Will leaders exhibit emotional discipline this week?©

There’s a part of being emotionally intelligent that is key to leaders successfully creating collaborative outcomes and it would appear, from my experience with thousands of them in training and executive coaching sessions, to be the portion know as “self management.”

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.  Basically, it’s your “people” skills.  The characteristics include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.  Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, developed the framework for it.  Many organizations use assessments that measure your level of development in each of the skills.  Studies of indicated that emotional intelligence is a higher indicator of success, in many areas, than even a person’s IQ.  Here’s a nice article to compare the two for you.

Discipline is defined as:  the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.  Discipline used to be something that was coveted.  The concept was honored and honorable.  It still is when it applies to having a perfectly sculpted body (one thing I may never see in the mirror).  Everyone seems to want one of those these days and will go to great lengths to have one.

Emotional discipline, though, is something that we may not be focusing quite enough on, right now, and could be the missing key that unlocks the outcomes we want to achieve.  The leaders I have coached and admired have emotional discipline, which I have found to mean that they don’t always do what they want to do, or say what they want to say, when they want to say it.  They don’t always react in anger when they have full justification to do so.  They don’t do tasks when they feel like it, but rather when they have them scheduled to happen.

Leaders that possess emotional discipline have an impulse, quite frequently, to run the other way when the super tough decisions need to be made, and yet they don’t.  They stand up, when others sit down, and they speak their truth in the face of criticism and sometimes serious consequences.

For those of you that are familiar with the DISC behavioral styles here are some areas that each of us may have an opportunity to develop emotional discipline in regard to:

Drivers – may have an impulse to over-confidently say exactly what’s on their mind, with little contemplation. They may speak from the “gut” and may not give consideration to how it lands on peers and team members.

Influencers – may have an impulse to avoid needed conversations and situations if they feel like they could result in a possible conflict, or deterioration of a relationship or a how much a person likes them.

Supporters – may have an impulse to hold back on their opinion or believe that their opinion isn’t as important.  They may also have an impulse to take all of the work onto themselves instead of burdening someone else which may sometimes lead to not delegating well.

Calculators – may have an impulse to NOT communicate instead of communicating.  Calculators can sometimes be more comfortable in their office with “time to think” instead of seeking others’ opinions.

When the rules of emotional discipline aren’t followed there are consequences for the leader, their team and their organization.  They might include and certainly aren’t limited to their team loosing respect and trust in them.  A lack of emotional discipline may lead to lack luster results because a leader did what they felt like doing in meetings and during important interactions with others, rather than calling out unproductive behaviors. Maybe customer centric standards aren’t kept because it’s easier to overlook poor performance than it is to inspire excellence every day.

We all have work to do to right this ship and make emotional discipline as sexy and common place again as it used to be, when we celebrated and were more attracted to a leader taking a moment to quietly contemplate their answer than blurting out the first thing that came to their mind before the other person was even finished talking.

Here are some things to discuss with your team this week:

  1. In which areas of their work do they feel they are exhibiting strong aspects of emotional discipline?  Do they hit deadlines regardless of the internal or external obstacles they are dealing with?
  2. In which areas of their work do they need a higher level of emotional discipline? Do they need to lean into meaningful conversations that can move themselves and the team forward rather than leaning away because it’s more comfortable and familiar?
  3. Where do team members need help in being more disciplined? Is it hard for them to get fired up in the morning and do the toughest tasks they need to get done, first?  Who can help motivate them and keep them on track?

At Cortex Leadership Consulting (www.cortexleadership.com) we provide DISC, Motivators, Leadership Competency, Stress, 360 degree and Team Accountability assessments along with workshops and leadership programs to assist you and your team to reach your peak performance.  You can contact us at lynda@cortexleadership.com or (540) 776-9219 to book a workshop for your team, a customized leadership program for your organization or schedule a keynote speech.

