We’re starting to hear conversations about ‘getting back to normal’ and ‘returning to the old ways’. This is a normal response to change. Our brains want the certainty of returning to what we know, but we need to reset our expectations. Some things will be different, some will stay the same. One thing that we can guarantee is that we will all be adjusting to the new ‘normal’ and this itself will keep evolving.
Are you noticing yourself getting more distracted? Working from home, you might be aware that you are making more trips to the fridge, spending more time on social media or staring aimlessly out of the window. You are not alone! Our brains are distraction finding machines and that’s one of the reasons why sitting for hours in a zoom call can be so hard – we are trying to focus our attention and even more importantly maybe, appear as if we are focusing intently. It also means we are working against our biology as our brains are designed to wander (the mind wandering part of our brain is called the default network).
It has been very moving to see people beginning to go back to some parts of the lives they once knew and sharing their excitement with us via our screens. One little boy in Italy after weeks of lockdown couldn’t contain his happiness at going back to the park to feed the ducks. Simple pleasures we took for granted are now being savoured as we show gratitude for the return of what we had lost.
Our need for connection is being challenged more than ever before – it is critical for us human beings to stay connected with and belong to, our tribe.
When we see a social media post starting with ‘Good morning inmates’ we know that we are not alone in our sense of frustration with the way our daily lives have changed so dramatically in a few short weeks. Rationally we accept that the changes are needed to stop the spread of this virus, but emotionally we are being triggered by a lack of certainty (‘the rules keep changing, when will the restrictions end?’) and a growing sense of loss of control and autonomy.
Our willpower is being tested to the hilt whilst we’re in ‘lockdown’ resulting in the temptation to raid the fridge and wine cellar (if you have one!) a little too often. Learn how to change habits and eat for resilience in this blog.
One of the critical skills of resilience lies between our ears, learning how to calm our instinctual emotional reactions and turn them into considered responses.
As Australia does what it needs to do to contain this pandemic, we are being told to self-isolate. A friend posted yesterday that self-isolating does NOT mean self-isolation and she couldn’t have said a truer word.
An understanding as to how our brains are behaving when we rush to the supermarket to buy toilet rolls when the virus we are fighting doesn’t give you diarrhoea!
As we move towards the end of another busy year with all the excitement and challenges of ‘the silly season’, it’s a good time to look to how we can manage our thinking and emotions to show up at work and home as the best version of ourselves. Being able to take a Growth rather […]
Often when I speak or run development programmes I’m asked what books I might recommend – therein lies many a possibility! Reading professional development books is my most important strategy to keep up to date and this is especially true of the field of neuroscience which is constantly updating and evolving. Below is a selection […]
Our aim with this article is to share with you our experience combined with the latest findings from neuroscience about what we can predict about behavioural responses to change and how we can plan to minimise the perceived threat to people. Whilst we aim to keep it brief we also want it to be of […]
Understanding your Brain on Stress How many of us are worrying about organising Christmas, stressing about finishing off our workloads to allow us to have a restful break,and at the same time, fretting about the state of the world and anticipating all manner of future concerns? Contrast this with Santa’s reindeer who are probably busily […]
When our core needs are not met we go into aversive or negative stress, when we go into stress we cannot think clearly, make rational decisions, deal well with setbacks, let alone thrive. Our mental health and that of those closest to us, suffers.
Gratitude underpins resilience and our life satisfaction levels (happiness). When we are faced with setbacks and disappointments, a focus on what’s going well in other parts of our work and life and being able to connect with a feeling of being thankful for that, helps get us back on an upward trajectory.
Habits habits everywhere, some good, some bad, all well engrained. From the time the alarm goes off or little people start invading your bedroom, to getting up, getting showered, getting dressed, getting breakfast – all of these daily practices can be considered habit.