There are a number of daily stressors in my life, similar to many of you. Finances, safety of children, career, in-laws; (kidding, sort of). Most carry these daily stressors into the workplace; some masking them better than others. Our brain will focus on whatever we allow it to and usually spend more time in the space of worry, anxiety, and fear than necessary. Over time, what should be perceived as a little stressor turns into a big stressor resulting, over-time of course, in chronic stress.
Every individual’s brain/body system is similar to a battery with three cables: negative, positive and ground. A person has the ability to start every day with a battery fully charged at 100%. There are several things that can improve our chance of starting the day at a 100%… we call these Foundational Drivers. The Foundational Drivers to Performance include: sleep, exercise, nutrition and mindfulness. Throughout the day your brain and body, the battery, will naturally begin to drain and are constantly being influenced by the negative and positive grounds. The positive ground, in this analogy, is our mind, and brain body system and the negative ground is the external stimulus and noise of everyday life.
One of the most significant drivers of overall performance and the ability to sustain it throughout a day is mindfulness, (the ground on the battery). Mindfulness is a state of being, a way of moving through life and can be enhanced. Improving your ability to be mindful continues to be a positive and effective way to improve happiness in both one’s personal and professional life.
Noise and stimulus will continue to impact us and our response to these will determine our ability to maintain focus, conserve energy, and become an optimal performer. When life hits us square in the face, and it does all day every day, we have a choice in how we react or respond. Take pause, get in touch with the stimulus, seek to understand its impact by slowing down, being mindful and then respond. I love how Eckart Tolle relates noise as emotions in this quote, “Boredom, anger, sadness or fear are not “yours” not personal. They are conditions of the mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.”
We can manage the noise and stimulus and choose to react increasing the probability of more stress, or choose to engage the ground on our battery, slowing down our thinking leading to a more ‘mindful’ response.