If you would like to receive the Leader’s Launch List, each week, in your email inbox, go to www.lyndamcnuttfoster.com.

How will you manage silos in your workplace this week?©

Silos are naturally and necessarily created in work environments to house team members into groups that form departments and that are designed to lead to the alignment of authority, responsibility, and accountability.  Silos allow for executives to manage smaller teams that allow for them to create communities that focus on areas of expertise and specific work product creation and implementation.

All sounds great, right? Yep, until you need to innovate or become customer centric and organizationally focused.

A silo mentality can be defined as: A mind-set present in some companies when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce the efficiency of the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

 

Three aspects to consider in the organizational silo barrier are:

  • Non-aligned priorities
  • Lack of information flow
  • Lack of coordinated decision making across silos

When these aspects are occurring it will be difficult to make the changes necessary to remain competitive and get the ultimate results you may need to achieve.

What's your strategy?

In the Harvard Business Review Article, The First Two Steps Toward Breaking Down Silos in Your Organization, Vijay Govindarajan makes the statement, “Companies don’t change because they want to. They change because they are forced to by customers, by competition, by advances in science and technology, and by government regulation. Only when change is being forced upon the enterprise will people seek, give, and accept help.”

So if you need team members who currently operate in silos to begin operating in a way that will lead to the results you want to achieve, you’ll need to:

  1. Make a compelling case for why innovation is necessary to the organization and for each of its members. It will need to be an interactive experience for the leader and team member’s that occurs in as many different forums and formats as possible. Change can’t be “someone else’s” job or need to happen because it was posted in an email or there was one tell and sell group gathering that happened. Nope, you are going to need to lead the campaign throughout the organization and take some serious time to connect with other leaders and their team members to make the message and vision stick.
  1. Create an agenda that develops a step-by-step guide that team member’s can follow to reach the vision you will communicate. You need to not only communicate the vision for better communications you need to demonstrate it by clearly articulating, in multiple ways, what you want to see in the culture of your organization. You need to be the catalyst by being the change you want to see. If you don’t start crossing the silo lines by being more transparent with information that can be shared, being inclusive in your mindset and more effectively interactive in meetings, don’t expect others to execute what you aren’t doing yourself.

TEAM EXERCISE this week:

Before your next team meeting, distribute these questions so that your team members have an opportunity, as do you, to consider their answers. When you get together do a round and allow each member to comment on the one that they think is affecting your organizational progress the most.

  1. What priorities do you or your department have that are not aligned with another’s?
  1. Put yourself in the place of the other silo—what would make that silo realize that your need was a priority?
  1. What information do you or your department have that could be useful to others?
  1. What information or assistance do you need from another silo that you are not getting?
  1. In what areas would increased collaboration and giving up some autonomy be more beneficial for the company than maintaining your individuality?

(Questions excerpted from How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things by Neil Smith with Patricia O’Connell. Copyright © 2012)

Will you read as much as you want to this week?

Most leaders I coach and train want to read more books, they just don’t seem to have the time.

You’re in luck! I discovered a free resource I think you are going to like. Brian Johnson has created something called “Philosopher’s Notes” which I have now fallen in love with. The library of free YouTube videos he created on some of the best books for self-improvement is extensive.

He boils down the concepts in the books to 5 or 6 big ideas from them in about 10 minutes. The format is easy to follow and it gives you enough to learn from and wet your appetite if you want to read more by buying the book. The reason it is so helpful is that you can be getting ready in the morning or walking on your treadmill and quickly watch any of the videos.

There are 266 videos total – seriously – and they are all free. I like the newer ones way more than the older ones. When he stands in front of the chalkboard the technique is very effective at making the concepts “sticky”.

Here’s a link to The Art of Achievement by Tom Morris as an example.

Some of his others include:

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Dr. Daniel G. Amen
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, PhD

He has a subscription service which I have not joined yet.

