We’re less than a week from Election Day 2018.
Energy and intensity are on the rise. Just thinking about it makes you stressed. Your palms are sweaty. Your heart rate is accelerating. You can’t sleep. You’re quick to react, interrupt, cry or want to just reach for a [fill in the blank] to make it all better — temporarily.
Here’s the thing: According to Stanford University social psychology Kelly McGonigal, the physical effects of stress are the same as the biology of courage. What happens when you see these indicators as signals that you are readying for greatness, for connection, and for transformation? I don’t know about you, this makes me smile. I’ll take courage over corroding any day.
If this reset doesn’t come naturally, never fear. Here are several super simple strategies you can apply anywhere and at any time to stay focused and finish this cycle courageously strong.
Calm Your Mind
Take a 16-second brain reboot. First, close your eyes. Breathe normally two-to-three times. Good. Now, inhale for a count of six. Hold your breath for four counts. Then, exhale for six counts. Strength train: Repeat four to six times in a row. Taking four-to-six breaths per minute can neutralize our nervous system, helping us to return to a calm, clear-headed state.
Take 90 seconds to three minutes to release. Take a lap around HQ. Write an angry letter (and don’t send it). Call a trusted friend and just bitch. Cry. Howl. Then, ask yourself: What is one specific action I will take right here, right now to get me unstuck?
One of the biggest causes of duress is not releasing in a healthy way. If we bottle up frustrations and fears, we are more prone to swirling rumination, negative thinking, physical depletion and stagnation.
Cortisol dominates our big brains and compromises our ability to access our bold hearts. This clearing exercise expends built up energy, regulates breath by externalizing focus, helps us process underlying emotions and clarifies potential actions to solve a situation.
What are you truly awesome at? What about your personality is strong? In what way are you super competent? Take a few minutes to toot your own horn on what makes you distinctly you.
Choose a different key strength and use it in a different way than you usually do each day. For example, if you are highly analytical and usually crunch data, redirect this strength to read people for more effective conversations.
If you are highly empathic, connect with the thoughts and feelings of voters to build unstoppable connections. Using our strengths in different ways builds happiness and productivity levels.
Connect With the Win
Finally, ask yourself what you aspire toward? What motivated you to jump into the crazy world of campaigns in the first place? What is your vision of the future – your ideal vision? Hang out here for as long as you want.
Close your eyes and allow images to float by. For optimal impact, take 15 minutes and write down the best possible options to these answers. Both versions incite creativity and clarity. Plus, they boost happiness and performance levels. Winning.
Ready. Set. Go. I’m rooting for you – and you got this!
Frieda K. Edgette (@friedakedgette) is a former government affairs specialist and lobbyist turned certified leadership coach, neuropolitics adjunct professor and political well-being pioneer. She is also the Founder of Courage to Run, the nation’s first nonpartisan 5K and party celebrating women running for office.