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You are out of your Mind

Last night I had the pleasure to visit the historical Royal Institution of Great Britain to attend a lecture by Dr. Daniel Siegel, a Harvard Medical Doctor who is now a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. The topic: The Human Mind – New Insights from Neuroscience.

The Royal Institution was founded in 1799 by leading British scientists of the age in an effort to build an organisation devoted to scientific education and research. I was sitting in the same space were in 1856, Michael Faraday postulated to the scientific community this “crazy” idea of harnessing the power of invisible electromagnetic fields for use in technology.

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Breaking Bad : The Power of Detaching from Work

Whilst hard at work, sometimes we forget that we are human beings. We try to squeeze hours out of the day to meet deadlines and obligations, completely ignoring certain principles of human biology that relate to performance. After all, we are biological beings, so there are certain principles that we need to observe if maximising our performance is something we aspire to.

In order to achieve high levels of performance consistently, we must not ignore a basic principle that will help us sustain our capacity to perform even in the midst of pressure: oscillation – the rhythmic movement between energy expenditure (stress) and renewal (recovery).

Experts in the field of biology recommend that our mind-body system need recovery every 90 to 120 minutes. So for instance, if you start working at 8am and don’t detach from your work until lunchtime, by 10am that morning, most likely your physical, mental and emotional capacity will start to diminish, affecting the output and quality of your work. It’s a fact of science.

I’m still shocked when I see executives scheduling working-lunches let alone the appalling working-breaks – how is that for an oxymoron! The key to high performance is breaking linearity – the failure to oscillate between energy expenditure and recovery. Rituals that prompt recovery at key points during the day will increase your levels of energy, concentration and motivation – guaranteed.

Recommendation

Remember that to maximise your level of performance, you must break linearity and promote oscillation. Consider these suggestions:

– Get away from your desk or go for a walk every 90 minutes. Don’t succumb to the temptation of taking your phone or tablet with you. Completely detach from your work and screen time for the space of 5 to 10 minutes – this will allow your mind-body system to recharge.

– Schedule your breaks as you would an important meeting. By scheduling your breaks, you are more likely to take them.

– Find a break partner. Socialising is a sure-fire way to refresh your brain, so enlist a work friend to have some tea, have a chat, or take a short walk with you.

– Meditate or do some chair yoga. Search the web for “chair yoga” and you will find very useful videos on how to relax from head to toe without getting out of your chair.

– Make the most of your lunch break. By all means, do not eat at your desk.

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The unknown reason behind why we feel stressed : Tip 4

In my previous articles, I mentioned 3 of the 4 reasons why we get stressed: Perceiving situations as stressful based on how our brain is wired, ingesting foods that rapidly raise our sugar levels and consuming stimulants (particularly caffeine). I’d like to share with you the 4th and less known reason why we experience stress: A hormone imbalance and/or deficiency.

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The impact of coffee and tea in your stress levels : tip 3

In my previous posts, I shared with you two of the 4 reasons why we experience stress. The first one relates to how we perceive situations as a result of how our neural network is configured in our brain. The second trigger relates to blood sugar dips as a result of eating food with a high content of sugar that gets rapidly released in our bloodstream. This article will focus on a third common stress trigger: the consumption of caffeine loaded stimulants such as coffee and most types of tea.

Drinking coffee and tea has become so commonplace in our day-to-day lives that we have forgotten how these seemingly innocuous beverages affect our mind-body system, specifically when it comes to stress. Let us not forget that both coffee and non-herbal teas are categorised as stimulants alongside colas, caffeinated drinks, chocolate, alcohol, energy drinks, cigarettes and caffein pills.

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Smart Eating to Minimise Stress : Tip 2

In my previous post, I shared with you one the four reasons why we experience stress, which boils down to how we perceive situations based on the configuration of our neural network in our brain. So let’s move on to the second potential stress trigger: food.

Not many people are aware of this fact, but what we eat and how we eat can raise our stress levels even without the presence of external stimuli or challenging circumstances. To understand how food has this type of influence, it is important to remember that the stress response in our mind-body system is triggered by the release of primarily two hormones: adrenaline and cortisol.

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How to Change your Perception to Minimise your Stress : Tip 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are 4 factors that can trigger the stress response in us, and in this article, we will briefly discuss the first and most common trigger : our perception (thoughts).

How we perceive situations, events or circumstances, will play a massive role in whether we will create stress for ourselves at any given point in time.  For example, the type of response to an email we have just received from a coworker heavily criticising our work in a project, will come down to how our neural network is configured in our brain.

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 César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com