We've all heard the benefits meditation can have on our health (lowered blood pressure, better sleep, less anxiety, etc), but have you ever stopped to think about the benefits your business could gain from regular meditation?
I know from my experience working with creative business owners that it's a lot easier for them to implement a new habit, like meditation, if they know and believe that it will improve the bottom line for their business. Because, while we'd like to think that we take on new habits to improve ourselves, more often than not we creative entrepreneurs take on new habits to improve our businesses.
No need to feel shameful about this - I do this myself. I'd like to say that I've read a great fiction novel lately, but in reality most of my down-time reading has something to either do with health, energy, or marketing.
Creative bosses like you and me know that our businesses are a part of who we are - not separate from who we are - so by improving our businesses we are inevitably improving ourselves as well (and vice versa).
So today I want to make a case for meditation's benefits on the other part of your life - your business.
Five ways that meditation can benefit your creative business:
Meditation boosts creativity.
You might think that the purpose of meditation is to clear your mind of all thoughts and activity, but that’s not totally true. Meditation can boost your creativity by giving your brain the freedom to roam, explore, and find new and interesting connections.
Getting still and quiet in our minds removes all the chit chat that is constantly swirling around in our brains - mindless information like to-do lists, fears and anxieties, even wondering what we’re going to make for dinner. Clearing out these needless thoughts frees up valuable real estate for the brain to use. It’s actually like pruning a bush. When you cut back the dead leaves and branches, you’re able to see the young, healthy growth that was hiding underneath.
Think of the last time you came up with a totally amazing idea for a blog post, course, or workshop. You were probably at the gym, in the shower, out for a walk, or enjoying time with friends. Our brain doesn’t come up with our greatest ideas on command like a dog. It does its best work when it’s allowed to roam free off its leash. Here’s a guided meditation to help you boost your creativity.
Meditation quiets down the noise.
Do you ever feel like there are dozens of little voices in your head, all trying to get your attention at the same time? Between reminding yourself of various tasks, to our inner critic voicing its constant comparison and criticism, to the external voices of the media shouting at us all day via technology, we have lots of noise aimed directly at us day in and day out.
I talked about how I’ve been dealing with this recently in one of my Health Notes. Turning off and tuning out the noise isn’t always an easy task, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want your creative business to succeed.
Meditation not only helps us quiet down the noise, but it also helps us trust our intuition and stop second guessing ourselves. When we tune out the distracting noise of comparison, we’re able to weigh and measure our work on our own terms and through our own values.
Meditation lessens anxiety and depression.
One thing I’ve learned from working with clients living with anxiety and depression over the years is that anxiety is all about focusing on the uncertainty of the future, whereas depression tends to focus on actions and regrets of the past. Meditation helps us focus on the present.
By concentrating on the breath (or a mantra, or a candle, or any other point of focus during a meditation), we tune out everything but the here and now.
Our brain does its best creative work when it's allowed to roam free (click to tweet!)
Meditation teaches you: Practice, not perfection.
It’s called a “meditation practice” for a reason. Meditation is a constant practice, not a thing you can perfect. This is a great lesson for creative business owners because we typically tend to be victims of our own perfectionist tendencies. I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve put off hitting “send” on a newsletter or “publish” on an blog post because I thought it needed one more revision.
Procrastination due to perfectionism will only hold your business back in the long run and participating in activities where there is no such thing as perfection will help you feel more comfortable with the obvious discomfort that lies in seeking something that isn’t attainable.
Does a fear of not meditating “correctly” or a belief that you “just can’t meditate” keep you from starting a meditation practice? Check out this video where I (gently) call bullshit on this belief.
Meditation gives us time to process.
We're constantly taking in information and data. We consume content in blogs, podcasts, and courses as if we’re starving for information, but almost never spend time processing the information in order to use it really effectively.
When’s the last time you set aside 15-20 minutes after reading a blog post to sit down and put that new knowledge to use? When do you actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and practice your new skill?
Our brains can only hold onto so much information at once? Eventually old information that isn’t being used gets deleted for new, exciting information. It’s the ultimate shiny object syndrome going on in our brains.
The easy fix for this? Block off 20 minutes to put your new knowledge into practice the same day you learned it.
If you’ve been thinking about trying meditation, but don’t see how it could benefit you, I hope this list has opened your eyes to how giving your brain a break can support your creative practice. If you’ve been feeling creatively blocked recently, try taking your brain off its leash more regularly and see what benefits come up for you.
**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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