Emotions are a natural part of being human. Managed skillfully, they are a powerful source of joy and energy. However, when managed unsuccessfully, they can get in the way, becoming a source of frustration, conflict, and regret. Emotional balance is a state of being aware of our emotions enough to manage them in a way that is gentle, honest, and wise. Emotional balance comes from having emotional intelligence combined with a trained mind that is able to notice and respond to emotions when they arise. It makes a significant difference in the work environment in terms of how people interact and work.
“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”— James Belasco and Ralph Stayer
The inability to accept the reality that everything changes is one of the main reasons we create pain and suffering for ourselves. Learning to embrace the reality of constant change is a powerful thing. The mindful approach to managing change outside of your control is to be aware of it, to accept it, and to learn from it.
Four steps for Mindful Change Management:
- Awareness of the change
- Awareness of resistance to change
- Observation of resistance to change
- Mindfully choose your response
Four Mindful Ways to Conserve Mental Energy
- The mind disease which is to fall into aversion and attraction
- Awareness of how we spend our time and of our energy levels during the time of the day
- Avoiding multitasking
Presence—Being present in the here and now is a simple and easy way to conserve mental resources. The mind’s tendency to succumb to attraction or aversion—to run toward things we want or away from things we don’t want—is powerful. By maintaining balance in our mind, we can further conserve energy. Awareness can help us make conscious choices about how we spend our time.
Avoid multitasking. For most people, energy levels are higher first thing in the morning, after a good night’s rest. Those energy levels tend to decrease during the day, with a low point after lunch, before increasing again later in the afternoon. Being mindful of how our energy levels fluctuate enables us to be strategic about what we do and when.
Catch the Melatonin wave. TURN OFF all screens 60 minutes before sleep. Stop perceptual activities 60 minutes before sleep.
Take mindful Performance Breaks. Let go of your activities. You don’t need to go anywhere special. Close your eyes or keep them open, whichever you prefer. Direct your full attention to your breath. For three breath cycles do the following:
- Breathe in while noticing your breath.
- Breathe out while relaxing your shoulders, neck, and arms.
- Breathe in while focusing fully on your inhale.
- Breathe out while focusing on the exhale.
- Breathe in while enhancing the clarity of your attention; breathe out while maintaining clarity.
- Let go of the exercise.
- Return to your work with renewed relaxation, focus, and clarity.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso
Research shows clear links between mindfulness training and creativity. Steps to creativity:
- Formulate the problem
- Let go of the problem
- Allow time