(BPT) - The business world can be a stressful place. When working as a business executive, you can feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a leader in a world that requires relentless multitasking and decision-making. Inevitably, you'll feel burnt out.
While you may not be able to eliminate all the responsibilities and stressors in your life, you can incorporate mindfulness practices to help you better manage your thoughts and emotions. For example, practicing yoga and meditation can help you find moments of calm and clarity even on the most hectic workday. Check out these three benefits of yoga and meditation that can help business executives thrive and become better leaders.
1. Reduce stress
Stress is an ever-present co-worker for many executives. Between deadlines, managing teams and making important decisions, you can feel like you're in a constant state of tension. Integrating yoga and meditation practices into your routine can help you reduce stress. Even just a few minutes a day can make a huge difference.
According to the American Psychological Association, researchers have found that mindfulness meditation changes a person's brain and biology to improve mental and physical health. Whether you practice breathing exercises, yoga or a guided session, mindfulness meditation can help you reduce and manage stress at home and in the office.
2. Improve focus
Yoga and meditation are a great way to improve your focus. By focusing on your breath and the task at hand, whether it's a yoga position or a meditative mantra, you can clear your mind. Without the mental clutter, you can see the big picture clearly, allowing you to make strategic decisions that benefit your team.
This improved focus isn't just a result of relieving stress and settling your mind. It can actually change the way your brain works. According to University Health News, researchers have found that yoga can greatly affect neural patterns in the brain, improving your ability to concentrate and focus. The next time you find yourself stuck on a problem or unable to concentrate on a project or proposal, take a few minutes to do a quick yoga flow or five-minute meditation.
3. Enhance leadership skills
To be an effective and inspiring leader, it takes more than smarts. Great business executives and managers must also have high emotional intelligence (EI), that is, the ability to monitor your own and others' feelings and emotions and use that information to guide your decisions.
While some people are naturally gifted with EI, you can build this skill and improve your leadership skills through mindfulness practices. According to a study published in the IIMB Management Review Journal, practicing yoga and yogic meditation can enhance someone's EI and improve managerial performance. Add yoga and meditation to your managerial toolbox and see how improving your EI changes your managerial style and positively impacts your projects and team members.
Start or deepen your practice to thrive
These are just three of the many benefits of yoga and meditation. By investing in your mental and emotional health through yoga and meditation, you can become a more effective business leader while balancing your work and personal life.
Whether you're new to yoga and meditation or want to deepen your practice, check out the teachings of practitioners like Keiko Aikawa's Himalayan Siddha Meditation workshop.
Aikawa is known as the "Yogmata," a supreme Himalayan saint who has reached the final stage of yoga and meditation called "samadhi" (equivalent to nirvana in Buddhism). She is the first female saint in history to reach samadhi.
Her books "108 Teachings," "Empty Your Mind and Achieve Your Dreams," and "The Road to Enlightenment" are great resources for developing and deepening your yoga and meditation practices. You can also attend her upcoming workshop in New York and learn her teachings and breathwork firsthand. To learn more, visit yogmata.net/en_darshan.