Instantly build your resilience at work with two easy steps
Sometimes work can be SO hectic. You’re running at a million miles an hour trying to get everything done. It feels like as you work, there is MORE work accumulating. Your to-do list keeps growing. You feel stir-crazy inside as the hurricane of responsibility destroys everything in its path.
You run to meetings, trying to check your phone and respond to pings and emails as you walk. You can’t turn off. Even when you’re in the bathroom, you’re thinking about what you need to get done. You feel the stress mounting in your throat.
You deliver a presentation that you’ve worked so hard on. Now you have to sit and wait for feedback. “I thought I wanted to slow down… but waiting is making me even more anxious” you think to yourself. The in-between phase of life has you wanting to pull your hair out.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I’ve been there – hustling every moment of the day. Feeling swept up in my schedule, often feeling like my feet don’t even touch the ground. And through it all, I’ve learned two fantastic and simple practices that bring balance in the midst of the chaos and make moments like this actually feel a whole lot better.
Interested in learning more? Read more for my two pieces of wisdom into how you can transform your frazzled, stressed-out state to a more collected, poised and calm version of you.
Feel more deeply
This may seem counter-intuitive, and you may mentally fight me at first on this, but bear with me…
In those moments of deep stress or anticipation, when your breath feels shallow and you swallow back concern, try to reach just a little deeper. Can you feel a little more? Can you allow yourself to truly immerse all of you into the experience?
But Raychel, isn’t it human nature to want to avoid things that don’t feel good and gravitate toward things that do? Shouldn’t stress make me feel like I want to run out of my skin and lay in bed under the covers while I wait for it to be over?
Well yes, it is human nature to feel that pull, but feeling stress is also a part of being human. Embracing the current moment, sitting into the feeling instead of pulling away, is a powerful shift in awareness. Breathing into your experience, you allow yourself to settle into your own skin. In between the jitters, you can create space. You can breathe new life in between each pulse rather than suffocating yourself while you gasp for air.
You will never be in this moment again – the current space and time compose a unit of experience that only exist in the here and now. And in time, you’ll look back on these experiences as a steppingstone that helped you to become more resilient and skilled. So, you can recognize this moment’s unique importance by breathing energy into it and looking at it through fresh eyes. What is it teaching you? What are you feeling in yourself? How does experiencing what you’re feeling right now stretch your understanding, your mind, your empathy, your ability to perceive the world around you?
Consider past moments where you’ve felt more stressed than ever before: your fourth-grade spelling test, your eighth grade final exam, your pre-prom anticipation, that time you failed and thought you’d never recover, that job you applied for and thought you’d never get…
Every single one of those moments was similar in relative stress to this current moment. The stakes felt unbearably high and stress was clouding your vision. But you got through all of that, didn’t you? And in hindsight, I think you’ll agree that all of that seemed necessary to help you get further along your path.
Bring new awareness to your situation
With the fast speed that we’re expected to operate in, it makes sense that we FEEL out of control – there is constantly too much going on, our minds our overloaded with information and the idea that you could slow down to take it all in feels impossible. But even as you rush from meeting to meeting, there are things you can do to slow yourself down in your mind and bring awareness to your human experience.
As you walk, notice how your feet feel as they step on the ground below you. Feel the energy that you emit with each step, the purpose of your stride, the strength in your legs that allow you to move forward with grace. There are many people in this world who cannot experience the joy of walking – bringing appreciation for your body’s ability to maneuver – as quickly or slowly as the moment calls for, is a simple way to add a little extra depth, meaning and self-love into your quick jolt from place to place.
In your meetings, immerse yourself in the topic as though it’s the first meeting you’ve ever been in. Pay attention like a newcomer who is just so excited to participate. Allow yourself the joy of experiencing your typical life with fresh eyes.
In certain instances, this can be really taxing on the mind. Maybe you have a lot going on and paying attention just isn’t something you feel capable of doing. Maybe the topic bores you to tears and all you feel like you can do to keep your eyes open is multi-task. Maybe it feels like a total waste of time…
But does it have to be? How did you feel on your first day of this job? Is there something you can redirect your focus to in the room that would allow you to settle more deeply into your own mind and body? Perhaps you can move your attention away from the topic and instead focus on the speaker’s subtle changes in vocal intonation as they navigate their presentation. Or if visual aesthetics feel more aligned with your brain’s natural processing, you can bring your attention to the slides that they reference – the colors and shapes, taking notice of how they strategically use pictures or formatting to stimulate thought. Or watch their stage presence and movement, taking notice of what seems to work and what falls flat on their audience. Taking notice of what you enjoy and what you might change if you were given the same opportunity to present information.
Feedback? Questions? Concerns? Drop them all in the comments below.