The Benefits of Mindful Meditation

A regular practice is shown to help with anxiety.

Business owners, like anyone else, have a lot to worry about. In fact, a 2015 survey found that 25% of small-business owners became ill because of stress and overwork.[1] And while you may already have ways to manage anxiety, you might consider mindful meditation, as well. A survey of studies done by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that mindfulness meditation programs showed moderate evidence of improving anxiety and depression and reducing pain.[2]

Mindful meditation is the practice of setting aside time to be aware and to notice feelings and thoughts without judgment. Here’s how to do it, according to Mindful, a nonprofit organization devoted to mindful practice.[3]

  1. Find a quiet place in your home or office where you are not likely to be distracted.

  2. Set a timer so you don’t focus on when the meditation is going to be over. A beginner might try as little as five minutes.

  3. Sit in a comfortable place — it can be in a chair or on the floor — that allows you to sit easily with good posture.

  4. Notice your legs: their position and how they feel.

  5. Straighten your spine in a relaxed manner.

  6. Rest your arms at your sides and let your hands drop onto your legs or in your lap.

  7. Lower your chin just a little and let your gaze settle without focusing, or close your eyes.

  8. Notice your breath without trying to change it. If your attention wanders from your breath, gently redirect it back to your breath once you notice your mind has drifted.

  9. Lift your gaze once the timer has gone off. Spend a moment noticing whether your environment has changed and whether your body or mind feels different.

Mindful meditation is more likely to be helpful when you practice it regularly. Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you will get at doing it effectively. You might also try increasing the time you spend practicing. While there is evidence that meditation lessens anxiety and depression, there are also signs that it may help with cognitive skills and have other positive effects. As a small-business owner, you might not be able to avoid anxiety, but you can take care of yourself so it does not overwhelm you.

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PNC INSIGHTS for Women in Business Magazine
 Spring / Summer 2018  


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