So we've all heard about the benefits of meditating and mindfulness. It's good for keeping your anxiety levels low, positivity high and work productive. A lot of highly successful people such as Madonna, Oprah, Clint and Goldie claim that it's life changing. But how can a non-meditator get over that hump of shunning it aside as some sort of sorcery and hippie incantations?
So for those rationalists out there, here's some science. Depression is typically caused by worrying about the past, and anxiety, the future. You have something in your brain called the Default Mode Network (DMN). This is otherwise known as the Monkey Mind: the part of the brain that worries past and future. Meditation helps to turn this off so your mind doesn't wander.
So what have some top entrepreneurs got to say about meditation? I spoke to Alessandra Sollberger, founder and CEO of Evermore.
Jarvis: When and why did you start meditating?
Sollberger: I started about a year ago. I was increasingly busy and in need of spreading myself across lots of different activities that each required my full concentration. When you're running a business and need to prioritize brutally, it helps if you can devote 100% of your attention to each activity. It has an impact on your productivity.
How does it help you on a day to day basis?
It calms your mind and lets you be much more objective about what actually matters in your daily life. It's okay if you get distracted while meditating, especially when you just start. There's still lots of benefits you can get out of it.
What's been the biggest noticeable change to your life because of meditation?
More focus, which was the main reason I started meditating.
What would you say to someone who is opposed to meditation?
There's no downside to it and 5 minutes out of your day already make a difference, so why not trying it out?
It's not the end of the world if you either can't find time. Or it doesn't suit you. I've personally never been able to do it. For me, taking five minutes to identify the root cause of my anxiety or depression and then thinking of a way to solve that problem works well for me. Or even just a five minute walk around the block.
And one thing I definitely always consider when I'm feeling stressed or anxious is 'Have I eaten?' As the wonderful Virginia Woolf once remarked "one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."