If you (like me) feel like you’re always running, trying to find balance, and consistently fighting back a sense of frenetic energy, this post is for you. For many years I lacked balance, but I finally discovered the benefits of spiritual practice for high achievers, and I’m going to share them with you.
At best, we’re proactive and ambitious, at worst, we become rigid, “Type A,” controlling, and anxious. We fall so in love with our work that we sometimes lose sight of the other priorities. Having a spiritual practice or daily ritual can help us have a healthy coping mechanism that keeps us happier, calmer, and grounded throughout the day.
How Does Spiritual Practice Connect with Entrepreneurship?
First, let’s define spirituality – it’s not religion to be clear. This definition from the University of Minnesota is pretty spot-on:
“Spirituality is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.”
Spiritual practice will look different for everyone, but overall, it means routinely setting aside quiet time for yourself to ‘tune in.’ Whether you’re connecting to your Higher Power or gut instinct – this spiritual connection will keep you attuned to what’s happening around you and inside you. It will help instill a powerful feeling of being part of something bigger than shipping delays or running late for meetings.
By connecting to a higher power, a fulfilling purpose, or a sense of calm – entrepreneurs can maintain a healthier and more positive outlook on life and keep perspective on the stressors that often drag us down.
Benefits of Spiritual Practice in Entrepreneurship
Making your spiritual practice a routine part of your day can help you become more mindful, stay focused on the bigger picture, and better weather the day-to-day challenges of entrepreneurship over time. Here are a few examples of how spirituality in entrepreneurship can improve your daily routines.
Make better decisions
Becoming attuned to spirituality can set the stage for calm. This mental space allows you to observe new details, see things from a new angle, and approach problems with more mindful attention. In this way, it can also make you a better manager and leader, tune out the noise and tune into that little “inner voice” that recognizes red flags or tells you what you really want.
Sense of perspective and peace
In my experience, having a spiritual practice makes me feel like a part of something bigger and more important. This deeper sense of meaning to life and interconnectedness dwarfs many of the issues that trigger anxiety for me, helping me to keep perspective and purposeful direction.
Have a more centered day
As entrepreneurs, we often get caught up working in our business instead of on it. This means that we’re distracted by the shorter-term, immediate business “fires” that need to be put out instead of focusing on bigger goals. A spiritual practice will help you to tune out the noise, let go of stress, and generally stay more centered.
5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Spiritual Practice into Your Day
It’s not difficult to make a spiritual practice part of your daily routine. Here are a few things to try incorporating into your day – if they don’t come naturally at first, remember that’s normal and keep trying. Eventually, you’ll find what works for you. The most important thing is to find activities that help you to slow down, turn inward, and invest time into yourself.
Meditation is a great way to learn how to return to, and remain in, the present moment. If the mindfulness aspect of spirituality appeals to you, meditation is a simple way to begin.
Connecting with nature has been shown to have many physical and mental benefits. In fact, a large survey of the connection between mental health and neighborhood greenspace in Wisconsin showed a significant correlation between nature and lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Not that we needed a survey – everyone knows how recharging it can be to listen to birdsong, get fresh air, and appreciate beautiful green landscapes.
Yoga is like finding meditation in movement. It’s a great way to stretch, breathe, and be in touch with your body. As you become more advanced, it can become a strength-building workout, too. There are many forms of Yoga, so give it a try and see which one suits you.
Gratitude and solitude are valid forms of spirituality as well. Studies show that gratitude can boost our dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, all associated with well-being and a positive outlook on life. By taking some time away from your desk, giving thanks, and spending some time in quiet peace – we can gather our thoughts and return to our workday feeling happy and more positive.
Journaling is a great way to spend time with your thoughts and connect with your feelings. A simple way to start journaling is to set a ten-minute timer with your morning coffee. If you don’t know what to write, there are lots of journal prompts online that can help you get started.
Overall – many entrepreneurs struggle to strike a balance between work, life, and rest – this lifestyle isn’t for the faint of heart. To succeed in entrepreneurship over the long run, though, it’s important to find a routine or ritual that can bring you peace and inner calm when you need it most. The best part of developing a spiritual practice is that, in time, you’ll be able to take a deep breath and center yourself in the middle of any storm. I hope this guide helped you to think about how spiritual health is as important as mental, physical, and emotional health, and gave you some steps to cultivate your own spiritual practice.
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