If you are not meditating daily, please start!
You may have seen the quotation shown below before.
You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day - unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour.
Twenty minutes a day would be amazing! And it is what I recommend. But if you are starting from nothing, then just two minutes a day will make a difference - if you practice it daily! And you can slowly build up from there.
Does this really work?
Our lives as leaders are full of busyness and stress.
Our brain biology is designed to manage the stress of predators and such with the fight or flight response. As our body prepares for danger, we are flooded with neurotransmitters and hormones that will indeed make us ready for a fight, or get to running!
Once the threat is over, the body's systems re-calm and restoration takes place.
Our modern day manager, exposed to many stressors in a typical day, is often in this prepared for 'fight or flight' state continuously.
When we are in this state constantly, and the more often we are in this prolonged stressed state, our ability for calm, reason, and equanimity is lessened. And it is indeed in moments of high-stress that we need our leaders to remain calm and reasonable in their response and approach.
Meditating and consciously breathing can calm us in the heat of the moment.
Further, a daily practice of meditating can increase our overall capacity for dealing with both continuous and acute stress.
In 'Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body', Goleman and Davidson say that "more daily practice seems associated with lessened stress reactivity."
They go on to describe how a three-month meditation retreat brought less reactivity to stress for participants, as well as better emotional control, and other health benefits.
Daily meditation will lead you toward greater mindfulness and build your resilience to stress. Adding up to increased energy for managing the complexities your leadership role demands.
There are other mindfulness practices to consider too - some examples are prayer, exercise, and maintaining a gratitude or journaling practice.
Just 2-5 minutes a day can make a big difference.
While our minds are meant to be still, our bodies are meant to be active.
Many of you will have an exercise routine, and I say 'bravo! keep it up!'
But many of you may be struggling with this.
If you are just starting out, take it slow. Begin with a 10-15 minute walk, and commit to being consistent in doing this daily.
After one week, you will feel so much better and can step things up from there.
Another lovely practice, which you can incorporate with your meditation practice is a stretching ritual. You might not be the 'Yogi' of the century, but some simple stretches that get your blood flowing and your vagus nerve activated will be amazing energy boosters.
If an accountability partner is something that you find helpful when it comes to sticking with an exercise plan, then seek out a friend or colleague that can help out.
Try 'stacking' your new habit with another habit you already have established. This will help you to keep it going.
There is no doubt that aligning your everyday activities with your personal purpose will bring you boosted energy and a sense of ease as you go about your work.
Your purpose may be quite grandiose, which is awesome!
But it doesn't need to be for you to find real meaning in the activities of your day. Even the more mundane ones.
Oftentimes, I have found with clients that it just takes a little bit of thought to connect their daily work and the meaning it brings in order for them to keep this at the forefront of their mind. And in doing so, they are able to maintain positive interest, and higher energy levels.
As a leader, you are intrinsically interested in making things better, in setting out a vision for an improvement over the status quo, and in rallying people toward that better place.
There is great meaning in this!
Whether it is in delivering greater value to the business you work in, providing improved work processes for your employees, or in being your employees' chief cheerleader, you are fulfilling something important and meaningful to you. And that in itself brings you energy!
As you face tough situations, challenging environments, and the mundane - which you will! - it is so helpful to keep your 'why' and the meaning it brings top of mind. Even tough, challenging, and mundane tasks will suddenly seem somehow lesser in size compared with your overall 'why'.
As online training guru, Amy Porterfield says, "Let your why be bigger than your worries."
Supporting you on your leadership journey,