TEAM EXERCISE:

Try assigning one of these short videos to your team and having a lunch and learn discussion about the main concepts. Allow each team member to choose which main point they found the most helpful and explain why.

 

 

Which rule for success will you follow this week?

I’ve become addicted.  Yep.  I think I’ve now watched the entire set of new videos that are on YouTube.  They are short, like about 10 minutes each, which is perfect for that quick walk on the treadmill or around the building at lunch.  They grab you with real wisdom and inspire you.  They’re simple.  They deliver the best advice from very successful business people, entrepreneurs and investors which has been edited together by Evan Carmichael.  I hope they ignite your passion to be a leader by watching a few this week.

Jeff Weiner’s (CEO, LinkedIn) Top 10 Rules for Success
Click here for video.

  1. Believe in your vision
  2. Manage passionately
  3. Know your goal
  4. Know your audience
  5. Understand your environment
  6. Make a difference
  7. Unleash creative energy
  8. Inspire other people
  9. Be a spectator of your thoughts
  10. Anything is possible

Warren Buffett’s (CEO, Berkshire Hathaway) Top 10 Rules For Success
Click here for video

  1. Find your passion
  2. Hire well
  3. Don’t care what others think
  4. Read, read, read
  5. Have a margin of safety
  6. Have a competitive advantage
  7. Schedule for your personality
  8. Always be competing
  9. Model success
  10. Give unconditional love

Robert Johnson’s Top 10 Rules For Success (businessman, media magnate, philanthropist, and investor – he’s worth over a half a billion dollars)
Click here for video

  1. Build relationships
  2. Get the Capital you need
  3. Keep revenues up, Costs down
  4. Make friends before you need them
  5. Stop consuming, start saving
  6. Stand for something
  7. Get to scale
  8. Believe in yourself
  9. Make hard choices
  10. Partner with suppliers

Larry Page’s (Co-Founder, Google – will be CEO of new Alphabet, Inc.) Top 10 Rules For Success
Click here for video.

  1. Set big goals
  2. Don’t be afraid of failure
  3. Stay organized
  4. Concentrate on the long term
  5. Have a good idea
  6. Solve bigger problems
  7. Take on challenges
  8. Don’t settle
  9. Adapt to changes
  10. Follow your dreams

Tim Ferriss’s (4 Hour Work Week author, angel investor) Top 10 Rules For Success
Click here for video.

  1. Have other interests
  2. Scratch your own itch
  3. Learn the art of the pitch
  4. Focus on your strengths
  5. Be able to sell
  6. Ideas are worth nothing
  7. Pick the right things to do
  8. Be pragmatically pessimistic
  9. Have a focused metric
  10. Use failure to help you

Steve Jobs’ Top 10 Rules For Success
Click here for video.

 

  1. Don’t live a limited life
  2. Have passion
  3. Design for yourself
  4. Don’t sell crap
  5. Build a great team
  6. Don’t do it for the money
  7. Be proud of your products
  8. Build around customers
  9. Marketing is about Values
    10.Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Will you be a good boss or an amazing one this week?

Good is the enemy of great. That’s the opening line of Jim Collin’s now famous book Good to Great It’s one of those things that stuck with me – probably because I’m an over achiever like most of you.

I stumbled upon an article that I thought might speak to those of you that don’t want to settle for mediocre or average when it comes to being someone’s boss. So many of you, that I know and have attended my classes, have a true heart for wanting to serve the people you work with in a way that stands out for them and your organization.

Top ranked leaderFor that reason, the 10 Things Really Amazing Bosses Do, written by Kevin Daum of Inc. might be something to print out and strive to achieve over your career. These are definitely things that John Maxwell in his book, 5 Levels of Leadership, might have described in level 4 or even 5.  They are a step beyond common sense, and are definitely not common practice. The principles behind them are what you learn in Cortex leadership classes. They are stated in the article in a way that gives you tangible differences between the level you might be at and the one you are striving to become. Practice, not perfection. None of us are capable of exercising these principles 100% of the time. It’s the striving towards them that will make you great to those you serve.

