Taking Charge of Your Peace-of-Mind at Work
August 28, 2018
Posted by: CPHR Manitoba
By Marianne Farag
Your peace of mind depends on you. The quality of your work day depends on how you choose to interpret and respond to what comes your way each day. Daily self-monitoring without judgment, but rather, in the spirt of continuous self- improvement and building self-awareness, helps you consciously manage your interactions in such a way as to maintain your inner wellbeing.
Fundamental to achieving and maintaining your peace of mind in the work place are recognition of two crucial realities:
- You cannot control the way others behave, but you can control how you interpret and react to how others interact with you; and
- Once you understand that you shape your experience, you are in a better position to govern your peace in the workplace.
Putting Your Peace at Risk
When you continue to allow yourself to be negatively impacted by the way in which others may interact with you at work, you put your morale, stress level, performance quality, and physical and mental health at risk. All too often our default position when confronted with disruptive behaviour is to put our time and energy into complaining about the behaviour of others, and wishing they would change so that our work environment improves.
The Root of Our Distress is Ego
A driving force in how we communicate and behave is our ego. Moreover, we quite unconsciously allow our ego to be in the driver’s seat, dictating to us how we interact, how we interpret what comes our way, and how we respond. Unconsciously, we tend to operate from a fight or flight mode - we are all too quick to want to either defend ourselves or to withdraw.
There is Another Path
When confronted with challenging personalities or individuals that you find difficult to work with, you can take control of your peace in the workplace by choosing the way in which you receive and respond to the behaviours of others. By practicing self-reflection and self-discipline strategies you can coach yourself into more conscious, self-empowering choices that support your peace in the workplace. The more you do to protect and grow your peace of mind at work, the more you reduce the risks of stress, anxiety, negative energy in the workplace, absenteeism and long term leaves.
The Ripple Effect
As you transform yourself, you transform not only your experience, but that of others as well! When you take ownership of your workday experience and increase your capacity to maintain your ego in check, and conduct yourself accordingly, you contribute to a ripple effect of establishing a new norm in conduct. Gradually, individual self-accountability for peace of mind will cascade into a workplace environment that is experienced as much healthier psychologically.
PRACTICING SELF-REFLECTION AND SELF-DISCIPLINE STRATEGIES
Some practices that you can pursue to grow your peace of mind at work include:
When you are triggered, see this as an opportunity for self-reflection instead of an immediate response. Not all situations call for an immediate response/decision. Instead of reacting in the moment, sleep on it by taking what someone says or does under advisement, as a way to give yourself the space to get to the root cause of your trigger and to consider things from a calmer state.
Reminding yourself that, “everything is not always about you”! More often than not, how someone communicates and behaves reflects on them and their issues/needs. Let that be a mantra that helps you unlearn the habit of taking things personally.
Take up the regular practice of Mindfulness/Meditation. Even if five or ten minutes in the morning, the evening, and during a lunch/coffee break are devoted to such a practice, it will, over time, re-educate the ego and build new habits within you. You’ll find that Mindfulness/Meditation can be a big help to getting your ego in a calmer, de-stressed state, and in giving you time and distance from issues in order to put things in perspective.
When you find yourself struggling to let go of incessant fixation on a situation/person that has triggered you, make a conscious effort to shift your thoughts - interrupt your thinking - to any topic, however mundane, that brings a smile to your face.
Even if (and you will!) stumble and fall into the trap of ego, don’t discount the impact of your new awareness;; so even catching yourself after the fact, is progress in that you are observing your behaviour with a new lens
Marianne Farag is an Inner-Peace Specialist at Sublimity: Pathways to Peace who works with people seeking to increase their inner-resources and resilience in order to create more peace of mind and joy in their lives. She holds a Certificate in Applied Counselling from the University of Manitoba and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University;; and has trained in meditation and Reiki. Prior to her current work, Marianne had a 28-year career with the Government of Manitoba where she held director-level positions in policy development, conducted value for money audits, and lead a comptrollership change management initiative across government departments. Marianne can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.