Burnout, brain fog, stress, disease, wellness, mindfulness, balance & inner calm…
Common words in conversation these days – gather a group of people and it’s likely that these subjects will raise their heads.
We are hearing it more and more; work smarter not harder, sleep more, drink water, eat whole foods and cut the sugar… simple right? I’ve tried it, my business partner is doing it, but HELL NO it’s not straightforward!
So I decided to partake in Arianna Huffington’s Thrive programme in Melbourne recently. I admire Arianna’s story and enjoyed her book, so I thought to gather with a group of like-minded people could do me the world of good. Time to refresh on all that I know and stop making excuses.
Here are some of the little gems I picked up to share with you:
- Sleep is THE one single thing you can do for your well-being. It’s the true measure of productivity. If you are getting under 8 hours, you are damaging your health. Start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier and increase incrementally. I can do this! We can improve decision making, situational awareness, memory and communication by 20- 50% simply by prioritising sleep.
- A 30 second hug releases the same amount of dopamine to the brain equivalent to having sex! Bring that on! Apologies to all my friends – our hugs just got longer…
- Those who meditate have a 25% better mortality rate. That’s incredible! Simple mindfulness and breathing even without guided meditation apps and music can make a huge difference. I’m doing it – so you can too. Alarmingly this was the one thing that listening from the group discussion, most people needed to work on. These points stimulated intense discussion in our office recently. Cries of ‘but I can’t switch off’ and ‘my mind just races’ were bandied about the room. Sound familiar? Recent studies of neuroplasticity tell us that in fact, we can re-wire our brain. Quoting Steve Jobs “If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there is more room to hear the subtle things- that’s when you start to see things more clearly.’
- Tablets and mobiles out of the bedroom at night was a hot topic! You see, probably like you, my mobile is my alarm. And yes, I think of that urgent email reply coming in- that, of course, can wait until morning, but the 2am check just has to happen! What was pointed out, is that if my mobile was not by my bed, my subconscious would not be directing my mind to check on that message. Therefore I would be getting deeper REM sleep patterns and a more productive sleep!
- Sitting is the new smoking. We’re largely at desk jobs. Add as many standing/walking stints into your day as you can – stand up to speak on the phone, stretch & move and operate at a standing desk, if possible.
- Gratitude and giving do as much for you as your recipient. Giving to a charity has the same effect on our brain equivalent as doubling income. I’ve long said ‘give and you will get back twice as much’ – true as far as Arianna is concerned.
Taking a day out of my office to remind myself of self-care and the choices I make have been time well spent! I’m more mindful of the effects on others when I go into ‘overdrive’, more productive and focused from adopting these very simple techniques, and truly grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been able to harness and wiser for the experiences life has pushed in front of me. It’s true – the best project you can work on is yourself.
Exploring my mind can be daunting! But imagination and creativity are what keep me on my toes (or head!).
Success is not the result of the time we put in at work; it’s all about the quality of time we put in. I believe that workplace flexibility is one of the keys to success.
If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world and can conquer anything.
Until next time,