Jennifer Aniston. Sheryl Crow. Ellen DeGeneres. What do all these women have in common, aside from their successful careers? They meditate.
Meditation is the practice of being still, self-aware and in-tune with your surroundings and internal thoughts and feelings. It is a way for anyone to pave a more definite path from where they are to where they want to be, and the way most successful people balance their careers, their personal lives and everything in-between.
If you want to live a healthy, successful life, check out meditation’s many physical and emotional benefits, how meditation can help you reach your personal and professional goals and how you can incorporate meditation into your routine.
Mediation doesn’t just reduce stress; it helps us learn to cope with it
All the successful individuals you know of having something else in common: they are always busy running a business or coming up with innovative ideas. With busyness comes stress, and without a way to handle all the stress that comes with success, they wouldn’t last very long in their industry.
Practicing meditation helps us look at stressful situations with a different perspective and helps us gain insight on the decisions we might have to make in order to resolve conflicts. Especially for someone who is constantly on the move, it is important to have a familiar method to turn to when the world starts spinning too fast.
As you meditate more regularly, you will also build up an actionable skill set that will help you manage your stress. For example, In doing meditation you might learn to focus your mind on one specific thought or action, which is a practice you can then apply when you’re overwhelmed or trying to multi-task too much.
It is physically beneficial to your health
Stress is not the only thing regular meditation can help maintain if you choose to adopt the practice into your routine. Successful people who meditate are successful because they can manage both stress and their physical health no matter how busy they are. You can’t get much accomplished if you’re constantly home sick, after all.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to have physical health benefits when practiced on a regular basis. It decreases your risk of developing heart disease, helps lower your blood pressure, keeps your immune system functioning properly and can potentially reduce the amount of time you’re stuck in bed with the flu.
This practice combined with regular exercise is almost guaranteed to keep you physically strong and healthy. Days are long, meetings run late, last-minute tasks need your attention at the most inconvenient times of your evenings and weekends. But you have to get it done, and your body needs to be able to withstand a healthy dose of physical fatigue (but not too much!).
Meditating helps us keep our emotions in check
When you’re working hard and you’re in a position where everyone looks to you for everything, it is important to be able to not only separate your emotions from the task at hand, but to also keep very tight control on those emotions. Successful people do not let their emotions make their decisions for them, and engaging in regular meditation can help you keep an eye on how your feelings are guiding your choices.
It isn’t even just about tuning in to how you’re feeling during the actual meditation process, though that’s still an important part of it. Meditation over time can actually have a huge impact on the way we process our emotions in general, even when we are not meditating.
Meditation requires you to become very aware of how you are feeling because it forces you to slow down and be mindful of your surroundings and how they are affecting you. This is a tactic you can use in your own everyday life, even when you’re not actually meditating to keep your responses to others professional and to more effectively communicate your own needs and desires.
It allows us to focus more deeply on our short- and long-term goals
There is not a successful person out there who does not have a specific set of goals they are working to achieve throughout their lifetime. The difference between those who dream of success and those who achieve it is that they are able to focus on what needs to get done without allowing themselves to succumb to distractions.
Mindfulness, one form of meditation, forces you to be present where you are but also paint a clear picture in your mind of where you want to be a year, five, even 10 years from now. It helps you recognize the roadblocks that might be standing in your way and can motivate you to slowly begin to work around them.
Being mindful of what you want to accomplish helps you recognize and shut out any distractions that threaten your progress toward achieving your goals. It also helps you establish a routine that reflects the daily lifestyle you will need to adopt in order to turn those goals into realities.
Tips for incorporating meditation into your busy schedule
- Meditate first thing in the morning to make certain it gets done. If you can’t do it first thing, choose a different time of day but keep it consistent.
- Always meditate in the same place.
- To make sure you stick with it, associate your meditation time with an object or activity. “After I eat breakfast, I always sit down with my coffee and meditate.”
- Remember that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. However you need to clear and refocus your body and mind, make it work for you.
If you are eager for great success in your life, close your eyes and ask yourself what you are willing to give up in order to make it happen.
This process of stopping and thinking deeper about your hopes and desires and how you’re going to achieve them is in itself a form of meditation. One key aspect of success is a willingness to be honest with yourself, manage your stress, maintain your health and pay attention to how you are feeling.
Give meditation a try. Chances are, you will discover many more hidden benefits than these.