LIFE OR STRIFE
Live big in 6 steps - your quick resilience tool kit
Today we welcome guest blogger Wendy Chalmers Mill the UK Humanology expert.
Wendy has a unique insight and passion for personal growth, understanding the benefits of positive communication in the workplace. Her goal is to educate organisations in Humanology ensuring that workplace cultures and environments are conducive to optimal staff wellbeing. She creates a climate for vision building, acting as a catalyst for empowering others to better understand themselves and the positive influence they can make through improved Leadership and Communication. Wendy is also an author, qualified physiotherapist, NLP practitioner and mother of 3 boys. www.positive-performance.com
The technological revolution
With the increase of bankruptcies, debts, redundancies, layoffs and closures, the climate has never before been more exposed to the pace, change and pressure that now exists in our lives. The technological revolution over the last three decades has changed our lives beyond all recognition. From fitbits, PCs, smart phones, emails, laptops, facebook, instagram, snapchat, hot zones, hot spots, wifi and the world wide web the way in which we both live and work is now ever changing and unforgiving. No longer can you just switch off as we now live in a 24/7 world. No longer can we just “take 5” without a ring, a bleep a chime or some other technological alert as information wings it way toward us on the internet highway! Our “Crackberry” generation is here to stay.
In the past when technology first reared its head it was thought to be a revolutionary tool to reduce strain and aid us in progressive thinking.
“Somewhere we have lost sight that we are human beings!!”
The speed of change and technology now manage our lives and we as humans are the sufferers. Our interpersonal skills are diminishing, our “down time” reducing, our resilience is lessened and our tolerance and resilience regularly tested, our lives are becoming exposed to more and more to stressors and both our mental and physical fitness is increasing compromised.
Let us look at a day in the life of………
An important meeting is planned for first thing the following morning. On arising the following day you hopefully feel refreshed and excited ready for the challenging day ahead. Unfortunately unaware that your car was borrowed the previous night by your son, you jump in; start the engine, only to notice that you do not have enough petrol to get to work! You speed off to the nearest garage and fill up, looking at your watch, you realise you still might just be able to make the meeting on time.
Now, slightly late, you hit a little more traffic than expected which delays you more. You glance again at your watch and realise you will not be there at the start of the meeting. Pressure is mounting. Your refreshed, clear headed mood starts to turn to one of stressed irritation. On arrival at the office someone needs to speak to you about something they consider to be urgent! Your mood now constantly changing, you start to spiral downwards and as the day continues, little things become big issues. You are, for the rest of the day trying to catch up with time as your positive mood changes to one of intolerance and frustration. You start to see things only in the negative, rather than the positive frame.
“What effect does your mood have on others? Do you have a happy healthy and productive day?”
This, or similar downward daily spirals are becoming more common place at both work and home as there always seems to be more to do, with less time to do it in, as we are facilitated by the fast and faster moving technology.
“The need for self control and resilience has never been of more importance.”
Change is constant and all around us. The pace, pressure and expectation is ever increasing. Simple Tools (as below) for managing our lives have never been more urgently needed than right now.
We have choice over our thoughts
Surviving and flourishing in the pressuring environment of the new millennium calls for knowing how to respond and transform intolerance, negativity and stress effectively, into motivation and growth. Everybody experiences challenges and disappointments; it is not possible to move forward without them. It is, however, the way in which we respond to these set backs that separate the resilient people from the intolerant and stressed. Resilience is the ability to control or improve your performance when you are surrounded by adverse circumstances. The key is to harness a positive attitude and behaviour which, will in turn, energise you and the people around you to achieve and see a way forward when circumstances could potentially pull you down into “the negative spiral” as above.
Cause or Effect
Challenges that are welcomed as new opportunities allow us to grow and develop, rather than seeing changes as a threat. Individuals who can influence events and have a strong sense of self-achievement and effectiveness, as opposed to feeling that they are a victim of circumstance will thrive in todays environment. They live in the ‘cause’ side of the equation rather than in the ‘effect’. These are the people who cause positive things to happen all around them, rather than perceiving that they are always “affected” by external events they cannot control and which drag them down.
“Enthusiasm, motivation and resilience are the key to a happy, healthy life.”
Becoming more resilient: your quick and easy 6 step tool kit
(1) S.O.B – State of Being
Recognising how you feel and where you are on the SOB scale then allows you to ask the questions why and how can I move up the scale. Without the awareness nothing will change
(2) Power Pose
One of the physical cues that impacts hormones is body language. And if you understand how to improve your body language, then you can increase your testosterone, decrease your cortisol, and “magically” feel more confident , resilient and risk tolerant. This in turn reduces ill health through stress.
(3) Deep Breathing
For many of us, deep breathing seems unnatural. There are several reasons for this. For one, body image has a negative impact on respiration in our culture. A flat stomach is considered attractive, so women (and men) tend to hold in their stomach muscles. This interferes with deep breathing and gradually makes shallow “chest breathing” seem normal, which increases tension and anxiety. Shallow breathing limits the diaphragm’s range of motion. The lowest part of the lungs doesn’t get a full share of oxygenated air. That can make you feel short of breath and anxious. Deep breathing is a simple and very effective way to release tension and reduce the fight and flight response
(4) Head interference
To improve health and quality of life it is important to offload the overload of information that we now carry around in our heads. Being present and mindful has been proved to improve wellbeing.. Introduce a new step into your bedtime routine: keep an onits organiser kit next to your bed and make a point of noting down, onto individual onits, everything that is in your mind before you turn out the light. You can use the different colours to allocate your thoughts into categories that work for you such as: urgent | important | thoughts | feelings.
Laughter LOWERS blood pressure and REDUCES stress hormone levels. It is a simple way to improve health and wellbeing
(6) Step back, get perspective
Take a break, go traveling or do something new. Being away from the content of your everyday life helps you get out of the rut and gives you space to clear your mind. New faces and fresh experiences do wonders for gaining perspective. Take time to drop in, reflect and enjoy yourself. Step back and hear see and feel Life.
How would you use onits to gain balance in your life and become more resilient? Do you struggle to create space to be a human BEing, find you relate more to Strife than Life, and could have benefited from better organisation or do you live in a state of zen and always able to appreciate the beauty of the world around you?
We’d love to hear how you ensure you achieve the right level of resilience for your life.
Leave your comments below.