Five reasons why every freelancer should practice meditation

Finding life as a freelancer stressful? Read five reasons why practising meditation regularly can help. 

As any freelancer will know, the stress you face at times can be much higher than you’ll experience from the security of a full-time job.

Not only do you have to cover the jobs of five other people to ensure you’re marketing yourself correctly, filing your accounts on time and managing your client relationships effectively, you actually have to find time to produce the work as well.

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And then you have the stress of actually finding work in the first place, and ensuring you have a steady income that covers your outgoings – including chasing payment from difficult clients.

These added factors can create a sense of urgency and result in anxiety. However, meditation can relieve stress, helping you become more balanced, focused and calm.

Five reasons why every freelancer should practice meditation

There are plenty of reasons why meditation can help you in day-to-day life, especially as a freelancer. Here are the top five.

1) Meditation boosts creativity

Practicing meditation is great for improving your creativity. With it, you’re able to find a spaciousness and use this to help you create an environment where you’re able to create more freely.

If you’re a creative freelancer, you’ll know all too well the added pressure that comes from being handed a big project. This pressure often causes us to get caught up in our mental thoughts, rather than relaxing and letting the creativity come naturally.

Overthinking is one of the biggest creativity killers, so it makes sense that if you’re practicing meditation with the aim of improving your creativity, you must keep your meditation practice playful. In other words, don’t get too bogged down in whether you’re doing it the ‘right way’.

2) Meditation improves focus

Learning to shape your concentration this way will help you when you’re working as you’ll find it easier to settle more quickly and feel at ease, effectively creating a mental space where you feel comfortable to work.

The practice of meditation requires you to be able to block out external distractions and go inward, which can require a lot of focus and will be a skill you can carry with you into working life. Studies have even shown that meditation has a profound impact on cognitive tasks, resulting in an improvement in concentrations on tasks and sustained attention.

3) Concentrating on your wellbeing helps with stress

Simply taking time for yourself every day is a huge part of being less stressed as a freelancer. When you’re busy rushing around, looking after yourself can sometimes take a backseat. By taking even just ten minutes out of your day to meditate, you’ll be calmer and more contemplative throughout the day.

Creativity comes in lots of guises, so just because you aren’t writing a novel or creating a masterpiece, it doesn’t mean you’re not creative. How you pitch to potential clients, your marketing technique and even creating your own workspace all require some level of creativity.

Consider how creative you are in everyday life. By learning to recognise creativity, you’re training your brain to be aware of these habits, and consequently you’ll learn to replicate them when actively being creative.

4) Meditation reduces stress and anxiety

A study by Sara Lazar revealed that meditation over a certain amount of time (in this case, 40 minutes a day for eight weeks) can actually reshape the brain; specifically the regions which involve emotional regulation, empathy and compassion.

While these areas became thicker, the area which became smaller was the amygdala – the fight of flight section of the brain ‘important for anxiety, fear and stress in general’ – showing that practicing meditation regularly can help minimise stress and anxiety in your day to day life.

5) You’ll improve your client relationships

As cheesy as it may sound, meditation allows people to find an appreciation that we often overlook or dismiss. By appreciating the people who are close to you, you are also able to recognise the significance of other relationships, such as those with clients.

Being able to appreciate a kind email will set you in a much better mood when you go about doing work for that client, and as a result will make your freelancing work become better, giving you a better outlook on how you treat future clients.

And remember, what comes around goes around. So the more goodwill and gratitude with which you approach your clients and projects, the more you’ll generate in return.

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This article was written by Lauren Wise, content writer for Pandle.