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.
Every day we are influenced by the media and risk losing perspective. How we view situations and our ability to change our views impacts our results. Without wanting in any way to minimise the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, we want to explore how a consistent daily negative feed of news can impact our thoughts, our actions (or behaviours) and our outcomes.
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.
Were the writers of the song ‘Smile’ right when they invited us to ‘smile though your heart is aching’? From a science-based perspective the jury is still debating whether faking a smile when you’re feeling down actually changes your mood, but what science is agreed upon is that, according to the poem below, smiling IS infectious, which is rather appropriate for these times! And we have our brains to thank for that.
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.
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.
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 […]
Welcome to the final part of our series on self-care. If you missed part 1 on Quality Sleep, click here and if you missed part 2 on Brain-friendly Nutrition, click here. Self-care forms an intrinsic part of self-leadership, resilience and ultimately, high performance. Just like the oxygen mask analogy on a plane, we can’t look after others until we look […]
We’re all aware of the need for regular exercise and good nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but possibly the most important leg of this three-legged stool is quality sleep, and sadly, it’s the one most often neglected. In this first of a three-part series on self-care, we want to share with you some of the […]
There have been some interesting conversations in our household since the release of the Banking Royal Commission report and subsequent recommendations, and the recurring theme is that of justice, fairness and equality. This post isn’t about what we think of the recommendations but rather an insight into how people feel, react and respond when fairness […]
The 21st century leader is you and I, is anyone who belongs to an organisation and has a deep seated desire to be a part of its success. The 21st century leader is a Neuroleader, one who wants to understand why she does what she does, what’s happening in the brain to create this and, moreover, what strategies exist to change what’s not working for them.
Being a resilient leader starts with applying the oxygen mask analogy that before we can help others we need to look after ourselves. Resilient people tend to be more positive, have flexibility in thinking, are able to get their emotions under control quickly and have developed the mental agility to naturally focus on the benefits of a change.
Let me start by getting you thinking with a little puzzle. A bat and ball together cost $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? Did you arrive at 10c? Then you’re a fast thinker. Answer to the puzzle at the end of this article. If only I […]
The typical manager spends 30-50% of his or her time dealing with workplace conflict (IML Australia). This equates to around 20 hours a week (and we don’t know if it’s being handled well or not), so if conflict is inevitable, what can we do to understand it better and make it as productive as possible? […]
Our brain is like Velcro for bad news and Teflon for good. From evolution, we are programmed to default to the negative and we need to be mindful of this tendency and choose to balance the mix. We can do so by consciously savouring positive experiences and seeking out feelgood stories and films which help us to produce dopamine and serotonin, our happy hormones.
When we are asked by someone if we would like feedback, our brains default to the negative and assume it’s going to be critical (the real translation of ‘constructive’). Our defence mechanisms kick into action and our limbic emotional brain presumes the worst leaving us in no position to objectively evaluate and process what is being said.
This is an article I wrote for www.thecreativepenn.com Every day we hear of new strategies for writing faster or book marketing, we learn of a new tool that could help our author business, or we listen to a podcast that gives us more ideas. The To Do list doesn’t ever get shorter, and the world […]
When we listen to stories we are transported, not just because we are in a different state of brainwave, but because we are using a different brain network called the default narrative network which takes us into mind wandering, imagination and possibility. We each interpret the story in our own unique way and therefore own it and its message.