I had to wake up at 4:30 am, on Wednesday, for an early morning call, and I was dreading it on Tuesday. I don’t sleep until late and thus waking up that early in the morning is not my cup of tea. I was working on some deadlines on Tuesday and throughout the evening, I was frustrated that these on-line webinars almost always suited the U.S. time zone, despite international participation.
My mind was brooding on this so much, that I became stressed. This continued on for probably a little over 2 hours. I suddenly realized that I was unable to focus my attention on what I was doing. and I hadn’t done much. I had to snap out of this.
The timing of the early morning call was not something I could choose. What I can choose is my state of mind and how I appear at this moment of time and also at the webinar. I also reminded myself that I had on several occasions delivered training till 10:30 pm and taken a red-eye flight thereafter to deliver another training at 9 am, the following day, without a wink of sleep.
I made myself a cup of coffee and settled back into what had to be done.
I woke up this morning and I was fully present and had no issues concentrating and being an active participant.
As a leader,
→How do you show up when things happen against your will or expectation?
→How do you react when you are feeling overwhelmed at the number of things that need to be done?
→What are some of the things you consciously let go of to keep yourself at peace and appear calm in front of your team?
→We are emotional beings and the strongest of us go through moments of overwhelm, frustration, and stress. Do you apply the brakes before it is too late to consciously get out of the agitated state of mind leading to stress and frustration?
What are some of the ways to control our mind and be present
1. Be aware
Self-awareness is the first step. You consciously recognize you are in that agitated state of mind. Before your mind takes control of you, take a step to come back into the present. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings and what they are doing to you and your actions.
2. How strong are you?
Encourage yourself by reflecting on how well you did in a similar circumstance. How did you get over the perceived challenge or your state of mind.
Never ignore your emotions. Be aware, acknowledge and find ways to get over it. For me, taking a walk, engaging in meaningful conversations (with myself or others) to foster understanding or even venting out to a friend or my family helps. Take steps to generate optimism.
4. What can you do?
Everything that happens to us or with us is not within our control. However, the way we show up is within our control. EI can be achieved by any of the above methods and by deep breathing. Deep breathing is difficult when your mind is agitated and it takes a conscious effort on your part to do so. Once you start that deep breathing, you essentially are able to control your Amygdala hijack and thus think rationally.
I have four more Wednesdays when my day will start as early as 3:30 am and I have told myself no matter how my previous day is, I will be present and enjoy the two-hour session and not stress about it before.
How are you controlling your mind?
What are some of the ways you try to calm your mind in moments of overwhelm and stress?
A key question you can ask of yourself is, why am I doing what I am doing ?
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