OK, I’m going to say something bold here that many of you are not going to like: If you don’t have a healthy way to deal with the stress of working in real estate, you are going to fail. Luckily, there is a quick and easy way to deal with stress that will help you avoid burnout and thrive in 2022 (and beyond): meditation.
Many super-successful agents practice meditation every morning, and you can learn how in just a few minutes. I’ll walk you through easy meditation techniques and four meditations you can use between showings, cold calls, or whenever you have a moment to close your eyes and reset.
Why Is Stress in Our Lives Anyway?
Burnout. I’ve seen it happen again and again with my coaching clients over the years. They either try to ‘power through’ the stress, or worse, fall into the ‘work hard, play hard’ trap and end up closing the bar every night. A recipe for disaster!
Stress comes from our survival instinct. Back when humans faced dangers like being chased by a tiger, it was good to have that prompt in our bodies to say run like hell to survive. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a tiger and the stress we experience when trapped behind a driver going below the speed limit in the fast lane.
Even worse, we hang onto stress because, after all, that person made us late for our appointment. We carry stress with us until something else happens in our day, and it accumulates. We all know these days that go off the rails—every client has a problem, financing is falling through, closing is delayed, the home inspection was a failure.
Meditation balances stress and anxiety within your nervous system and awakens the part of your brain that wants peace and rest. Meditation is a shortcut to shift your thoughts and energy into something productive instead of destructive.
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Getting Over the Weirdness of Meditation
When I first tried to meditate, there was little or no guidance to help me learn how. I always thought I needed to close my eyes, cross my legs and chant “om.” Well, I don’t know about you, but that just seemed weird. Yet I still attempted it because it seemed like the right thing to do. I saw pictures of monks doing it so it must be the way. After a few minutes, my mind was trying to figure out why I was doing this.
Next, my thoughts became consumed with my “forgot to do” list. Oh, I have to send so and so an email … oh I have to call so and so … shoot, I forgot to call my mom back. What was all this really accomplishing anyway? Can you relate?
Meditation can be really simple and NOT weird if you build the right habits. Trust me, when you get on the other side of this, you will wonder how you functioned without it. And now everyone else who hasn’t experienced meditation will seem weird to you.
The Secret to Effective Meditation
Your mind does not understand lingo such as “stop thinking” or language when we try to tell it what to do. We have to trick the brain and change the subconscious through mindset, breathing, and intention-setting.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
Step 1: No expectations
- Start without having any expectation of stopping your mind or relieving stress.
Step 2: Don’t be hard on yourself
Step 3: Have an intention as a mantra
- An affirmation that resonates with you (I am enough, I take action, I achieve my goals, I am abundant, all my needs are met, and so on)
Step 4: Bring yourself back to your breath
- Do a body scan from head to toe, focusing on all the parts of your body that you recognize are holding a little tension.
- Know that thoughts will come.
- Recognize them.
- Welcome them and move on to the next thought.
Every time you do this you will have a different experience. It WILL get easier with time.
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4 Easy Meditations for Agents to Try in 2022
Now that you have the “secret” to meditation, you need to apply it! Most of our excuses run along the lines of: I don’t have time; I can’t meditate because I’m working; the kids need me for something. But don’t let that stop you. Here are some easy and practical meditations you can try while still having time for all the things on your to-do list.
On-the-Go Meditation: Eyes Open (2-5 Minutes)
- Start by inhaling through your nose for 2 counts.
- Then exhale through your mouth for 4 counts.
- Breathe in through your nose and imagine you’re smelling the scent of the beach.
- Hold that breath for a moment
- Then exhale through your mouth, imagining that you’re fogging up a mirror.
- Repeat this exercise for at least three breath cycles.
Calm & Cool Meditation: Eyes Open (1 Minute)
- Roll your tongue like a straw
- Breathe in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 5, letting both the inhale and the exhale flow through your tongue like a straw.
- Allow the sensation of the air moving over your tongue to create a cooling sensation in the body and the belly.
- Breathe in 5
- Breathe Out 5
Mindfulness Meditation: Eyes Closed (15 Minutes)
The first part of getting into meditation is to bring awareness to the present moment and drop any expectations of what meditation “should” look like. Be comfortable, preferably in a quiet, dimmer-lit setting, although you should know this is not necessary to get results.
Mindfulness – Awareness – Consciousness – In the Moment – Now – Reflection
- Get comfortable.
