The stress of everyday life can cause your small business strategy to fall apart. But, practicing mindfulness throughout your day can help you manage anxiety and grow your business.

“As we try to work through our marketing pivots or budgets, we are trying to make decisions under duress,” said Suzanne Jewell, founder and owner of the Mindful Entrepreneur

There are various small business leadership resources you can take advantage of to become a more mindful professional. With anxiety-reducing exercises to help you overcome stress, you can train your brain to become more productive. 

During these unprecedented times, the business world is becoming more open to talking about mental health. Today, the health and well-being of professionals depend on practicing mindfulness throughout the day. Learn how taking a few minutes out of your day for mindfulness can help with these tips from Jewell.

TL;DR: Using mindfulness techniques to support your small business strategy

  • Tip 1: Relax Using The 6-1-8 Anti-Anxiety Breath

Reset your breath and your brain with this quick, easy to do exercise.

  • Tip 2: Pause. Breathe. Smile. It Can Be Used Anywhere At Anytime

You’re never fully stressed when you take the time to smile.

  • Tip 3: Use Empathy To Better Connect With Your Consumers

Get in touch with your feelings and see your relationships (and sales!) improve.

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Tip 1: Relax Using The 6-1-8 Anti-Anxiety Breath 

“If you’re in a stage of rumination, then you don’t have any fresh oxygen coming into the front of your prefrontal cortex to offer you the opportunity to think clearly,” Jewell said while presenting at the #BizHackLive  Mindfulness, Leadership & Resilience webinar. 

By taking a few moments out of the day to practice the 6-1-8 breathing exercise, business owners can leverage this anti-anxiety technique to work through stress.

To begin, Jewell says first to take a dignified seat and relax your shoulders. Then, lift your rib cage and try to hold your back straight while softening your chest and stomach.

Next, close your eyes and imagine what is currently sparking anxiety in your life. Whether it’s a deadline or a pitch at work, take a mental note of where the anxiety is in your body.

“Learn to simply be with it,” Jewell said. 

To begin the breathing portion of the exercise, inhale through the nose for a count of six. Then, hold your breath gently for one count. Next, release it for a count of eight through pursed lips. 

After repeating this exercise several times, you should feel a weight lifted from your shoulders. 

“What we just learned is how to put your brain back online,” Jewell said. 

In times of crisis, the anti-anxiety breath can get realigned with your small business strategy and help you achieve your goals.

Tip 2: Pause. Breathe. Smile. It Can Be Used Anywhere At Anytime

With the pause, breathe, smile (PBS) technique, the hustle and bustle of everyday life are paused momentarily. At any given point in time, you can use this technique to practice higher levels of self-awareness.

“Pausing gives you space to have more than just one opportunity to respond,” Jewell said. “When you breathe, instead of being in fight or flight, you bring your brain back online, and when you smile, you actually send a signal to your nervous system.” 

Tip 3: Use Empathy To Better Connect With Your Consumers

As consumers experience anxiety and stress in many different ways, it is important to practice empathy while adapting your small business strategy. If consumers feel an emotional connection, they are more likely to buy your product or service. 

“Whether you are a consultant or an ad agency, consumers are feeling the same things that you are right now,” Jewell said. “We’re all having human experiences.”

By using mindfulness techniques like the ones above, you’ll be more able to connect with yourself and, as a result, more able to connect with your customers and clients.Want more tips? On Wednesdays, join BizHack Academy for our FREE #BizHacklive Webinars and hear experts discuss the latest and best small business marketing strategies. For a list of upcoming events, click here.