A healthy level of stress happens when we stretch to achieve a task or goal within our capability and it energizes us. Unhealthy stress is when we are no longer in control of how we feel and it affects our performance negatively.
Getting the balance right means taking responsibility for yourself and how you do things. This post looks at common work situations where your response-ability might be tested and how mindfulness practices help reduce unhealthy stress.
Do these scenarios ring any bells for you?
- You've been overworked for a while. Small, seemingly trivial incidents tip you over the edge regularly and you blow up with people. You are angry.
- Your colleague keeps taking time off work that impacts on the workload of the rest of the team. It's not how you would do things. You are irritated.
- You provide clients with reports by agreed deadlines. Then you don't get any feedback despite repeated attempts to get a response. You are frustrated.
- Your annual performance review is due. You can't stop thinking about all the potential criticisms you might face. You are fearful.
- A colleague gets to go to an important conference yet again. They always seem to get the nod over you. You are jealous.
- You become obsessed with wanting that promotion or that role. You must have it.
- You have no social life. Work interferes negatively with family life. You can't sleep. Your team complains you have no time for them. You are in pain.
Response-ability, in a more productive and positive way, involves weakening the grip of these tyrannical thoughts and letting go. How can you do that?
You can build patience and resilience by adopting consistently mindfulness and meditation.
Daniel Goleman is an emotional intelligence expert who explains how the two relate to each other:
“Mindfulness refers to that move where you notice your mind wandered. With mindfulness, you monitor whatever goes on within the mind. Meditation means the whole class of ways to train attention, mindfulness among them”.
Living in the present is very much to do with attention. Common states of attention include:
- Scattered – when your attention is scattered with interruptions, unfinished tasks, and distractions.
- Captured – when your attention is captured by focusing obsessively on an idea or task, oblivious to the world around you and unable to respond to emerging needs.
- Centered – when your attention is focused on a single task, but productive and efficient because you are in a state of ‘flow’.
- Open – when your attention is wide and receptive to what is happening in the moment, pausing to rest and watch the world go by, a state full of potential.
Here are 7 resources to help you master inner control in your job and career:
- What Mindfulness Is and Isn’t
- How Successful People Stay Calm
- 7 Ways Meditation Can Change Actually Change The Brain
- How to Meditate Anywhere Anytime
- Increase Your Mental Clarity in Just 15 Minutes
- Multi-Tasking Damages Your Brain and Career
- 10 Time-Tracking Apps
Manage your emotions so you deploy your best self productively for job and career fulfillment. Make mindfulness a habit through regular practice and notice the difference in your job and career.