Leading holistic therapist shares stress-relieving meditation techniques for entrepreneurs and startups
Holistic Therapist, Helen Totton, is a spiritual mentor, intuitive healer, and meditation expert.
She is the founder of Tottem Healing, which provides deep transformation through a variety of techniques and modalities, helping to bring awareness to the root cause of trauma, enabling clients to release, reset, and access their authentic self. Holding space is Helen’s superpower and she has a way of making people feel safe, nurtured, and heard. Having experienced depression, anxiety, and PTSD herself, and self-healed, she is passionate about showing others they have the power to do the same.
Helen says: “I am on a mission to remove the stigma of 'woo woo' and spirituality, making it accessible and empowering for the modern generation.”
People think meditation is about sitting in a quiet room, with calming music and an altar and yes sure, that’s one option, but there are so many forms of meditation that are so beneficial to entrepreneurs and startups, it’s just about exploring and finding which ones work for you.
As an entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it can be to keep going, especially when times get tough, to keep level headed and stay focused. I started my business just before lockdown and then Covid hit, so I truly get it – I had to adapt and find new ways to work, whilst still providing for my clients and family. Meditation, Reiki, and yoga literally got me through and I don’t know where I would be now without some of the short techniques below that are simply, yet powerful ways we can all use to relieve stress.
Here are some techniques that I use myself to reduce stress and overwhelm, and I encourage my clients and friends to use them as well.
Take time out!
Just step away. When you feel that build up, just stop, put everything down and have a change of scenery, even for five minutes. Sometimes we forget the most simple things. Take a walk around the office, or even excuse yourself and head to the toilets if you need to be alone. Go into the garden if you work from home, or a brisk walk around the block. This will switch your brain from what you are working on, giving you a breather. Once you’re there, bring yourself into the present moment. You can do this by noticing several things you can see; the sky, the wallpaper, something you can hear, such as the birds or traffic and then something you can feel; like the wind, or the clothes on your skin. When you’re ready, go back in and continue from a calmer place.
Whatever you’re doing, again, just stop, close your eyes and take three long deep breaths, it helps me to breathe in through my nose, breathing deep into your belly and then letting it out through the mouth. Each time you exhale, imagine you are blowing out any stress, anxiety, build up, or insecurities. Try to have a slightly longer exhale than inhale, as this works to slow down your heartbeat and reduce the fight, flight, or freeze response. Or you can try something simple like ‘box breathing’, which is breathing in for four counts, holding for four, exhaling for four, and holding for four. Repeating this process if you need, again helps to calm, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
Grounding/earthing is one of the quickest ways for me to come back to myself when I’m stressed. Ideally you want to take your shoes and socks off, so that there is a direct connection with the earth (there are so many benefits to doing this), but I realise this is not always possible in the working day, so instead, feeling into the connection between the souls of your feet and whatever is below you is still super beneficial. I imagine streams of light or energy, just like tree roots moving down out of my feet and into the earth below. You can continue to stretch them down further until you reach the centre of the earth in your mind and then just connect your roots with that centre. You can imagine any toxicity, overwhelm, or stress, moving down through those roots and being transmuted by the earth. You’ll be amazed at the difference you feel after doing this exercise for just a few minutes.
Bring Your Focus Inside!
We get so focused on the external sources of our stress, blaming everything and everyone around us, when actually we are often projecting how we are feeling inside, or they are triggering a response, stored from a previous trauma lying dormant within us. So, when you feel a build up from someone or something, close your eyes for a second and go inwards. If you’re feeling game, you can even place your hands over your heart. Then ask yourself, where do I feel the build-up in my body? Can you locate it? It is in your chest, your stomach, your throat? Once you have defined the area, feel into whether it has a colour or a shape. Go back to the breath and literally imagine breathing light or energy into this area. You can do this as many times as you need, you should feel the sensation ease and you may even feel, sense, or see it disperse.
Visualisation is such a powerful tool and one I believe isn’t taken seriously enough. Before you go to sleep at night, or even in between the working day, visualise your business thriving, visualise yourself as the successful entrepreneur you want to be. Imagine yourself walking through the next 24 hours in advance, calm, confident, and navigating your day with ease. The saying by Bob Proctor goes “If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand” and this is so true because our minds do not know the difference between what is real physically and what we are vividly imagining. Through Dr. Joe Dispenza’s extensive research and comprehensive studies in this field, we know that our thoughts, the images we see and create in our minds and even our subconscious beliefs, directly affect our body and our environment and the way we work. You can enhance your visualisation, by creating a vision board, or keeping post-it notes around where you work, reminding you of how you want to feel and what you want to achieve.