Extended shelter-in-place orders increase uncertainty for the future of the world more each day. COVID-19 has taken not just individuals, but the world by surprise. The reality of the extensive impact of this situation is almost paralyzing, leading to an emotional whirlwind for a lot of people.
But as entrepreneurs, we literally can’t afford to not have a handle on our feelings. Being clear minded and calm is one of the best ways to ensure your business will make it through this time.
In this article, I want to share some very specific ways on how you can empower yourself to take control of the negative emotions hounding you due to COVID-19. In exchange, you will be equipped to take advantage of the upside of this crisis for yourself and your business.
Practice 1: Start a meditation practice
With the constant barrage of bad news, it’s easy to let your mind run wild in negative thought loops. The uncertainty of reality puts you in an overactive state as your brain tries to find solutions to ground you.
That’s why getting yourself in a healthy and calm headspace is so important. One of my favorite ways to achieve this is through meditation. Meditation is one of the best ways to achieve a higher state of mind and inner peace. This is the state of mind that highly effective leaders make sure they’re in before making any major decisions for their businesses.
Meditation is a practice. Meaning, you’re not going to be “good” at it your first time. It’s the commitment to the practice that holds the real power. Meditation helps you create the space to build self-awareness, a relationship with yourself, and also achieve inner peace.
When I was first starting my meditation journey, I tried to meditate just by sitting still and closing my eyes. When that didn’t work, I tried listening to yoga music. When this gave me better results, I started using the Headspace app to go to the next level. But I soon lost sight of my practice. In hindsight it was because I wasn’t growing in it. It wasn’t until I started doing guided meditations that I really dug deep into my practice and experienced the full benefits of meditating. Guided meditations help you ease into positive thought loops and patterns that help you reach a calm, peaceful, and level state of mind.
Here are a few of my favorite guided meditations – brought to you free on Youtube.
- Morning Meditation with Tony Robbins
- Calm Guided Meditation to Gain Abundance, Love & Happiness with Bob Proctor
- Guided Meditation To Find Peace In Uncertain Times with Boho Beautiful
Successful entrepreneurs like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Dalio, Arianna Huffington talk about a meditation practice being one of their keys for success. So do a large number of other admirable individuals.
Don’t underestimate the ability of meditation to foster success and also help you stay grounded and make sense of this extremely complex time.
Practice 2: Actively express gratitude every day
One of my favorite quotes by Tony Robbins is, “where focus goes, energy flows.”
Have you been going about your day recently and then all the sudden realized that your jaw is clenched, your body is tense and you’ve grown very stressed and anxious? If so, chances are that the current COVID-19 has made this a recurring happening.
Building self awareness with what is physically happening to your body is so important because you don’t, you will go through life being a very stressed out person and not even realize it.
When I get in a tense state, something that helps me kick it is by actively expressing gratitude. When we’re in a state of gratitude, we slowly ease into a state of inner peace which enables us to operate out of an abundant state instead of a stressed state. Even if life sucks for you right now, there’s always something to be grateful for. Start with your ability to even read this article. Or breathe.
One of my favorite ways to find what I’m grateful for is to transport myself to specific moments that I’m thankful for. The more specific you are the more your body actually mirrors the state you were in when you were experiencing what you’re grateful for. Are you grateful for the meaningful conversation you recently had with someone close to you? Think of something especially meaningful they shared with you. How did that make you physically feel?
Not only will expressing gratitude help you get out of a stressed state of being, but making it a daily practice will help you front-load for those moments of extra stress.
My husband and I express what we’re grateful for before each meal. I also journal about things I’m grateful for every morning. I’ve tried to work it into my routine so much that it becomes my state of being.
I view gratitude as a sort of “quick fix” for changing my state of being fast and effectively.
Practice 3: Intentionally journal
Once you’ve started a meditation and gratitude practice, it’s time to tie it all together with some intentional journaling.
I view journaling as the deep work. There are so many thoughts running through your mind on an everyday basis and one of my favorite tactics is to get all those thoughts out on paper via a brain dump. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to make major pivots in your business.
If you prefer a more organized way of getting your thoughts on paper, you can follow this worksheet by Doctor Auren O’Connell, a Physiatric Nurse Practitioner. This exercise will walk you through some pointed questions to help you build more resilience. Another journaling exercise that is fantastic for when you’re making big decisions is one Tim Ferris calls Fear-Setting. If you need to get super clear on the fears holding you back from taking big moves in life and business, I highly recommend this one.
In this time when you might find yourself less busy than normal, create space to mold yourself into a better version of YOU. Create results that enable you to look back at this time as the season where you massively excelled and became a better version of yourself. This is an opportunity to evaluate, ponder and practice what you’ve always felt like you haven’t had the time to.
The three practices I went over in this article work best if they’re done on a daily basis and worked into your habits. Every morning, I read an inspiring book, journal my gratitude list, say my affirmations, meditate and workout. When you do this every day, it sets you and your habits up for success. Remember, a business can only grow to the level of the person leading it. Now is the time to make those big moves which means you need to position yourself to have as much clarity as possible.
Cheers to elevating to a better version of you!