Manufacture Your Day by KNOWING WHAT TO DO WHEN
Mental strength is developed during tough times but tough times never last. I encourage you to take it one day at a time. I promise that you will get through it.
This is a long message today but it is meant as something that you can print and use as a reference. I am all for saving the trees but please make sure you either save it somewhere where you can find it or print it right now.
Anything that makes you feel stressed, frustrated or angry isn’t good for you – not for you, and not for the organization you work for.
I encourage you to watch Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk “How to make stress your friend”. This talk will change your perspective on stress.
Awareness can become a game-changer when you want to become better at regulating your emotional state and the stress level of the people around you:
- Respect the other person’s model of the world/everyone is on their own island (their beliefs, upbringing, values, and experiences are different than yours) – just be curious instead of furious and start to build bridges.
- If you label people, you limit them – try to find the good in the person. You will find what you’re looking for.
- People are not their behaviours – accept people for who they are, help them to change their behaviour. Avoid telling them what they are not…. Tell them how they can do better.
- Everyone has their own reality – we take in everything through our 5 senses; what you experience as the reality may not match another person’s reality (different perspective).
- There is no failure, only feedback – if something doesn’t work, it is just feedback that you have to do something different. Eliminate the word “failure”.
- You are in charge of your mind, therefore your results. I am in charge of my mind, and my results. – This means your results in the external world are a result of your internal world (your thought process, your emotional state).
Tools to practise in the moment of stressful situations – pick what’s right for you:
- Smile – time yourself for 1 minute – the brain doesn’t know the difference between a real and a fake smile; this really works to reduce your stress level.
- Notice your thoughts (many of our thoughts limit us) – become aware and say out loud “here is my stinking thinking again” (interrupts the pattern), now consciously reframe that thought into a positive one.
- Notice your emotions – ask yourself, “How do I feel right now?” For example, “angry”. Ask yourself, “do I want to feel angry?” Hopefully the answer is “no”. How do I want to feel? For example, “happy”. Shift your thoughts and your focus my thinking about something that makes you happy. How does it help you when you feel angry? You are in charge.
- Risk losing it? Someone is pushing your buttons and you feel that you get upset – take a deep breath (this will interrupt the reactive pattern) and ask yourself, “How would my intelligent mind respond right now?” If you don’t do that, you will respond from your emotional mind (default operating system) and then it is your ego talking.
- Remove yourself from the situation and go for a short walk. Emotion is created by motion. If you move, you will change your emotional state almost immediately.
- Go to the washroom and do a priming breathing technique… – 40 times pump your arms and breathe out loud through your mouth;
- Quick calm breathing technique – breathe in, count to 4 while holding the breath and think “I am warm”, breathe out and think “I am calm” – repeat 4 to 7 times.
- Develop sensory acuity – this means being present paying attention to detail while you communicate (how does the person’s skin tone change, mouth, eyes, breathing);
- Situation/Response Formula: Think and breathe before you respond
- Focus on what you control – that’s a big one!
- Learn influential communication skills – step into the other person’s shoes (what is he/she afraid of/ what does he/she want).
- When emotions are high, intelligence is low – Don’t speak or write emails (write them but don’t send them) in moments of anger.
Preventative Stress Management Techniques – pick what’s right for you:
- Smile – more often (without timing yourself); that’s preventative;
- Exercise!!! If you work out, you strengthen the body and you strengthen the mind. Did you know that fear is physical?
- Short Breath Awareness Meditation
- Develop sensory acuity (observe people closely – skin colour, eyes, mouth, breathing) – in times of mental illness on the increase, this is critical.
- Be mindful (Calm and Headspace are great phone applications for you to download) – being present means not being lost in your thoughts – take different routes to/from work, smell the flowers or other scents, listen to sounds, observe things;
- Relax your muscles – stretching, massage, enough sleep
- Take a break – go for a walk, speak to someone, eat lunch anywhere but your desk, avoid screen time when taking a break
- Nature – enjoy with your senses (see, hear, listen, feel) and maybe hug a tree (Karin’s secret stress relief)
- Any kind of music you enjoy
- Start a stress diary – become aware of your stress triggers; if you know what triggers your stress, you can develop a mental strategy around it.
- Make time for your hobbies (home projects, playing an instrument, dancing, gardening, painting, exercise – you name it)
- Practice constructive thought management – at home and at work (your thoughts create your reality)
- Unplug from the internet
- Make an energy list – pick something from my suggestions and write down what you will start applying to regulate your level of stress.
Try something new that you haven’t don’t before and you will get different results in your personal and in your professional life.
Isn’t this what you want?
Food for Thought:
Please read the HuffPost article:
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