My lip quivered.
It was subtle and I don’t think I fully registered the feeling until the third or fourth time.
I was having a conversation with a coworker and I felt this rush of anxiety overcome me. At first I just ignore it, but once it came back for the fourth or fifth time I took notice.
It’s been a busy week and I had a big presentation tomorrow, but I hadn’t really thought about this until now. My lip was trying to alert me and I was finally listening.
I was feeling stressed out and I needed to listen to what was really going on inside of me.
I finished my conversation with my coworker and instead of going back to work I went outside. I needed to clear my head. It was then I realized I needed to improve my last slide. It was worrying me because it didn’t have the impact that the last slide should have.
I went back to my desk and found a better image and improved the content to be more succinct and engagin.
My body was telling me that something was off. Our muscles catch all our thoughts and if we time in we can improve our work, relationships, and our mindset.
It took me many years of trial and error to figure out how my struggles would show in my body. I know when I’m stressed when my neck and shoulders are tight. I know when I’m working too hard because my back hurts.
You may have situations that trigger you to tense up too. That’s why it’s so important to take time to notice these things and become more aware of them. You can cut off a lot of pain and anguish with a little self-awareness. You can react before they become too painful
How do you practice being a little more self-aware so you can grow from a situation?
It’s this daily practice that will help you at work and at home or both in this time of Covid. You can do this by scheduling intentional breaks in the morning and afternoon. Try to do it at the same time every day. You want your mind and body to get into the habit. Block of 15 minutes in the morning, maybe 10:15am to 10:30am and 3:15pm to 3:30pm to check in with yourself. Set an alarm on your phone. If you need a little more flexibility. Do it right before lunch and at the end of the day. The idea is to just build up this routine.
When you do this start by looking for where you are storing tension in your body and then ask yourself…
“What could I use to help myself in the next 15 minutes?”
Maybe it’s taking a walk, quick stretch or getting a glass of water. Whatever it is you have this time to check in with yourself and build your inner-awareness.
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* Image courtesy of Thomas Rey.