Right, let’s get straight to it, how you feeling inside your head? Like really. Because if you’re anything like us, you’ll go through times when your internal voice is in a relatively pleasant mood and you’ll be jolly bundle of fun, and others when your voice is really on one, and she stops you seeing the wood for the trees: when she’s all ratty and confused, and well a bit bloody down.
It’s obviously normal to have these mental peaks and troughs – as we always say, it’s what makes us human. But what happens when your murky voice starts affecting your work/life balance? When she just won’t shut up about what you have to do, the pressures, the strains, the working relationships and everything else involved in careers these days.
We often talk about balance in a practical sense: how you set everyday boundaries around your work, so that your personal life isn’t infiltrated by what’s going on in your day job. Clearly, in our digitally enhanced lives, this is imperative – no one can be constantly switched on to their jobs and feel calm and complete.
But how do you set emotional boundaries around your thoughts? Here is a quick workout that we think leads to a greater sense of mental clarity and a less craggy, polluted mind!
CLEAR YOUR MIND
1. Take 7 minutes – this is a scientifically researched amount of time to ensure the optimum outcome – and then take a piece of paper and pen, no computers allowed!
2. Then, consider the point or series of points that are really getting you down and confusing your thoughts.
3. Now, write down for those 7 minutes everything that you feel and think about the issue. Don’t self-edit (we all do this naturally, so really try to just write what comes into your mind).
4. Once the 7 minutes are up, take the paper, and bin it. Don’t even re-read it.
What you’ll find, once you’ve done this exercise, is that you’ve accessed the answers to your own problems. We strongly believe that all of us hold the answers to our own problems within our subconscious, but that we often find it hard to access these thoughts. Which is why the free-writing exercise is so useful: it releases our inner thoughts and by doing this, we get to the answers to our issues, and in turn the mental clarity that we find so hard to reach.
Try it. As you can tell, we’re all for clearing the mind and trying to banish fuzzy thoughts. Obviously, we are as fuzzy as the next woman most days of the weeks, but after a writing decompression we definitely feel lighter and more emotionally balanced.
Here is another workout for mental clarity:
RING FENCE YOUR WORRIES
1. Identify one particular worry or concern.
2. Think practically about when this worry or concern is actually going to come to the fore.
3. Set yourself an actual start time for your thinking time around this issue. It sounds contrived, but when we are able to schedule our worries, it helps them stop infiltrating the rest of our thoughts. So maybe you have a big presentation coming up. We’d say, prepare for it and then don’t worry about the presentation until say, the day before. If you’re worrying about it for weeks on end, it’ll be draining, not to mention pointless. Worries also become self-fulfilling prophecies, so try to ring fence your concerns and actually schedule them into your diary. You’ll feel immediately relieved!