In my feature article this week, I thought I would continue the theme of stillness and inner calm. Here’s a special one-off article on the benefits of meditation and in particular mini-meditations – especially useful for those busy busy days!
— James Allen, 1864-1912, Author of As A Man Thinketh
What Is Meditation?
The goal of meditation is to focus your attention and calm your mind. In general, meditation is best practiced in a quiet place with few distractions.
There are many different types of meditation, each of which involves different techniques. Transcendental meditation, for instance, entails repeating a word or phrase (known as a “mantra”), while tai chi is considered a form of moving meditation.
Although meditation is often practiced for spiritual purposes, the benefits of meditation also include greater physical and mental relaxation which can have a calming knock-on effect in all areas of your life, including business and speaking!
The benefits of meditation may include the following:
• relief of stress and/or anxiety – great for those pre-gig nerves.
• pain management
• improvement in mood and/or symptoms of depression
• improvement in sleep
If you’re anything like me, trying to find a chunk of time to meditate each day becomes an effort. Which is why I love mini-meditations. Many people (even in the work-place) use very brief meditations at strategic points during the day. I know speakers who have a visualization ritual before stepping on stage. These meditative experiences may not be more than a minute or two in length – and I call them ‘mini-meditations’.
I like mini-meditations and think they can be a great tool for business and speaking. You can use a mini-meditation at any point during the working day. Useful if you’re in overwhelm, in stress, feeling frazzled or pulled into a squillion different directions. They’re a great way to instantly tap into your inner calm. A mini-meditation or mantra is also a particularly powerful tool before getting on stage. Imagine inducing the feeling of utter calm and reassurance before you face your audience!
How To Mini-Meditate
You could close your eyes and take deep breaths, counting them. Following one’s breath is a great way of focusing on the self. You could repeat your mantra. You could do some tai-chi moves! You could have a visualization technique of calm and success. Anything that connects you back with your inner centre and gives you a feeling of calm. A mini-meditation could simply be a breath of fresh air – literally and metaphorically.
Down With The Stress!
Mini-meditations, scattered throughout your workday and used pre-speaking gigs, can take the edge off tension buildups and made a marked difference in your ability to handle the stress of work or handle pre-stage nerves. Imagine handling work with a relaxed attitude! Imagine facing your audience whilst radiating inner peace! There’s also another great benefit – meditation is known to lower blood pressure.
So this week, why don’t you build some mini-meditations into your work day and observe the effect this has on your stress levels. I think, like me, that you might find that taking time out to reconnect to yourself will reward you with a renewed sense of purpose and most certainly take away the overwhelm, leaving you with a feeling of peace.