Today’s business world is full of buzzwords that were rarely heard even a generation ago. Words like gigabyte, added value and ROI weren’t bantered about as freely as they are today, and ‘mindfulness’ had more to do with listening to parents or teachers than focusing on one’s mental, physical and emotional needs.
According to an article on Success.com, mindfulness is described as sitting still, breathing deeply and paying attention to one’s breath. Mindfulness can be translated as injecting peace into one’s karma, but being mindful is both simpler while offering a vast array of benefits.
Angela Bonfante, an award-winning interior designer and owner of Angela Bonfante Kitchen Designs, says the main stressors in her hectic career are from outside sources. “It’s mostly stuff that’s out of my control,” she says. Examples include when a contractor doesn’t stick to their work schedule or products needed for a remodeling project aren’t received in a timely manner. Lacking time to attend to details is another daily challenge in Bonfante’s world.
Unless she practices mindfulness or employs what she calls “de-stressors” on a regular basis, Bonfante says she couldn’t succeed professionally. “I want my customers to be happy, so I take time each day to relax. Deep breathing is a part of that,” she says.
Other ways Bonfante tends to her mental fitness is by exercising regularly. She participates in Pilates and works out on an elliptical machine in her home office.
“Exercise helps me reduce my stress and induces sleep, so these are two important tools I use to combat stress,” Bonfante says.
For Holly Hunt, a Columbus hair stylist for over 14 years who branched out on her own ten months ago, family is the key to her sanity. Between being the married mother of a young daughter and her successful career as a hair stylist, Hunt says having the support of her husband and parents is what makes life manageable. In fact, her parents moved just a few houses down from her, so between Holly, her husband and her parents, her daughter is consistently with a family member rather than being in day care of with a babysitter.
Knowing that gives her peace of mind. What also helps keep Hunt sane is focusing on the benefits of working for herself. While she works long hours the few days she works per week, doing so allows her to enjoy uninterrupted, quality time with her family when she’s away from the salon.
Still, toiling as a hair stylist means long hours of standing, often without even a moment to go to the bathroom or enjoy a bite to eat. “You always have to be ‘on,’ even if you don’t feel well,” says Hunt.
One thing Hunt does to combat stress, she says, is to maintain a strict vegan diet. And, while it isn’t always possible, she consistently tries carve a few moments out of her busy work day to be quiet and at peace.
For Bonfante, mindful, quiet moments are also key weapons in her constant battle against stress. “I pray more than I meditate,” with those prayers injecting a sense of calm into her psyche.
According to Bonfante, “There have been studies linking prayerful meditation with peacefulness. It impacts the brain in a positive way.”
Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer who tweets as @girlwithapen.