Senior Program Associate, Small Business Innovation
*This is part 1 in a series on wellness that we will be releasing periodically over the next several weeks. Stay tuned!
As a member of the small business community, you know there’s no dearth of business tips, strategies, tools and advice to help you start and grow a business. You probably also know that success takes more than business acumen.
You’re smart, enterprising and busier than a bee on steroids, so you’re probably an expert at burning the candle at both ends. Do you ever consider what that can do to your bottom line? If you’re not paying attention to your own well-being, chances are your company’s health could also slip.
With lifestyles, sleep cycles, environmental factors, attitude adjustments, food choices, and other stressors added to your business activities, it’s no wonder well-being often gets put on the back burner!
So, does your business plan include these line items?
- Good Nutrition
- Regular Movement
- Enough Sleep
- Resting Your Mind
If not, you might want to add them in, because a healthy you bodes well for a healthy business.
Like success, achieving well-being is a journey, but like any journey, it helps to have a roadmap with some planned routes. Often a good way to get to where you want to go is following the directions (like in grant writing, but I digress..!) Can you choose to deviate? Sure. The departures might help you find a route that you enjoy even more, or they might help you realize you may want to choose a different path. No problem – there is no wrong choice. Every one you make will provide you with feedback on whether to continue in the direction you’re going, or to head in another direction. Not to worry. With the right tools and your destination in mind, you can always find your way.
So, with that said, let’s begin the trek to well-being today.
Step 1: Breathing
Breath awareness is one of the most overlooked and underrated paths to wellness. Deep, mindful breathing does wonders to re-oxygenate and cleanse not only your body, but also your mind and outlook. Make it a priority to incorporate at least 15 minutes of breath work into your day. Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, or simple focused breathing are all good activities to strengthen your breath awareness, nourish you on many levels and accelerate your journey to wellness. You can take a class or even teach yourself using some great tips from this article.
But don’t just listen to me. Consider that Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Evan Williams (co-founder of Twitter), Jeff Weiner (CEO of LinkedIn) and Russell Simmons (co-founder of Def Jam Records) are among the many successful entrepreneurs who swear by yoga as a breathing exercise. In fact, Jobs’ last gift to those who attended his memorial service was a copy of “Autobiography of a Yogi,” a book on the practice of Kriya Yoga.
If some of the greatest entrepreneurial minds in the world have realized the potential of breath work, it’s got to be worth a try, right?
Have you done any breath work before? If so, has it worked for you?