This is part of a series looking at micro skills – changes that employees can make to help improve their health and life at work and at home, and employers can make to improve the workplace. The Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell have created the Employee Recommended Workplace Award to honour companies that put the health and well-being of their employees first. Register your company now at www.employeerecommended.com.
Though often brief, moments of peace of mind are often intense, rewarding and enjoyable. They often happen in short, powerful bursts.
When was the last time you felt peace of mind? And what were you doing when you had this feeling?
How you answer these questions can indicate your levels of happiness and fulfillment with your life at home and at work.
Peace of mind can be influenced by simple actions such as going for a walk that uncovers a breathtaking view, creating a moment of pause and sense of calm and peace. At such a moment, the world stops and life is pure.
In the age of the 24/7 media cycle dominated by the world's current economic and political uncertainty, many people's minds are cluttered and filled with stress and anxiety. Too many people are living our lives on autopilot, and days and weeks fly by. Some people are caught on a treadmill and are simply trying to get through each day and keep up with the daily grind. Moments of internal peace and calm can be elusive.
The micro skill of peace introduces the notion of paying attention to internal conversations we have with ourselves daily at home and at work. Life moves fast, so when we can stop and enjoy what we have, we are better able to experience peace of mind.
Mental health is shaped by what we think and do daily. Actively seeking peace of mind is one proactive way to positively affect our mental health.
Some of us under stress are looking for peace of mind in the wrong places, such as through alcohol, drugs and gambling. But there are healthy alternatives that require only intention and daily focus.
Nurture your peace of mind.
Nurturing peace of mind can help fuel hope, a feeling that influences the belief that things will be okay. Peace of mind can be nurtured through mindful small actions each day. Take time out of your day to stop for a moment, to find two minutes of quiet both at home and during the day at work to calm and refocus your thoughts.
Find a mental anchor.
Envisage some magical sunsets or memories of when you were inspired, awed and at peace. What were you doing, how did you feel, and how did you know it was an awesome experience? These memories and feelings are anchors. The goal is to open your mind to previous experiences or the possibility of how these moments resulted in brief periods of pure peace of mind.
Take an inventory.
Take an internal inventory of things you can do today that can nurture peace of mind. Some people practice daily meditation. For others, a walk in nature is an excellent gateway. Pick one thing you do or are willing to learn or start that opens the door to moments that nurture peace of mind. There are many options; your mind just needs to be open. Each and every day there is a sunrise and a sunset. They're free and they bring moments of peace of mind for many.
Make a commitment.
Achieving peace of mind on a daily basis requires intention, planning and follow-through. One universal truth for every human being is the desire for peace. Life is short and we can't change the past. What we can do is live for today. In a world with lots of noise, stimuli and information, finding moments of peace of mind can help us feel contentment and reduce our stress at home and at work.
Bill Howatt is the chief research and development officer of work force productivity with Morneau Shepell in Toronto. He is also the president of Howatt HR Consulting and founder of TalOp, in Kentville, N.S.
This series supports The Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell's Employee Recommended Workplace Award.
This award recognizes employers who have the healthiest, most engaged and most productive employees. It promotes a two-way accountability model where an employer can support employees to have a positive workplace experience.
You can find all the stories in this series at this link: http://tgam.ca/workplaceaward