It’s surprising that when I was growing up I never really learned how to breathe. I can look back now, however, and see clearly how my breathing and emotions were indeed running my mind, body and life.
When looking for better ways to manage your business, consider meditation. It never occurred to me the importance of how the breath moves — it calms and focuses the mind and body, and in turn leaves you a better person to lead, manage and make decisions with a clearer head.
Treat your brain
You may already be aware of the many health benefits of meditation: lower blood pressure, less inflammation and pain management, to name a few. You may not have heard that research also has shown that meditation benefits your brain.
“It’s fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Holzel, Ph.D., author of a study by Harvard affiliated researchers, which was reported in the Harvard Gazette article “Eight Weeks to a Better Brain.”
Create space in your schedule, your mind
Meditation creates space in one’s mind to think. Just a few minutes in the morning and again in the evening can assist in clearing your mind and centering yourself, ultimately helping you focus.
It helps me to put stress and demands in incremental segments, dealing with them slowly and focusing on the important decisions, both at work and at home.
For meditation, I specifically recommend practicing pranayama, ujjayi, walking meditation and mantra, in order to make room for clarity in your mind. Focus on breathing and following your breath using the three-part breath technique.
Being a successful business leader is about being mindful, making clear, careful decisions and caring about your team members. Taking time out of your day to focus on meditation will pay off.
On a journey
This past year I have been on an amazing journey. For years I’ve loved yoga, meditation and everything to do with health and wellness. Most recently, however, I opened up my heart and mind and I listened to a deep calling about wanting to learn more about this practice that dates back more than 5,000 years.
I made the commitment and enrolled in the Teacher Training Program at Yoga on High. Over these past six months, so many people have asked me why I decided to take this on.
Every time I hear this, I think of the book by Simon Sinek, “Start with Why,” that highlighted so many great thoughts about how a leader should lead. He says, “The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen.”
So wanting to create an environment full of balance, focus and mindfulness, I have realized one of the most important tasks is to pause and just … breathe.
Debra Penzone is the President of the Charles Penzone Family of Salons. Debra’s expertise as a business leader, hair professional and her avid philanthropy have earned her the respect of the salon industry and the nonprofit community.