Well-Being in a Crisis
It would be great if all our businesses ran like finely tuned German machines. They don’t. Leading them are people and people have emotions.
A pandemic is a roller coaster that we are forced to ride. It’s unknown, unpredictable and uncertain. The uncertainty gives rise to fear and fear distorts and disrupts our thinking and our thoughts.
Managing your well-being is vital and here are some thoughts that will help you navigate the unknown.
When You’re Not Managing
When you are not enjoying the impact your emotions are having on you, little things become big things, and quickly.
Starting to worry can lead to catastrophizing. Feeling down or sad can fast track you into a dark depression. Something minor that annoys you can turn into a raging fire.
You are not in control of your emotions and that nasty vulcher, sitting high on the telegraph pole, is ready to swoop and bite hard when you are at your most vulnerable.
This is a time to recognise that you are losing control.
But, with a little reflection, learning and practice, you can escape the vulchers.
Two Dangerous Words
Two words, when put together, are capable of launching nuclear reactions in your head. These two words, once combined in a low mood, are potentially explosive. Those words are ‘What’ and if’. It is no different to jumping on a waterpark slide and starting the drop. Once you begin, it is going to be very hard to stop. But if you recognise that there is ‘no answer’ to what if, then you can learn to catch and stop that thought before it leads to a thought you will now believe to be true.
I Trust You
In life, trust is central to every judgement we make. It is true in business, banking, work, colleagues, friends and even family. Generally, our intuition, combined with our experience, does not let us down. However, when we apply this logic to emotional thoughts, logic is gone.
Resilient people realise they should not take every thought that comes into their head as a fact or as true.
If you do believe everything you think is true then it won’t be long before you will be in a constant and exhausted state of anxiety.
Trust your logical thoughts. Beware of believing you can trust every thought.
Self Help Books and Emotions
A great promise and often of poor value. Yes, they will teach you things but once your thoughts get out of control, you rarely find yourself reaching for or recalling the easy logic that made sense when you were calm. Your thoughts are out of control and they will consume you to the point that you will not see beyond them. You are in their grip.
But emotions are normal, natural and signals. Take a really happy party full of laughter – emotions. A movie you cry at even though it is fiction – emotions. A passionate football match – emotions.
Emotions separate us from the animal kingdom and define us as human. Being sad is a response to loss. Being angry is a response to injustice. Fear is a response to some form of conditioning.
Emotions are not the problem. They are part of being human. They are natural and often wonderful.
There’s something quite cool about saying “I go with the flow” but it is also not true. It could mean “I don’t want an argument” or it might mean you have no ideas. But it is not really real. Being easy going can be great like, for example, in rush hour traffic. Great to when a social group overflows with dominant characters fighting for control. But being easy going can also be a form of abdication. It stops you leading. It stops you driving something and, inevitably, it is some form of compromise about who you are. If you constantly give up the right to have an opinion, be a follower then you will be forever led. That means you are never really being yourself and that can lead to a loss of self-belief.
Yes, be easy going and pick your moments. But, be yourself, especially when that means ‘No’ or ‘I don’t want to’