The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Finding Peace Using Meditation

In stressful times like these, it’s important to find ways to tune out the extra noise. Personally, I can’t leave the news on for too long. The noise we hear affects our energy and mood & I’m very mindful of what I’m hearing during my “off” hours. Background news or negativity can be draining even if we don’t participate or pay attention to it.

This week’s post is my low-key way to introduce or encourage you to consider meditation.

Unfortunately, people get discouraged by numerous myths about meditation.

“It’s too woo woo for me.”

“I can’t quiet my mind because I have too much to do.”

“I don’t know where I can do it. Don’t I need a meditation room?”

(No you don’t need a meditation room but if you’re interested in decorating a peaceful area in your home or office, I got you! Read: 4 Ways To Inspire A Peaceful Environment)

What helped me ease into a meditation practice was listening to guided meditations. I use the Calm app, which provides free and paid memberships, and it’s a perfect lifesaver when you need visual or audio imagery to help calm the eff down. I also use the sounds of waterfalls or rain as background noise when I’m writing (heads up creatives)!

Need ideas of where you can do a 5-minute meditation?

-After dropping off the kids at school (in the car or at home).

-On the train, plane or airport (especially if you’re a nervous traveller)

-During a break at work

-Driving to pick up lunch

-Waiting in the drive-through line

-In the shower or tub

-While working on deadlines at work (reports, grants, audits)

Plus, research has shown that guided meditation can help calm children and babies. A therapist told me how a client and her baby responded when she played a guided meditation during their session. She said the client’s baby stopped fussing, fell asleep during the session and the mom was obviously relieved. Try playing meditation music during your kids’ bedtimes and see if you notice a difference!

I have attached a link to a YouTube video introducing you to an easy 5-minute guided meditation. You don’t have to sit cross legged or close your eyes. Just sit comfortably, breathe slowly and focus on 5 minutes of peace. You’re welcome!!

 

Why Your Emotional Intelligence Gets In The Way Of Your Success

This post contains affiliate links.

Lately I keep hearing “emotional intelligence”, or EQ,  thrown into conversations about career and the workplace. After doing some quick research I was surprised to see how much this relates to why I may not be succeeding in my career.

Ironically, I have been spending the last few months digging into my career goals. Aside from blogging I have dual licenses to provide mental health and addictions treatment. In my field, having licensure is like gold. And adding additional licenses makes you more marketable.

I now realize that I have spent the last few years being “too comfortable.” Although I attend continuing education on a monthly basis I haven’t necessarily grown in my profession. I have never held a management position because I love working one-on-one with clients but this can hurt me in the long run.  I have spent more energy in the last 2 years growing as a writer and with my personal brand. This is important to me but it isn’t my bread and butter.

After learning about EQ and re-assessing where I want to grow professionally, I realize where my weaknesses are. As I’m applying for a new therapy license, I see how little I have done “on paper.” I can gas myself up all day but it’s true that what we show on paper is what pays the bills. Even after receiving a degree we still have to hustle for positions and upward growth in our careers.

What does emotional intelligence have to do with success in general?

Managing Difficult Situations – If you want to move into a leadership position at work or in volunteer roles,  examine how well you handle stress. Do you blow up or do you hide in the corner? Some of our immediate and comfortable reactions may be stifling our growth. Have you ever told your kids to stand up to a bully? This is somewhat similar. Children learn to exercise their assertiveness muscle by using it. Adults aren’t any different. See how you can stretch out of your comfort zone and step up to help!

Clearly Expressing Yourself I sometimes struggle with this one because have a bad habit of fumbling my words. In my field, dealing with people in crisis, I have to remember to simplify my message and/or directions. People in trauma may not process “wordy” instructions. Expressing yourself diplomatically and clearly is important in upper management and if you work with people outside your company. You don’t want your boss or client (if you work freelance) to have a bad impression about you because you can’t get your message across. Re-read your emails and rehearse important messages before big meetings if you feel unsure. No one has to know that you practiced with a script.

People Want To Work With You If you have a strong EQ, you are aware of your own and others’ emotions. You’re not barking demands to someone who’s apparently overwhelmed or having a personal crisis. Have you ever worked with someone who “doesn’t see you?” Some circles would argue that male colleagues are usually less “aware” of emotional cues their co-workers give off. Healthy emotional intelligence means you relate well to others personally and professionally and are willing to collaborate. These people avoid power struggles and take criticism well. I think I excel in this area and have improved on receiving criticism (not that I ever blew up or anything). Regardless of whether we’re an educator, self-employed, professional or a Lyft driver, don’t we all want to get along with others and bring in more business?

If you’re struggling in the workplace AND the dating scene, dig a little further and see how emotional intelligence relates to the dating world.

Are you unapproachable?

Are you carrying the weight of work into social circles?

Are you being fake while dating because you don’t know jack about your emotions? Do you push people away because you can’t regulate your anger or bad attitude?

Want to assess your EQ? Take this free emotional intelligence quiz! I enjoyed this quick audit and it helped me understand what areas I need to work on.

The purpose of this post is to help you re-evaluate where you may be slipping. If we don’t know what we’re doing “wrong” how can we change? Click To Tweet Honestly, I don’t know how much constructive feedback managers will give you regarding emotional intelligence. But if you can pinpoint your weaknesses and improve them, it can increase your chances for success, and better yet, long-term growth.

Further resources:

Mindtools.com – A wealth of resources on career related topics. Assessments, worksheets, etc.

 

 

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