Thursday, October 1, 2009

Have you talked to yourself today?

Do you check in with yourself?

That question may make you pause in confusion. What does it mean, check in with yourself? The concept here is so simple that it often gets completely ignored, and you end up getting lost in the jumble of daily stress factors. Ask yourself when the last time was that you gave yourself as much undivided attention as you give to all the endless demands on your time. Do you stop, even momentarily, to consciously think about how you’re feeling at points throughout the day?

No day is without frustrations, or stress, but ignoring those reactive emotions can actually cause the whole day to wind into a needlessly tangled ball of yarn. The focus required at the end of the day to then untangle the whole mess becomes too time consuming and gets ignored once again. You know the inevitable outcome – the ball of yarn grows with each new day, getting more tangled, and that ball of yarn represents your emotional and physical health. Your vital reactions and your emotional health, it could be posited, are precursors to your ability to perform at an efficient pace with every demand surrounding you.

If you are not healthy on a personal emotional level and clearly in touch with how YOU feel on a daily basis, how then, are you capable of giving your energy to your job, your family, friends and everything else that demands your attention? So, try it. When you reach the inevitable moments in the day where something gets off balance, take a moment to stop and identify what you are really feeling.

You might be surprised at the answer you get if you’re patient for a few moments. Perhaps the irritation you feel about that stack of folders on your desk is actually rooted in the fact that the jumble itself bothers you, and taking five minutes to neaten your desktop makes a huge difference. That nagging daily headache, if you think for five minutes, might indicate that you’ve been wearing shoes that need to be replaced because the heels are worn down and cause your spine to get out of alignment. Maybe you’re sitting in an office with no windows – a very common thing in the workplace – and you haven’t seen the sun, breathed fresh air or caught a glimpse of anything green and growing.

That five minute personal check-in with yourself can prompt you to make myriad small changes that will dramatically affect your overall sense of well being. This will, in turn, help you to be the best version of yourself possible that day. You have to commit to the process and be a bit of a detective in the beginning. With practice, this can become an intrinsic part of your success at work, home and everywhere else because you are taking time for yourself first, and creating balance. Give it a try...start talking to yourself!

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