Entrepreneurs don’t fit your typical view of the kinds of people who practice mindfulness. Yet science is now telling us that entrepreneurs practicing mindfulness are gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The trend is already prevalent in Silicon Valley, where Jeff Weiner from LinkedIn, Dustin Moscowitz from Facebook, Evan Williams from Medium and previously Steve Jobs from Apple all known for practicing mindfulness.
Outside the technology industry, Russell Simmons, Oprah Winfrey and Kobe Bryant also have their own mindfulness practices.
The concept of mindfulness is simple:
Creating a mental state of focused awareness in the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
So why should entrepreneurs practice this state?
Mindfulness Changes Your Brain
Traditionally, Buddhists have meditated to achieve a state of mindfulness, which is characterized by experiences of tranquility, concentration and insight.
The latest research in neuroscience suggests that states of mindfulness create real and observable changes in the brain, such as the following:
- Decreased activity in areas of the brain associated with mind-wandering combined with increased activity in areas associated with focus and cognitive control
- Decreased activity in the amygdala, associated with reduction in stress and anxiety
- Increased activity in the left frontal cortex, associated with positive mood
Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe the fact that the brain can transform over time. It means the brain is like a muscle that can be trained.
There are many benefits to adopting a practice of meditation in order to achieve a state of mindfulness, such as the following:
- Mindfulness has been found to be effective for treating anxiety and depression
- Ability to focus increases
- The need for sleep decreases
How Does This Make You A Better Entrepreneur?
Creating a company is difficult. You’re working in a very uncertain environment and you’re continually faced with rejection.
This is an incredibly stressful and anxiety inducing experience. As Jessica Bruder wrote in an influential article for Inc.com, there is a huge psychological price of entrepreneurship.
Mindfulness can help entrepreneurs to be much more resilient to the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. It can help the entrepreneur to disassociate themselves from the stress and anxiety produced by the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial life. The entrepreneur can learn to be a witness to their own thoughts and emotions.
This helps entrepreneurs to unlock their own inner resources, enhancing their focus and creativity and helping them to continue to get things done in very challenging circumstances.
The science of mindfulness is starting to provide empirical for these benefits that many entrepreneurs have already discovered through experience. Mindfulness helps you to be a better entrepreneur.
How To Get Started With Mindfulness
If you’re a budding entrepreneur and wanting to get started in cultivating a practice of mindfulness, consider these articles to get a primer:
- A Psychologist Reveals 5 Mindfulness Techniques That Literally Strengthen Your Mind
- 15 Soothing Mindfulness Quotes That Will Calm Your Anxious Feelings
- 5 Dangerous Myths About Mindfulness That We Need to Stop Believing