Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, the influence of emotions in our decision making process is far greater than most people would care to admit. Regardless of how analytical we think we may be, the latest neuroscience research is confirming how our emotions are designed to appraise, summarise and inform most of our actions. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to develop and sustain a strong and resilient emotional foundation that will allow us to make great decisions in our personal or professional lives.
There are plenty of techniques that we can use to either contain negative emotions or elicit positive ones, including everything from “power posing” (adopting body postures associated with dominance and power to increase your confidence) to daily self-affirmations to stay emotionally on track.
Most of these quick fixes do the job but fall short of helping to build a solid emotional foundation that could help us navigate the tricky terrain of interacting with people and their states of mind, whatever those may be. The most powerful tools to develop a healthy and useful emotional core which will enable us to make great choices and face challenges with a higher degree of resilience and resolve, is through the power of relationships and the daily practice of silent meditation.
By spending quality time with people that give us the experience of love, fun, appreciation and/or respect, our mind-body system will trigger positive physical and psychological changes. The evidence is conclusive: our immune system is strengthened, we get a boost of energy, we reduce our stress and emotionally we experience confidence & clarity. Furthermore, sharing mindful moments with people we love, like or respect will make us feel grounded, energised, centred, accepting and expansive. Decision making in this frame of mind has a better chance of being optimal.
By practicing silent mediation every morning as soon as we wake up and right after work, we will be clearing emotional toxins from our mind. Just like when you workout and your body gets rid of physical toxins, mediation accomplishes the same when it comes to your emotional health. If you have been experiencing anger, impatience, guilt, anxiety, depression, etc., bear in mind that if you don’t clear these emotions out of your system, they will stick around and negatively inform most of your decisions, whether you are writing a business plan or giving feedback to a colleague.
– Schedule activities with friends or loved ones that you know you will look forward to.
– When you are spending time with people you care and appreciate, make it a rule not to engage with your mobile device – give them your full and undivided attention.
– Start your day and close your working day by doing a silent meditation for 10 minutes. Choose a meditation technique that you like. My meditation of choice involves the use of a mantra, but you can use other anchors like your breath for instance.
– Every day, send 2 messages to 2 different people that you love, like, care or respect. Give these people what human beings desire most: attention, affection and appreciation.