize unproductive behavior and then confidently plan and take action.
Many think that meditation is too much inaction and not enough action. In actuality, meditation helps us focus on the present to avoid bad habits like inaction. Much like recognizing your emotions, mediation can help you recognize when you’re stuck in a period of too much planning and too much inaction.
The next time you are lying awake at night going over the new business changes in your head for the 16th time, you can recognize your excessive planning, focus on your breath and get some much needed sleep. Mindfulness does not look down on planning, rather it says plan once mindfully and then take action on that plan instead of going over the same plan again and again.
A mindful perspective to both your business and your communication can really put you in touch with better ideas, better strategy, and fewer road blocks. For more information or to setup mindful thought leadership, personal branding, change management, or market research, give us a call or email.