Here’s some excerpts directly from the article:

  1. Good bosses maintain control and get things done.  Amazing bosses know efficiency can be the enemy of efficacy in the long run and so they work to create an atmosphere of expansive thinking.
  1. Good bosses foster a sense of community, making room for everyone.  Amazing bosses form an internal culture by design rather than default.
  1. Good bosses invite creative thinking.  Amazing bosses know how to integrate creativity into daily conversation.
  1. Good bosses create an open environment for voicing concern and frustration.  Amazing bosses create an environment where people are empowered to make change on their own to improve product, process, and procedures.
  1. Good bosses encourage career development for their employees.  Amazing bosses integrate individual learning and development into every job description so that personal growth is required and rewarded.
  1. Good bosses run effective and efficient meetings.  Amazing bosses make sure that everyone on the team understands the difference between a valuable meeting and a waste of time and resources.
  1. Good bosses build trust so people feel safe.  Amazing bosses encourage consistent interaction and high performance within the team so they succeed or fail together, creating bonds of loyalty to the company and each other.
  1. Good bosses create happiness in the workplace.  Amazing bosses constantly seek and execute ways to help employees gain deep personal satisfaction from their responsibilities so they are inspired and excited to come to work.
  1. Good bosses make sure people are responsible for their roles and actions.  Amazing bosses promote personal accountability by providing clear communication and buy-in as to the culture, vision, and goals of the company.
  1. Good bosses know how to praise and show gratitude.  Amazing bosses know how to instill a deep sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment in individual team members.

An exercise you might try this week:

Ask yourself which of these 10 practices do you consistently deliver to your team? Determine HOW you deliver on those. What methods do you use? What is your thought process behind them? Why are those important to you?

After you make those notes, go over them with the people you serve that supervise others and help coach them to execute those practices with their teams.

Next:

Which one might you be missing the mark on? Do you have a belief that is holding you back from fully embracing that one on the list? Do you need to develop skills in order to execute it? Maybe you are struggling with designing the culture you want or executing its principles. It’s possible you’ve never thought about how to integrate creativity into every conversations or how to promote consistent interaction and higher level thinking on your team. No problem. There are all types of resources out there for these things. If you’ve been to Cortex classes, look back through the practices and modules you’ve learned. Create a thinking pair with another leader that is more advanced than you at that item. Ask questions. Become curious. Ask your team for ideas on how you can improve in that area. Ask you coach…me, when we have our next coaching session or training class.

If you didn’t want to be amazing and have a high performing, deeply satisfied team, you wouldn’t even have read this far. You rock! You are exactly what is needed and have what it takes to lead your team through the most difficult of challenges.

How will you manage your energy this week?

 

Allen and I hiked Mount Rogers for Mother’s Day. What a gorgeous day! I hope all of you gorgeous mothers were honored today and that you took a moment to celebrate your awesomeness whether you have children that walk on 2 legs or 4!

Consider this.  Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance according to the authors of The Power of Full Engagement, written by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. A client of mine in Pittsburgh, Dawn Lewis, whose Chaikhana Chai was recently placed in Whole Foods, pointed me to the book on Friday when I was explaining the new sprint system I was working with clients to start using.   I devoured the additional research!

FIRST TRY THIS QUICK, FREE, ENERGY ASSESSMENT from the book:  FREE ENERGY ASSESSMENT

Power of Full EngagementThe book is great, but if you don’t have the time to read it, check out the article about managing energy in Harvard Business Review that can quickly transform the results you are getting for yourself and your team. The article points out that “To recharge themselves, individuals need to recognize the costs of energy-depleting behaviors and then take responsibility for changing them, regardless of the circumstances they’re facing.” Also to consider was the statement, “Very few people help build and sustain their capacity—their energy—which is typically taken for granted. In fact, greater capacity makes it possible to get more done in less time at a higher level of engagement and with more sustainability. “

 

What is your current capacity physically, mentally, emotional and spiritually? What do you think is the quality of the energy you have in each of those areas?

One of the main points in the book and article is that you need to carefully plan your activities based on your core values. (If you haven’t done that exercise yet, Value exercise for you and your teamon creating that list for yourself and your team.) YOU ARE NOT A MACHINE. You are not just a human DOing. Breaks that are distraction free are not just going to happen. You need to schedule them and protect them. Learning the practice of scheduling sprints and recovery periods is the key to getting the right things done, quickly. You cannot indefinitely sprint. Your body, mind and spirit need rest to work optimally.

 

An exercise for your team this week:

Have them take the Energy Assessment and discuss in your next team meeting what type of rituals are leading to the results they are getting.

The first step in any change process is raising awareness to the current reality and comparing it to the desired outcomes you want to reach.

 

 

 

Will you should all over people this week?

You might have a pretty big should library you refer to quite frequently.  It is a voice in your head that tells you what you should and should not be doing and how things should be done.  Someone cuts you off on the highway, “They should not do that.  It’s dangerous!”  A team member doesn’t say hello in the morning, “How rude!  He should be more friendly.”  A client doesn’t respond to your email.  “I always respond to theirs.  They should get back to me if they want me to get their work to them quickly.”

The voice goes on and on.  All day.  The worst part is that you refer to your should library and many times use it as a weapon against yourself.  It says things like, “You should be smarter than that, Lynda.  What were you thinking?”  “How could you let that happen?  You should have seen that obstacle coming and done something about it much sooner.”

Basically, we should all over ourselves and everyone else.  Constantly referring to those shoulds often puts us right into the Dreaded Drama Triangle.  We persecute ourselves and others in an endless cycle that shuts down our higher level thinking.  Shoulding on ourselves and others is the easy way out.  Shoulding doesn’t require deeper understanding or compassion.  Shoulds are the “auto-pilot” responses we have come to rely on without much effort at all.

If you’d like a challenge for yourself and your team this week, try this exercise.

Day one and two. 

Simply notice when you are shoulding on yourself and others.  Don’t do anything about it and certainly don’t think you shouldn’t be doing it.  Just notice.  Be mindful of when it is happening.  How often do you should on yourself?  When you are frustrated with someone else, is there a hidden should that is underneath of that frustration?  Do you use shoulds as your excuse to not do something you know would move things forward and possibly get something unstuck with someone else?

Day three and four.

Take a deep breath each time you notice a should.  Just one deep breath, and move on.  Don’t think about it anymore than that.  Be aware that it just happened and one, long, deep breath, that’s it.

Day five.

Be aware that you should on someone or yourself.  Stop, take a deep breath, and then see if you could answer the question, Is that true?  Is that really true?  What would I be without that thought?  What if the opposite of that were true?  (This series of questions is taken from Katie Byron’s work).

Day six and seven.

Continue the practice of:

Awareness.  Breathe.  Curiosity.  Now add Compassion.  For yourself and others.

This coming Sunday, April 26, 2015, from 2p-6p, at the Grandin CoLab in Roanoke, VA, you, along with your family, friends and associates have an opportunity to experience a unique event centered around how to use DISC and the practice of the Team Work Cycle to get unstuck.  Methods like the one’s I will teach transformed the way my husband, daughter, and I were able to more effectively communicate with one another.  I hope you can join us.  Here’s the link if you would like to find out more.

CLICK ON THIS: http://www.inticketing.com/events/letstalkroanoke%20/

 

 

 

Will you forget the 6-pack abs and study the science of success this week?

The longer I train and coach leaders the more real science I can point to that verifies how to accelerate your success.

(There’s a special event on April 26th where I use these findings to accelerate professionals forward progress.  You can find out more about it at the end of this article.)

Here’s some action items to consider this week as you decide which things to focus on for you and your team:

Your brain. Forget the 6-pack abs.  Focus on a better brain and your whole body will get healthier.

  1. Exercise your body in a variety of ways.  Change up your routine.  If you run, go hiking.  If you walk, try do some short sprints along the way.  If you do Yoga, try a different routine.
  2. Feed your brain the right food.  Your brain loves Omega-3 fatty acid like what is found in salmon or fish oil pills.  Try blueberries and almonds along with spinach, coconut oil, and broccoli.
  3. Learn a new language, or how to play a new instrument, or memorize poetry.

Your emotional intelligence. Healthy relationships are the cornerstone to long lasting success.

  1. Be open-minded and aware of how your actions effect others.  As I write this article in Barnes and Noble a woman has chosen to take a phone call behind me and talk loudly for the last 20 minutes.  I’ve glanced back a couple of times, as have others, to indicate that she is the loudest one in the entire store.  This does not seem to have phased her.  Interesting.
  2. Emotional honesty.  Saying you are “fine” when you are not doesn’t move the ball forward for you or anyone else.  Owning your emotions by using “I” statements and letting others know when they’ve done something to upset you or something you liked or enjoyed will go a long way to developing more meaningful relationships and will quickly raise your EQ.
  3. Always be improving.  Which of the four areas of EQ would you like to work on this week?  Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, or Relationship Management.

Your ROI.  Focus on your return on investment of time, energy and money.

  1. Which relationships have the highest return for you?  Do you invest in those that have high emotional and long term rewarding payoffs?
  2. Which activities net you the highest return of your time investment?  Are you intentional and pre-plan what you will spend your time on this week and what the returns will be when you focus on those things?
  3. How will you invest your capital?  How much of it is for this week, month or year and how much of it will reap benefits for years to come?

I’m excited to announce a one-time only, special event I have partnered with Big Lick Entertainment to produce.  It’s called Let’s Talk Roanoke:  The Science to Success.  It’s designed for entrepreneurs, professionals, and business owners, who want to quickly improve their Emotional Intelligence to take a big leap forward in their success.

It’s Sunday, April 26th from 2p-4p at the CoLab in the Grandin Area of Roanoke, VA.  CLICK HERE if you want to find out more details, or just respond to this email and I’ll get you everything you need.  It is DEFINITELY worth the trip from Richmond or Northern Virginia or Radford that day to attend.  I’ve never done an open workshop like this one before and the take-a-ways are going to be HUGE for you, I personally guarantee it!

If you’ve been through any of my classes and have wanted to have your spouse or friends learn DISC, this is the event, at the right price, to invite them to.  It should be super fun!

I was invited to be the keynote speaker for the kickoff of Radford University’s Communication Week last Tuesday.  What a blast!  About 200 participants packed into a lecture hall and were fully engaged in learning to make the shift from focusing on problems to creating what they really wanted in their careers and life.  It was truly a gift to be a part of that event.  A big thank you to Lisa Baker who did a great job of coordinating everything and being such a wonderful host!

 

Will you plan your pit stops this week?

Dwight Eisenhower had a matrix that Stephen Covey made famous in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  It’s a four quadrant diagram that categorizes your activities as urgent and important (fires), not urgent and important (planning and intentional tasks), not important and urgent (interruptions, forced deadlines by others), and neither urgent nor important (returning non-important emails, surfing social media).

Dwight EinsenhowerThe trick, it would seem to me, would be to avoid living in the daily reactive world of Q1 of urgent and important, unless you had planned and constructed those activities while in Q2.  This would allow you and your team members to enter Q1 in a more proactive state, thereby giving you much better results.

Think Nascar.  Nascar racers and their pit crews spend a HUGE amount of time, energy and money doing everything they can to shave even a couple of seconds off of their pit stop time.  They have to be in the Q2 thinking of not urgent but important to plan it, but during the race, they are in urgent and important intentionally and BAM!  They can win the race if they get those pit stops just right.

