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Did you know mental agitations are caused when the mind is thinking about past worries and future stresses? Thoughts of the past and future disturb the mind’s ability to focus on the present. When the mind is not focussed on the present task at hand, productivity declines – procrastination, anxiety, lack of ability to think effectively – are just some of the symptoms of an oscillating mind.
Stress can be defined as focussing too much on the result of an action. Having an end goal to direct your actions to is important, but too much focus on this end goal can impede the efficiency of your activities. Often we are so focused on obtaining the end result we do not allow ourselves much energy on the work needed to be successful and as a result, jeopardize our chances. The mind needs to be trained to focus on the present to act efficiently.
Here are some tips to combat stress and train the mind to concentrate on the present:
- BREATHE – by doing simple breathing exercises, the mind is focussed on a single activity, providing temporary relief from anxiety and agitation. Inhale for 4-5 seconds, hold the breath for 4-5 seconds and exhale for 4-5 seconds. Repeat this exercise a couple of times, whenever needed.
- EXERCISE – simple yet effective. When the body is in a state of all-consuming activity, physical exhaustion tire and distract the mind from worries. Running, playing sport, yoga or going for a walk are great activities to distract oneself from daily stress.
- QUESTION THE SOURCE OF STRESS – The next time you are stressed, take a few minutes out of your day to ask yourself ‘What is stressing me out?’ Start working backwards from your answer and ask yourself ‘Why’? You will end up coming to the origin of the problem – whether that be time management problems, a lack of confidence at work, conflicting interests with a co-worker, etc. Once you have the origin of the problem you can work out a solution. The more the mind tries to reason and question emotions, the less you will feel overwhelmed. Be careful to not reason within a circle and talk it over with a coworker or a mental health coach if this helps.
- BE ORGANISED – When you have reached a relative state of calm, the next step is to immerse oneself in productive action. Set out your goals for the month, week and day and give yourself appropriate deadlines and factor in breaks. Setting a plan for each day means there is less space to deviate and procrastinate and serves as a tool to keep yourself in check.
- REALISE YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE RESULT – If you stick to your plan and perform the work to the best of your ability (this time with a clear mind), you will increase the chances of attaining a successful result but ultimately the result is out of our hands. Nothing in life is ever guaranteed and there are bumps in the road that sometimes cannot be foreseen. However true joy and happiness lie in action itself and it is only through acting we decrease mental agitation.
For more tips on success and mental health contact our SUMO Life coaches and subscribe for upcoming seminars on life advice.