Healthy reps: The Mental Reboot

Edition: January 2013 - Vol 21 Number 01
Article#: 4169
Author: Lisa Earle McLeod

We all have moments of anxiety, frustration, and angst. But did you ever notice that all those situations have one thing in common? You. Whether youíre wrapped around the axle floundering on a work project or stewing about a personal problem, the dominant element in most frustrations is you and your thoughts.

Itís easy to think that itís other people who are driving you crazy, but in reality, itís your reaction to other people that causes the angst. Sometimes we donít even need other people. We can work ourselves up into a lather over our own messes.

For example, I spent the better part of last week struggling to complete the copy for our new website. Actually, the word struggle implies a bit more effort than I was applying. A more accurate statement would be I alternated between procrastinating and floundering, growing more frustrated with myself and my self-imposed deadline by the minute.

If youíre feeling frustrated with a situation, sometimes itís better to put it aside. When you interrupt your pattern of behavior or your pattern of thinking, it gives you the chance to disengage so that you can come back to the issue with fresh eyes.

Here are five ways to help you get over yourself and reset your brain:

Watch a Ted Talk. Thereís a great AA expression ďYour best thinking got you here.Ē Watching an inspiring Ted talk gives you access to some of the best thinking in the world, which is exactly what you need to counteract your own not so helpful thoughts. Full disclosure Ė itís 14 minutes, but you usually feel better after the first five. It doesnít have to be anything related to your problem.

Do some really hard sweaty exercise. Something so hard you canít think about anything else but how miserable you are. It will give you a serotonin boost which will help ignite more creative thoughts when you return to whatever it was that sent you running. When I do Bikram Yoga in a hot room, I turn into such a sweaty mess, I not only forget my problems, I forget my name.

Listen to music from high school. Ideally in the car with the windows rolled down. Classical music may calm you, but high school music will make you feel invincible. Whether itís AC/DC, the Beetles or early Madonna, sing it at the top of your lungs, and youíll be ready to take on the world. ABBA never fails to remind me that Iím ďYoung and sweet only 17, the Danciní Queen.Ē

Think about how good youíve got it. No matter what is going on with you, it probably pales in comparison to someone elseís problems. Thinking about your neighbor who doesnít have a job or the guy who got stuck in the rocks and had to cut off his own arm will remind you that you still have it pretty good.

Practice gratitude. If you really want to get over yourself once and for all, practice daily (or hourly) gratitude. Make a list of all the things youíre thankful for and put it on your bulletin board or text it to yourself and read it whenever you feel angst.

Push the reset on your brain. Your life thanks you.

Lisa Earle McLeod is a sales leadership consultant. Companies like Apple, Kimberly-Clark and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales forces. Sheís the author of several books including Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do Work That Makes You Proud, a Wiley publication. She has appeared on The Today Show, and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. She provides executive coaching sessions, strategy workshops, and keynote speeches.