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May 23, 2016 How To

How To: Use meditation and mindfulness to help your business

Nancy Marshall

I recently did a podcast with digital marketing expert and author Stephen Woessner called “Onward Nation” in which I revealed that I have been using hypnotherapy for several years, using it to solve problems and focus on what's important in my life. Revealing this felt like I was coming out of the closet with a dark secret, but once I said it out loud, I felt liberated. And now I will write it here: I have found that hypnotherapy helps me overcome my fears, and helps set my unconscious mind to work in the direction of my goals and dreams.

Hypnotherapy isn't the only technique you can use to focus and clear your mind. There are a lot of other ways to shift your mindset toward a higher level of success and contentment. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness training, acupuncture and even physical exercise, are all practices that many might call New Age, or “woo woo,” but actually help you focus on what's most important.

In this age full of distractions, with the biggest being our smart phones, it's harder than ever to accomplish your goals. I think the ability to be totally present in what you are doing right now is one of the most valuable skills any executive can possess, whether it's fully listening to the person you are talking to, or participating 100% in the meeting you are attending, or thoughtfully writing or reading a document.

An article the Harvard Business Review, “How Meditation Benefits CEOs,” cited the following benefits:

  • Resilience: One of the most important skills any executive can bring to work each day is the ability to be cool under fire. The ability to zero in on the issue at hand and guide others in making a clear-headed decision is invaluable.
  • Emotional Intelligence: These skills impact an executive's ability to be compassionate and empathetic towards others, while also leading them with skills like active listening, coaching, planning, mentoring and collaborating.
  • Creativity: Sometimes when an executive is under stress, he or she might just tell the team to just “do it like we always have,” instead of taking a step back and saying, “Why don't we work together to come up with a creative solution to this situation?” Creativity is far more engaging than the status quo. Creative thinking can lead to more impactful ways of addressing problems and it is oftentimes more fun, too. Have you ever used Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty at a meeting? It definitely helps get the creative juices flowing.
  • Relationships: When you are more present in your relationships, you honor the other person or people who you are working with, improving the quality of the relationship and usually the work products you are producing as a team. At home, your relationships will blossom too if you aren't shrouded in a black fog of issues that you've brought home from work. I know, I know, it sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I've been there. My son (who is now 23) used to pull on my pant leg in the evening when he was 3 or 4 years old, and say “Mumma, no mo' phone” because he didn't want me to work all the time. Talk about causing life-long mommy guilt!
  • Focus: When you are able to clear the clutter out of your mind, an amazing thing happens. Your mind works better. Compare your brain to the hard-drive of your computer. When that hard drive is full of data, it slows down and stops functioning at its full potential. Your brain is the same. It needs to slow down and actually reboot in order to perform at its best.

Who wouldn't want to be more resilient, emotionally intelligent, creative, relatable, and focused at work? I encourage you to incorporate some of these mindful techniques in order to generate better results in your professional and personal lives.

Nancy Marshall is CEO of Nancy Marshall Communications (, which is based in Augusta. She can be reached at

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