Last night I conducted my inaugural Well-Being program. My goal this year is to present 20 workshops on this topic. I am deeply passionate about offering ways for us to have the most successful and fulfilling lives. The core of the program, and what resonated most with last night’s attendees, is how to more effectively manage our minds. Have you noticed how your brain excels at generating all the possible ways things can go wrong?
Some of the tools that participants found most useful included:
- Setting yourself up for success by creating a morning ritual. Before you begin your day, you may want to set your intentions. I write out what I want to focus on each day and how I will manage my mind when inevitable frustrations arise. You could add movement or drinking a glass of water with lemon to your rituals. By starting the day off right you decrease the chances of being hijacked and increase your chances of being resilient when challenges appear.
- Resetting midday. At some point in the day, something or someone is likely to trigger you. For me it’s usually a call where I hang up frustrated with a candidate who has unrealistic expectations or who is focused on what they can get rather than what they can contribute. Do you have moments like this when you have to deal with someone “difficult?” If so, try walking away from your desk and drinking some water, or talking to someone who always boosts your mood. If no one is available, read something uplifting or watch a short clip on YouTube. The goal is to change your state. Your mind wants to take this negative experience and run with it, telling you everything else that’s wrong. You need to stop it by shifting your focus to what’s right.
- Creating transition time. We all work intense days that spill over to after work. Create rituals to leave work behind so you can be present at home and recharge. I like to write down all the things I am grateful for in the Gratitude! app and use the “sponge technique.” I take an imaginary sponge and “wipe off” all the remnants of the day that I need to let go of. On a particularly challenging day, I need two sponges! Some people have a playlist they listen to as they leave work to get them out of work mode. A few of last nights participants chose to walk for 20-30 minutes to reset after work. What would work best for you?
One thing I heard repeatedly at last night’s program is how we all experience moments daily when our mind defaults to negative thoughts. I believe this happens because our minds are there to keep us safe, not happy. Being aware of what triggers you and managing your mind is hard, but you have more control than you believe. The quality of our lives is directly tied to how much time our brains spend in positive thoughts vs. negative ones. I use to believe that external people and things made me unhappy, but now I know that when I manage my mind the chances of having a great day increase dramatically! My hope is that incorporating some of these tools into your daily life will help you to manage your mind.