Beneath the allure of a location-independent lifestyle lie hours of hard work, high-stress levels and long travel days. The amount of labor it takes to thrive as a remote worker can seem all too overwhelming sometimes, and is often cause for many aspiring nomads throwing in the towel. Beyond the many high-pressure tasks that come with the nomad lifestyle are a few meditation techniques to ease the stress of work and travel, some of which we’ll be discussing in this article.
You might be reading this thinking that you’re absolutely unflappable and you’ve got your routine down to a tee. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned veteran or only starting out, we’d encourage you to keep on reading, because these meditation tips could prove invaluable.
Mental fortitude is a big part of cracking it as a nomad. Take hours of deep creative work, throw in a dash of client management, sprinkle in some networking, add some travel, and you’ll find that you have a potential recipe for disaster if you simply aren’t focused. Meditation helps you to stay calm in the face of crisis which, let’s face it, can happen all too often when you’re running a business on the road.
Meditation is a deceptively simple concept. When you meditate, all you’re doing is coming back to your breath every time your mind starts to wander. This is brain ‘exercise’ which trains your mind to be in control over your thoughts, emotions and the surrounding activities. As you become more proficient at meditation, you’ll find yourself with more control over your reactions – especially if you’re feeling flustered. It follows that if you’re feeling stressed, your mind will attempt to solve everything at once. The simple practice of coming back to your breath helps you to step out of the craziness and solve tasks systematically. On top of this, there are other long-term benefits too, such as improved sleeping patterns and better memory.
When it comes to meditation options, you can generally follow one of two routes: Guided vs unguided. In guided meditations, you’ll have a ‘trainer’ assisting you to meditate, instructing you on how to breathe and compose yourself. Guided meditations are best for beginners, as they walk you through the steps needed to achieve clarity and focus through breathing. Once you’ve graduated from guided level, you can look to unguided meditations, where you make the rules. Here, you won’t have any external tools or assistance – it’s simply you and your breathing in complete and utter silence. You can build mindfulness through paying attention, observing your surroundings, and letting go of all impulse to effect change.
No one method of meditation is better than the other, although some mindfulness practitioners will argue that silent (or unguided) meditation is more beneficial. For starters, focus on meditating for 10-20 minutes every morning, building the habit of silencing distractions. Don't forget to implement other healthy habits to kickstart your day.
The challenge with unguided meditation is maintaining the discipline needed to stay focused on the present, coming back to the rhythm of your breathing. Once you’ve mastered this, however, you’ll learn to unlock a coveted state of mental clarity – an invaluable skill when dealing with the stresses of freelance and entrepreneurial life.
Mindful practices such as meditation are simple tools that allow you to focus on demand, far from the complex nirvana state that some gurus would have you believe. The next time you feel yourself slipping into a rabbit hole of remote work-induced anxiety, consider the powerful effects of meditation and how it can help you to ease the pressure of your nomadic lifestyle.