The fact that 97 per cent of the World's millionaires engage in some sort of mindfulness practice every day speaks volumes. The most popular form is meditation, and it is practised by high flyers such as Oprah Winfrey, Ariana Huffington and Richard Branson.
Oprah, who meditates for 20 minutes a day is such a strong advocate for the practice that she has actually hired instructors to encourage her employees to meditate, while Ariana Huffington provides her employees with dedicated meditation rooms.
It is incredible really that more people don't practise meditation as part of their daily routine as it is not exactly a new concept. Meditation has existed for thousands of years, and although it has its origins in various religious practices, it has come to be embraced by the secular world, and more increasingly the business world.
Meditation costs nothing, can be practised pretty much anywhere, and helps the participant to achieve a calm and focused state of being conducive to creativity, energy levels and the eventual realisation of goals.
It is not necessary to don a lycra leotard and sit cross-legged in a room full of tea lights and plastic Buddhas to get the maximum experience from meditation, but some people do find props such as a simple candle a helpful tool to focus on.
Meditation is a very personal experience so find your own space. Ideally this would be somewhere quiet and inspiring, but obviously, it is not always possible to find an isolated mountain peak close at hand- so be creative!
Working meditation into your morning routine, or practising it just before you go to bed would be great, but if this isn't possible even sticking your headphones on the subway on your way to work will give you some contemplative time. The app Headspace is ideally suited to this, so if you find the only way you can fit mediation time in is on the tube, stick on your headphones, close your eyes, block out the world and listen to Headspace.
You can download the Headspace app onto your smartphone and get a 10-day trial; it really is a great way to get started. Headspace will take you through a progressive guided meditation and even remind you to meditate if you miss a day. You can always subscribe to Headspace after your trial is over, but really you will probably have the hang of it by then.
Meditation isn’t rocket science, meditation is essentially controlling your breathing; it is disciplined inhalation and exhalation which puts you into a relaxed inner space. Meditation is not mumbo jumbo it really works, but you initially have to work at it and be patient!
It can take a few weeks to get the hang of meditation, but the benefits are life-changing. Try using a mantra; mine is nature – I breathe into ‘na' and exhale to ‘ture'. Just try it now! How relaxing is that?
Meditation can help combat anxiety and depression, help you to relax, boost memory skills, make you more focused on your goals, and help you to concentrate on what is really important instead of spending your time sweating the small stuff.
Many people would like to meditate but are put off by the “voices in their heads”, really – I’m not being sarcastic!
We all have those internal voices in our heads, yabbering on like a troop frenzied monkeys. They obstruct our thought process with petty irrelevancies. You find yourself sitting there trying to write a presentation or report, and trivialities like "Did I put the bins out this morning?" "Is my hairline receding?" and "Why do you never see baby pigeons?" keep popping up like red traffic lights.
We think we can’t meditate because we can’t shut these noises off – we can and meditation is the key.
So just again, bare in mind that 97 per cent of the World's millionaires engage in some kind of mindfulness practice. Meditation is not mumbo jumbo! Meditation is free, and easy to learn. Meditation promotes focus, relaxation, stress relief, clarity and helps you on your way to achieving your goals. Just give it a go – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!