Oprah Winfrey told Dr. Oz that encouraging everyone at her office to meditate has benefited her company immensely. "People who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic," she said.
Meditation is becoming more and more popular because of its now well-known list of benefits. According to the APA (American Psychological Association), meditation is proven to reduce stress, improve focus, control emotions, and increase the ability to enjoy relationships. In general, these benefits are all great reasons to adopt a regular meditation practice. But, if you’re in business, then deciding to add meditation as part of your regular routine could mean the difference between your long-term success and spinning your wheels.
In fact, many of the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs rely on meditation to help boost productivity, among other things. Far from just spiritual or ritualistic, meditation could be the missing link you’ve been looking for, especially if you’re working your way through the world of business.
Below are five of the most empirically proven benefits of meditation for business leaders and entrepreneurs…
- Improved thinking. Regular meditation prevents you from dwelling too long on events from your past, including failures. Because of this, meditation helps you find clarity during current challenges and maintain a positive outlook.
- Better focus. Even just 10 minutes of meditation each day can help you find more focus at work. By reducing the distractions you experience each day, you become more effective and productive, harnessing even more of your cognitive capacity.
- Self-reflection. The more you meditate, the better you become at observing yourself. This ability to self-reflect gives you a powerful tool for quickly recovering after a negative event - whether criticism at work, failure, or a difficult at-work relationship. Furthermore, this ability to introspect gives you a better chance to break bad habits (those same ones that could be getting in the way of your professional success).
- Improved mental capacity. Research has shown that meditation actually changes the structure of your brain, increasing both mental activity and agility. This heightened mental capacity is reflected in an increased amount of gray matter in your brain - the material necessary to learn and remember.
- More creativity. Regardless of your business niche or industry, creativity helps you problem solve on your feet. The ability to innovate is often what separates leaders from the rest of the pack. Meditation helps you tap into the creative part of your brain, making it easier to find solutions and create day after day.
While a regular meditation practice can feel intimidating, the truth is that even short daily sessions can greatly benefit your life, especially professionally. Many of the top entrepreneurs and leaders rely on meditation to help them stay at the top of their game, including Ray Dalio, the “billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates”. Jeff Weiner, the well-known CEO of LinkedIn, and Bill Ford, the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, also meditate regularly. According to Ford, he makes “time to meditate each day, no matter what” because meditation has helped “improve his productivity (and) make decisions with compassion and kindness.”
Arianna Huffington, Russell Simmons, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey and Padmasree Warrior all carve out time in their busy schedules to meditate - and so should you. To get started, be sure to work with a professional meditation teacher in-person so that you can get the one-on-one attention and feedback you need to develop a foundation for a lifelong practice.
AnJenette Afridi, MA, YACEP, ERYT-500, is a Wellbeing Expert, Speaker, Author, and Advocate with more than three decades of expertise in Meditation and Mindful-Based Programs for Optimal Wellbeing. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology (MA), Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP), and Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT-500).
AnJenette has worked with corporations, hospitals, health centers, schools, and private clientele including children and adults. She is often featured at public and closed-door events, and she hosts events as well. AJ's warmth and credibility, not to mention energetic sense of humor, create an atmosphere that supports expansion, creativity, and abundant possibility.
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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.