How meditation improved my leadership skills and mental control

By Daniel Nilsson on April 21, 2019

The effects of meditation on my leadership

I have always been intrigued by meditation and mindfulness, but have never really taken the step to try these concepts. It has always felt too difficult, complicated and it seems like only people with extreme dedication manage to do it. I also have difficulty in identifying myself with the stereotype of fuzzy new age kind of people that talks and promotes meditation and mindfulness.

Headspace gave me a new perspective

In  2013 I read an article about Andy Puddicombe. At the age of 22, he left England to follow his interest in meditation. The quest took him all over the world, culminating with full ordination at a Tibetan Monastery in the Himalayas. Ten years later, Andy returned to the UK with the wish to demystify meditation, make it accessible, relevant and beneficial to as many people as possible. The story made me intrigued, and I decided to try Andy’s concept, Headspace. To learn more check out Andy’s Ted talk below with more than two million views.

What I liked about Andy’s concept is that it is straightforward. There is no cosmos, strange images or fuzzy ideas. Instead, it is clear steps and practices that make sense and are easy to follow. To learn more about Headspace check out the video below.

Science and meditation

According to research, meditation can change your brain and help you with stress, worry, addiction, focus, immune system, sleep, depression and most important of all wellbeing. To learn more about the benefits of meditation check out www.headspace.com/science

My Headspace journey

During 2012 and 2013 I experienced a great loss. I was not depressed, but there were so many feelings inside me, which were challenging to handle. I had emotional stress, and my brain never stopped thinking. I was overwhelmed with difficult emotions. After learning about Headspace, I tried out the free app where I tested to do 10 min of meditation for ten days. I experienced an immediate change. I became much calmer, happier and it felt like I had more control of my life. I learned that I did not have to focus on everything I felt and could better control my thoughts. I learned that it was ok to let the feelings go and let them pass. When the ten days were finished, I decided to start a subscription that consists of different training programs of meditation. I have continued since then to follow the program and learn more from Andy.

The effects of meditation on my leadership

As leaders, we are expected to encourage, solve issues, listen, manage emotions, be inspirational, create trust, etc. It is tough work to be a great leader and even more hard work to be an amazing leader. My aspiration in life is to be an amazing leader, but I know that the path is long and demands insight, experience and a lot of knowledge. When I started to meditate I experienced the following benefits to my leadership:

  • Higher awareness – By using Headspace I feel more aware. It is as I suddenly can tap into everything going on with a much clearer perspective. I understand, and I am more aware of what is going on.
  • Self-awareness – I have started to observe my behaviors, and now I get weekly epiphanies about myself. I believe that as a leader I should show the way and be an inspiration. I can now clearly see my strengths and weaknesses, and I use this knowledge to improve and be a better leader.
  • Stress – I can be stressed and tired. After my meditation, it is all gone, and I feel very calm, relaxed, and I feel that I have control. It is amazing to experience how fast it works.
  • Tap into intuition – Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuition_(psychology) Meditation has helped me to catch the moments of intuitionally based insights. For me, these seem to come more often in moments when my mind is calmer.
  • Greater clarity and focus – I feel that meditation has given me the ability to focus better. I feel I can better control all my thought and what is going on.
  • Better listener – With higher awareness, self-awareness, less stress and better clarity and focus I feel that I can listen and better understand colleagues. I am tapping into what they are saying, and at the same time, I am aware of my reactions and feelings.
  • Better sleep – Because of stress and worries I sometimes had issues falling asleep which had the effect that I was exhausted and sometimes nonproductive the next day. Meditation has helped me to relax and fall asleep when I need it.

Do you want to try meditation?

meditation for leaders headspaceVisit www.getsomeheadspace.com to learn more and download the free Headspace app that you can see on the image to the right.

Image credit: www.headspace.com