There is a Cherokee proverb depicting a wise man telling his grandson about a battle between two wolves inside him: One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, doubt, greed, and false pride. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, humility, kindness, empathy, and forgiveness.
The grandson thinks about this concept and then asks his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?". The old Cherokee simply replies, "The one you feed.".
MAU Workforce Solution's goal is to make lives better, and we know it has been a trying year. Use these steps below to achieve mindfulness to manage your stressors at work and at home for better performance.
You may have heard this proverb before, and depending on the context, the focus could've been different. Some people interpret the moral to be feed goodness or abstain from evil. But talking about relative terms, like "good" or "evil", you realize that one cannot exist without the other. Something cannot be good without something evil for comparison. For example, someone cannot recognize light if they do not know darkness.
This past year was extremely difficult for most of us. According to a Gallup poll, mental health for Americans has been lower than "any point in the last two decades" - a nine point decline in positive mental health from 2019.
On top of the pandemic-related mandates and ominous death toll, unemployment spiked to an all-time high, specifically Covid-19 related layoffs.
Low mental health, especially during these unpredictable times, is understandable. Not everyone experiences poor mental health. However, without having vacations or social experiences to look forward to, it can also feel like we are living on auto-pilot, which could lead to apathy and ultimately affect performance.
We can't always avoid the negative things, and accepting only good things is unrealistic. So, do we achieve a balance of the two? Below are three easy tips anyone can practice to achieve mindfulness and improve your performance:
1. Accept Reality
Our fight-or-flight human nature might lead us to run from the struggles or avoid the stressors. In an already isolating pandemic, it could be easy to isolate yourself and try to only feed the "good wolf". However, this is not sustainable long-term and it does not set you up for success when the pandemic is over. For tips on how to avoid burnout at work or at home, check out this from December.
You don't have to embrace a new lifestyle or live in denial. Accept the negatives of the pandemic as the world you are living in, but don't fixate on it. Seek ways to adapt what you do to suit your needs within this difficult situation. And take heart - we are all in this together.
2. Show Grace
While you're accepting reality, make it a habit to practice grace. Emotions can be charged to extremes in the current environment. Before you react, take a moment to breathe and forgive yourself, your kids, your neighbors, etc. We are all human beings trying to survive. Extend the grace you know we all need before something is blown out of proportion.
You don't need a yoga studio or have to be religious to meditate. Meditation can be as simple as sitting down and breathing deeply for two minutes, clearing your mental slate of all thoughts, negative or positive. Meditation could also be focusing for a minute on something that makes you happy, like a flower or a pet. Meditation is simply giving yourself a mental break (minutes or hours) from all the stressors and chaos in the world.
Studies have shown that mindfulness improves our ability to focus, the quality of relationships, and increases our ability to face emotional and psychological pain.
Sometimes, it takes courage to face reality. It is a conscious choice to face life head on. If you take small steps to achieve mindfulness, you will set yourself up for success when you are faced with difficult decisions.
And if you or someone you know are struggling with unemployment, visit our . MAU adds new positions for a range of skillsets and experience levels for locations across the nation on a daily basis. We are constantly striving the make lives better.