By now, the secret is out of the bag--many successful and famous people wake up before 6 a.m. to begin their workday. And Oprah is part of "team early risers". While some people exercise first thing, none start their morning routine off by reaching for their smartphone.

With numerous things on her agenda each day, Oprah starts her morning by addressing her mental fitness. Specifically, she devotes a few moments to "offering herself to something greater than herself."

While this could be interpreted in numerous directions from a religious standpoint, that's not necessary. The big picture here is to address your internal world and prime your mindset for a day of success. A great way to prime yourself for a day of success starts with setting aside time for meditation first thing in the morning.

Far too often, busy entrepreneurs and ambitious high-performers attempt to optimize the world and their business before optimizing themselves. Creating the biggest impact on your business and in the world starts with taking care of yourself.

Meditation has proven to be a great outlet to optimize your well being and business as it comes with these four benefits.

1. Decreased levels of stress

Stress is the giant elephant in the room that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It can lead to various medical problems such as hypertension, heart disease, weight gain, anxiety, and depression.

The key to dealing with stress isn't attempting to eradicate it completely, it's learning to dance with it gracefully. And a key way to dance with stress is through mindfulness.

Studies have shown that those who practice mindfulness experienced a decrease in their stress related symptoms. Whether you're a stressed-out entrepreneur running a startup striving to grow or a busy and nearly burnt-out small business owner being pulled in multiple directions, meditation can serve as a pivotal catalyst to helping you handle the daily peaks and valleys of life.

2. Improves your mood

As ambitious entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to grow, one critical component to that lies in the ability to develop and nurture relationships.

But, if you're feeling sad, anxious, or "off" in general, cultivating those relationships will be more difficult due to you not being in an ideal state of mind along with the body language you'll be given off.

A small daily meditation practice can help you when it comes to negativity and improving your daily mood.

3. Improves your creativity

There's a link between mindfulness and improving the many areas of cognitive functioning starting with creativity and increased problem-solving skills.

The more adept and proficient you become at solving problems, the likelier you're going to be more successful in all facets of life.

4. Makes deep work easier to fall into

Cal Newport, author of 'Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World' describes deep work as "the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time."

Practicing mindfulness increases your ability to focus and keep attention on tasks for longer durations.

It's tempting to immediately get to work on the various tasks that await you in the day, but taking five minutes before starting the work day can make a huge difference in the quality of your day.

Published on: Aug 9, 2017
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of