It's no joke that work is getting more intense these days (there's research to prove it), so given what's happening in our workplaces, what can we do to protect our wellbeing, to find peace in our hectic work days?
This blog is about dispelling the major myth around feeling peaceful at work and giving you a range of ways to find peace in your day. I want you to be able to pick the ones that feel good to you and give them a whirl (extra points for picking what you resist but you know would work).
Let's do it!
The Number one work-wellbeing myth:
- That's okay for other people but MY situation is different. I can't feel peaceful at work for x, y and z reasons.
e.g. 'My work is so stressful', 'My work is so high pressure', 'I'm the head of my organisation', 'I am the only one (sole business owners, academics)', 'I am doing the work of several people', 'I need to feel stressed to perform'...
If you have bought into this myth, you need to action these tips even more!
Because guess what... no matter what your job or circumstance, you can feel more peaceful at work. This choice (as well as the choices to stay in your work, to ask for more resources, to understand that stress doesn't equal peak performance) is critical not only to your work but to your HEALTH and the quality of your relationships and your life.
TIP #1 Watch your thoughts and course correct.
One of the best things you can do to feel more peaceful at work is to stop telling yourself - and believing - that you don't have enough time, that you can't cope, that you aren't good enough or that 'this is a disaster'.
These thoughts, when believed, will set off your stress hormones and put you into survival brain. If you want to be wired and think like a lizard, go ahead. If you'd rather have the use of the most critical parts of your brain and get your work done, problem solve and triumph, reign that shit in!
Soothing words like: "[Insert your name], everything will get done, take a minute of deep breaths, do the next task necessary, it's all good" will make a world of difference.
Think this is B.S? Try it for yourself!
My favourite is "Lara, there is plenty of time" (BTW I just heard of research that says talking to yourself in the third person is more effective than saying "I").
TIP #2 Look after your precious self!
Don't roll your eyes or say "I know, I know" and then not act on this information. Everything in life is harder and more stressful when you are hungry, tired and haven't moved your body all day.
Eat something that sustains you, go to bed a smidgen earlier, walk or stand whenever possible (standing desks and walking meetings rock).
Look after yourself! Feel the benefits immediately.
More focus, more calm, more energy, more joy.
Tip #3 Set boundaries - physical, psychological and energetic
We know that boundaries are best when they are fluid and flexible, so you can let in what serves you and keep out what harms or depletes you.
So, three boundary types that will increase your peace a lot are:
Give yourself permission to end conversations, move away from people, get out of the office for a walk or step wayyy back from the space invader.
My favourite question - I think it's Byron Katie that asks "Whose business is it?" More importantly, is this YOUR business?
Set clear boundaries around what is your business and what is not your business.
Keep in your own head. You do not know what others are thinking. It is irrelevant at this point to imagine. Ask if need be but don't believe you're telepathic!
We all know that feeling of someone coming into work radiating gross energy. For people that are sensitive to it (like moi) it can be really distracting, off-putting and feel like it clings to you or the air.
I like to invoke a simple meditation where I ask my idea of a higher energy, grounded in love and peace (I use the word God) to go before me, beside me, above me, below me and for there to be nothing but God through me. I imagine a kind of force field or boundary that extends in every direction and a sieve running through me to take out any gross energy, leaving only beautiful, pure energy within me.
My friend Jessie taught me this and it has served me in even the most difficult of circumstances.
The other exercise I love that is really effective is to imagine all the gross energy being transformed into love, light and peaceful energy. I believe this actually does change the energy. It certainly changes it for me.
TIP #4 Breathe and Meditate
You knew this was coming! Take one to a million minutes and deep breathe. It will change your life.
Finding peace in the busyness of life is absolutely essential and you can do it. Which tip are you going to try out?
Schedule it into your day and work it!
P.S. Did you see that I've made a free video series to help you make your next career move with confidence? Five Steps to Career Clarity will come straight to your email, complete with new tools and insights for you. Just sign up in the form below - you can also click below to see yours truly introducing the series!