What you want to practice doing is spend time in Q2 so you can proactively move into Q1.  Without time in Q2 you will spend most of your time in a reactive mode of thinking and acting when things are actually urgent and important.  Spending all your time in Q1 in a reactive mode is a design flaw in your system.  You need to take yourself into the repair shop and get realigned.

How much time are you planning those activities that you know are going to be needed to make your business profitable or organization successful?

Exercise for you and your team:

Have each person review their calendars and task list and categorize the items into:

Q1 – Urgent and Important (Snow removal, Customer requests for new service)

Q2 – Important but not Urgent this week (Planning activities, Exercise, Vacation)

Q3 – Not Important but Urgent (Interruptions, Forced deadlines, gossip – drama!)

Q4 – Not Urgent and Not Important (estimate the # of hours spent on email each day and assign a dollar figure to each of those hours)

Estimate how many hours are being spent in each of the quadrants and their cost.

Next, determine how much you are going to save when you take the time to properly plan systems of operations that will eliminate Q4 and drastically reduce Q3.

Welcome to all the new Cortex Leadership Consulting participants for classes this Spring!  These weekly articles are designed to give you a Quick Start to your work week as a leader.  You can find hundreds of other articles like this by going to www.lyndamcnuttfoster.com and clicking on Lynda’s Launch List or by using the SEARCH bar and typing in topics like “meetings” or “dreaded drama triangle” or “coaching others”, etc.

Will you reduce your stress in 60 seconds this week?

Estimates are that 75-90% of visits to primary care physicians are due to stress related illnesses.  Having that gerbil wheel going on in your head triggers cortisol to be released in your body.  Unprocessed, this nasty little stuff will cause you all kinds of literal heartaches.

Push the Stressed out ButtonWhen you break a bone or have some sort of accident you immediately see how it affects you physically.  Stress, on the other hand, kills us slowly, over time.  It can be difficult to see the connection between heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression and anxiety, or gastrointestinal problems and the constant stress we have ourselves under.  Make no mistake, though, unprocessed stress is a killer.   Mental stress manifests quickly and sometimes instantly physically, so finding quick ways to manage it, throughout your day, can be just what the doctor ordered.

Only have 1 minute to de-stress?  Here’s some methods that you can use this week…or right now.

WATCH THIS:  A video  – How to get rid of stress in 60 seconds.  Our Communication Coordinator, Joe Carleno, sent me this video which was a fabulous reminder that we always have control over the meaning of what’s coming at us.  We can shut that voice up, in our heads, if we realize when it’s not serving us.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4RpOke5Bes&feature=youtu.be

TRY these other options:

Get up.  Reach to the ceiling for 15 seconds, drop your arms by your sides, take 3 deep breathes, then lean over and reach towards the floor for 15 seconds.

OR

Change your venue.  Get up and take a walk around the office or go up and down some stairs for 1 minute.

OR

Light up!  Try some aromatherapy.  Lavender seems to be the popular one for stress reduction.

OR

Wiggly your bottom!  Turn on your favorite song!  The one that just makes you smile the minute the first chord is played.  One that makes you remember a time when you were having fun!

OR

Hug someone.  Yep, studies have shown that hugging can reduce stress.

OR

Cry.  It’s okay.  Just get it out.  Stop holding it in.  Let those tears flow like Niagara Falls.  Sometimes stress just builds up and you need to let it out to get rid of it.

OR

Write that horrible, nasty, wish you could have told them to their face, letter.  Write it all out with passion and vigor.  Don’t leave out anything you want to tell that person.  Say it all.  When you’re done, take a big, deep breathe and tear that puppy up into tiny little pieces.  That voice inside of our head loves to be heard… so now you have heard it and now it should be just a little happier as might you.

May your week ahead be filled with satisfying accomplishments and moments of spontaneous joy.    Listen. Serve. Celebrate.

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