Finding Zen

Over the past couple months, I’ve had to learn a lot and learn quickly. One thing I’ve been focusing on this year is truly making an effort to reduce my stress and stabilize my emotions through this time of uncertainty.

I’ve also come to realize that current events make me very nervous, worrisome and effect my productivity in a big way. During the election last year, I could barely sleep, wondering what the polls would show on election day and what that meant for our country. During the Sandy Hook, Aurora and Boston tragedies, I found myself spending time as a sleuth on nights and weekends digging as deep as possible to find answers. I’m not sure if this is just how my generation deals with crisises or if it’s because of my legal researching nature or perhaps just my strong curiosity in this time of personal growth.

After recognizing my lack of productivity and increase in anxiety during a troubling time, I realized I have to find another way to cope with stress and anxiety.

Here are a few of the techniques I find to be most helpful when stress takes over.

1) Meditate

It seems hard to start meditating at first if you never have but there are a few simple ways to get started.

Kevin Rose, Partner at Google Venture, suggests trying a 100 breath meditation, 30 day challenge. The gist of  this challenge is to eliminate all distractions and follow your breath to a count of 100. It stabilizes your heart rate and keeps you concentrating on breathing to escape all thoughts.

Joe Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer, describes how developing a daily habit of meditation has given him a profound effect on his life and his ability to succeed as a CEO. In his post he gives insight on the best reasons to meditate and tips on best practices.

2) Yoga

I’ve just started practicing yoga these past couple months and have simply fallen in love with it. Of course there are many different types of yoga, yoga studios in every city and several videos and articles about yoga but I just find that doing a little 15-20 minute yoga session first thing in the morning or in the evening before bed is a great way to get started.

This is my favorite morning yoga video and great for beginners: morning yoga – 15 minutes to wake up for a beautiful day

3) Journal

Something I try to do every day is write in a journal. It’s hard to keep up but if you can, you’ll be much more in control of your emotions. If you are unsure what to write or how to break into writing, here’s a good tip:

Try to focus on one of these topics and write everything you can about it.

  • all of the things for which you are grateful
  • all of the places you wish to explore and why
  • the times in which you were most happy
  • the people that you feel most yourself around and why
  • the little things that make you smile
  • something good about yourself, your business, your life

As you move through your day, focus on what you have written. It’ll help bring sanity to a stressful time.

4) Reflect

Marc and Angel have an amazing blog. When I am in need of inspiration or small stories to help me reflect on life, I take a look at some of their most popular posts. 60 Quotes That Will Change The Way You Think and 30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself are two of my favorite.

Zenhabits is also a great blog to find articles about finding zen in your life. Browsing through the archives, I always find articles that resonate with me.

If you make these a habit or routine, your life will get used to having those few little moments with yourself and you’ll be much more at peace. For even more inspiration to find zen in your life and business, take a minute to read this beautifully written post by Danielle Morrill.