Stress, It’s a part of all professional lives, at one point or another. No matter how much you love your job, you’re going to come across a time where you are facing down a deadline with a blank mind or staring at your computer with absolutely no focus. Such a moment is annoying, frustrating and builds up your levels of stress. One day like this is no big deal, but after several, it can get to a point where the stress and negative mindset you carry as a result of it has a negative impact on your ability to work properly which then feeds into your stress and your scattered thinking and the whole cycle continues.
If bad thoughts have a negative impact on our ability to work properly, it only follows that good thoughts will have a positive effect. So the next time you start feeling yourself being belaboured by stress and feelings of being overwhelmed, try re-training your brain to a more positive light which in turn will make you more productive. There are five steps to follow: Recognize, Assess, Shake-Off, Mantra and re-center.
The first and very important step is to recognize the thoughts that are moving through your head. It takes some practice, and the ability to calm down a little, but the cause of stress for many is the fact that they have given up control of their own minds-literally losing it! This may make you think that you have no ability to control your thoughts, but at this point, all you want to do is recognize them. What are you thinking and how are these thoughts impacting you? If it only took one thought to send you into a sneaky hate spiral, then it follows that good thoughts will help pull you out again.
Once you catch your thoughts, take a look at them to see how they benefit you or how they are proving to be a problem to you. Take a look at how at least one negative thought impacts you and seriously consider what you are thinking. A common frustration thread is ‘I will never get this done; I hate my life.’ But really, are you never going to get that project done? Do you really hate your life? Of course you’ll get it done and you don’t hate your life! When you find yourself thinking things like that, change the conversation and consider the great things in your life.
Once you’ve gotten rid of that negative thought, then you have a chance at a reprieve and a rest and that will help you improve your mental well being and continue shaking off negative thoughts. The moments of relaxation with lengthen and grow in number, thus decreasing your negative thoughts and improving productivity. Feels good, doesn’t it?
A mantra is a way to calm your mind and still your thoughts by repeating a phrase to yourself that is calming. Mantras have long been used as a part of mental reconditioning and meditation for thousands of years and it can definitely work for you! Think of something that reminds you of what you love and why you want to keep working on your goals while acknowledging what you’ve already done. It doesn’t have to be a long mantra, just something that will keep your mind on the prize, so to speak.
Re-centering is the last stage of managing your stress and improving productivity. The idea here is to find your balance again and find your focus. Get rid of the bad thoughts, repeat your mantra, take a moment to rest and then dive back into your work. Re-centering takes some effort, but with the good thoughts coming from the other four steps, it should be a lot easier than it would have been if you tried going from angry to calm in a split second.
These five steps won’t work right away, but if you use them regularly and consistently, you will find that you are less stressed, less angry and more productive and happier at work. This then feeds into your stress busting machine, making you less stressful and angry. Good things can feed into each other just as surely as the bad! Being able to calm your thoughts and focus properly is the first step towards become a happier and more professional worker which will help in many other aspects of your life. After all, these steps are just as useful for dealing with relationship problems, friendship issues and personal hobbies. Good luck!
Lena Paul is a medical school graduate who is an enthusiastic blogger and holds an editorial position in Prepgenie a test prep provider that offers exam preparation courses for UKCAT, GAMSAT, PCAT and UMAT, LNAT .