- Keep your back supported.
- Close your eyes, take a deep breath and on your exhale, let go of any heaviness you may be feeling.
- Pay attention to the noises that are surrounding you.
- Accept them as part of your experience, from the loudest noise for a few breaths to the subtlest of sounds for a couple of breaths.
- Bring your awareness to all the sounds happening around you now.
- Take a few breaths, just listening to it all.
- Now, take a deep inhale and put your focus on your body and any tension you may be feeling.
- Do you have your shoulders up around your ears? Is your back tense? Your neck?
- Exhale any tension or stiffness away.
- Inhale. How do our hands feel on your lap? Does your back feel supported? Do your feet feel connected with the Earth? How is your breath—is it fast, shallow, cool, or warm?
- Be careful not to judge yourself and your thoughts right now.
- Take a few breaths.
- What are you seeing right now? (Yes, with eyes closed.)
- Do you see darkness? Orbs of light? Do you see color, shapes?
- What are the sensations that you are feeling?
- Notice your other senses. Are there any tastes in your mouth?
- What about smells? Do you smell anything recognizable? Or something you don’t quite recognize? Maybe something you would like to smell right now?
- Take a couple of breaths.
- Now bring all your senses together, experiencing it all. The loudest sounds, the softest sounds, any tension or tightness, brightness or darkness, taste, smell.
- Begin inhaling and exhaling normally.
- Remember everything you hear, smell, and see are not distractions. They are part of your experience right here and right now.
- Continue to return to normal breathing patterns. Inhale and exhale.
- Think about what brings you joy. This is where giving yourself permission is critical.
- Allow your thoughts completely. Allow them to veer off and wonder. Then, come back to that joyful state.
Meditation – Zen – Purposeful – Body Scan – Checking In
This is usually the place you hear the word surrender, and yes, that is what the aim is here. However, I like to refer to this as giving yourself permission to lean in and accept you for your thoughts, for your feelings, and anything that is resonating with you right now.
You can’t change what is going through your mind. All you can do is be aware. Think it and go on to the next thought. If you don’t like the thought that is coming up, ask yourself how this is serving you to make you better. What do you need to learn from it? Trust the thoughts.
Now let’s talk mantra. Don’t get all scared and think I am going to make you chant. (That is for another time!) I want you to think of a mantra as your anchor.
As your thoughts start to wander, you will use this to come back to. As you are drifting and your thoughts are floating, what is the first word that comes to mind? Let that be your mantra, your anchor. Remember—just go with the thoughts. The more you try not to think, the more difficult it becomes.
It is so important not to judge yourself or try too hard. For myself, I have entered this state thinking I know what I am looking for, and when I come back, I am thinking, I wasn’t asleep, I wasn’t awake, I was aware of what was around me, but I feel like hours have passed by.
The more you practice this, the quicker you will be able to get to this state. Every time we meditate, we are exercising our mental muscles, and it gets easier and easier. The goal is to work yourself up to a total of 15 minutes.
Checking your watch or clock is OK. I actually encourage you to do so until you get the hang of this. It will help eliminate that thought of how long it has been and how much longer you have.
There are no rules. These are just guides to help you get to that perfect Zen and meditative state. (Setting an alarm is not a good idea—you don’t want to be startled coming out of meditation.)
Manifesting – Gratitude – Gratefulness
Close with gratitude. We have to be grateful for what it is we have in the now. If we aren’t happy right now, how can we manifest more? This means being grateful for the struggles, the obstacles, and the challenges. Within all of these are the lessons we need for growth.
What is your heart reminding you of right now in this moment to be grateful for, big or small? The very place you are sitting? What you are sitting on, to the air you are breathing? There is no right or wrong way to show gratitude to whatever higher power you believe in. It’s the act of awareness, acceptance, and acknowledging.
Once you have expressed gratitude, start envisioning your life the way you want it to look.
Your goals, your wildest dreams.
Let yourself go there and really feel it, taste it, smell it. Enter into the experience.
This requires permission to know you deserve this life.
Let your inner child come out and play. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would that look like?
Act like it is happening now. Feel what it feels like to experience it.
Over to You
Who’s ready to give meditation a try today? I can’t wait to hear your experience, and I sincerely hope these habits help you build a less stressful real estate career. Share your thoughts in the article comments or in The Close Facebook Group.