As a leader it’s pretty normal to make critical choices on a daily basis. Ones that can effect your bottom line, the lives of the people you serve and of course the team you employ. Personally I’ve noticed a pesky habit I’ve developed. Taking things too seriously. I used to get caught over-dramatizing decisions. Playing out all the “what-ifs” and “worst case scenarios”. It made me a worried little stress ball. It also started making me sick. Here is what I learned that really helped me. Gain perspective and add levity.
Bottom line, when you gain perspective you release endorphins. These are the hormones responsible for reducing the perception of pain in the body. It also gives you a deep sense of feeling good. Some describe it as euphoric.
Exercise triggers the release of endorphins. You’ve heard or perhaps experienced first hand a “runner’s high”. It’s a totally light and supercharged feeling you get after an intense bout of exercise. It is not limited to physical activity.
So you are harping on a poor choice and beating yourself up in shame that you screwed up. Or maybe you are paralyzed in fear of making a particular move because you have convinced yourself it will be a catastrophe of epic proportions if you take action. Either way you have created a very volatile internal environment in your body. You have triggered you fight or flight mechanism. Your blood pressure, heart heart, breathing rate and blood sugar are all elevated. This heightened state of perceived emergency causes low grade inflammation in your body too. On a chronic basis this causes lots of pain and discomfort.
You are in physical and mental pain and still need to deal with your leadership decisions. Not exactly the ideal situation.
Here is how you can disarm it:
1-Give yourself a healthy dose of perspective.
First, notice what you are freaking out about. Shine a light on it. Now it’s time to pull up your “set point”.You have a certain minimum level of tolerance. A minimum threshold that you will never dip below. You are never going to be homeless. You are never going to go hungry. None of this is a big deal so why are you over-dramatizing it?At the end of your life, are you going to look back and say, “I’m so glad I worried all those years away instead of living and having fun!” Bottom line: none of us is getting out of this life thing alive. So why not make the best of it while we can?
The moment you gain this healthy perspective you secrete endorphins. You simply feel good. You also give your body a natural dose of pain killers. Endorphins are like your body’s own ibuprofen.
2-Now add a dose of levity.
Can you lighten up and see how amusing it all is? That need to turn things into a complete catastrophe. The moment I did, everything in my life and my health shifted for the better. What a huge relief! I was able to loosen my grip, relax and simply enjoy the process. When you lighten up and laugh you secrete a whole host of feel good chemicals including more endorphins. Then in the rush of euphoria you actually open yourself up to possibilities. Perhaps solutions and ideas that you never thought of before because you were blocked. You open yourself up to growing, learning and expanding. Boom! That is the leadership shift you need.
When you start to see how simplistic and silly it is, add a little levity, and you start to laugh, that is when you know that it has no power over you anymore.
One last question to ponder: who chooses panic over laughter?
Want more? Shoot me an email and let’s talk about your new pain free health and leadership plan. [email protected]
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