Protect Your Peace
Protect Your Peace
Last year, my husband Jay and I went to Antigua for the first vacation we have had in years. Each day, we ate breakfast at the same restaurant, and each day, we were seated by Keitha. Keitha always had a smile on her face and an infectious spirit.
One morning, another guest was rude to Keitha. She looked at him, smiled, and politely excused herself. Later when she walked by I said, “Keitha, how do you stay so upbeat and positive? Especially when someone treats you poorly.” Keitha held my hands, looked into my eyes, and said, “Child, you must protect your peace.”
Peace is something that seems to be in short supply these days, and there are so many things wearing down our physical and psychological immune system.
Keitha held my hands, looked into my eyes, and said, “Child, you must protect your peace.”
Practicing Mind Over Moment is a way to break out of the negativity spiral, become aware of what is driving your emotional responses, and take back control.
Here are 3 ways to practice Mind Over Moment, build resilience, and protect your peace:
#1 – Run Your Day
Any time you are reacting, you are subconsciously relinquishing control. When this happens, you lose the ability to think logically or handle a situation calmly. This sidetracks you from your goals and makes you less resilient. Strong negative emotional reactions such as anger, fear, and frustration can damage your health when they become how you habitually react. They also disrupt your productivity and creativity and can harm your relationships.
Where in your life are you most reactive? Is it at home? Work? With a specific issue or person? This isn’t about overhauling everything in your life. Practice becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings in the moment so that you can steer yourself toward better responses and outcomes. When you have strong emotional reactions, simply observe what you feel and where in your body you feel it. This re-engages your logical brain and puts you back in control.
#2 – Quiet Your Mind
Our brain is constantly changing and adapting based on the input we give it, and what we focus on grows. If you’re glued to social media and the news for hours at a time, you are essentially training your brain to increase negative emotions. What are you consuming and focusing on to offset all of the negative? What can you read, listen to, or watch to generate positive emotions? If your mind feels constantly overwhelmed by the competing demands you are managing, what are you doing to quiet it?
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential, notes that the first and last 30 minutes of the day are the times when you are most vulnerable to having your attention hijacked. During these times, your brain is not as easily able to prioritize information or place it into a greater context. When it comes to taking care of yourself, take the advice you would give your kids or your friends. It may be exercise, meditation, regular time with a friend or a pet, taking time to read for fun, or dancing around in your underwear while jamming out to music. Take care of your most valuable resource – you.
#3 – Create Your Happiness
Sometimes it is easier said than done when you’re in the middle of it, but choosing optimism means you are deliberate about the way you interpret the adversity in your life. Every situation, especially the difficult ones, provides an opportunity to challenge our self-defeating, negative thoughts. And this isn’t just fluff. Scientific research has proven that when you look at life through a lens of positivity, you are more likely to enjoy better mental and physical health. Although humans may be hard-wired to search for danger and identify obstacles, developing the capacity to search for the good stuff is also a fundamental skill we can add to our toolkit to thrive at work and at home. Don’t neglect what brings you joy—make it a ritual and part of your resilience-building routine.
Far too many of us are struggling with very real concerns: our health, the health of our loved ones, our finances, the economy, our kids’ education—there’s no shortage of stress and worry to occupy our every waking moment. It is in times like this that these strategies are needed more than ever. They are a lifeline.
Whether you are navigating a pandemic or life in general, my hope is that Mind Over Moment will help make that journey a little easier. Be intentional about building skills and developing habits that support your resilience and emotional well-being.
Stay brave and resilient,
Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.
Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph.