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Intelligence Revolution

As automation and artificial intelligence are changing the workplace and redefining jobs and roles; a new way of understanding and supporting the individual is more important than ever.

This shift is being felt everywhere; in our schools, our homes, our communities and not the least of which, our work environments.

Last week I spoke at the annual Human Resources Professionals Association’s conference.  It was a tremendous gathering of several thousands of HR professionals who came to be inspired and learn about the new world of work that is emerging to be more prepared and effectively support the staff and organizations they are part of.

Supporting the Well Being, Diversity and Health of Employees

Since many people spend the majority of their waking hours at the office, it is even more crucial that work environments implement strategies to support the well being, diversity and overall health of their employees.

Thankfully organizational leaders are taking a closer look and finding ways to evolve and improve these settings for the sake of their ‘human resources’.

Understanding and Supporting Your SELF

At the same time, I also believe that it’s critical that each individual has the awareness and tools to uniquely support themselves.  After all, there is no other brain exactly like yours on the entire planet.  The person who needs to care for it, and maximize its potential is, YOU!

Understanding yourself, and knowing how to support your individual needs, challenges, goals and stressors is not only critical to your performance, it is also key to your mental health and wellbeing.

The Roles of Different Types of Stressors

Did you know that there are universal and personal stressors, as well as controllable and uncontrollable ones?

For example, dehydration is a universal stressor and will cause strain to all brains and bodies; whereas a fear of heights or spiders applies only to certain individuals.

As well, there are stressors we can control, like mitigating fatigue by getting to bed earlier or elevating our energy levels by drinking more water; and there are things that are outside of our sphere of our influence like a crisis happening in another part of the world that may cause us worry but that we can’t do much about.

Understand How You Deal with Stress

Knowing how stress impacts you and what you can do about it, is a vital part of navigating life effectively and stewarding the waves of change.

According to Brene Brown, professor at the University of Houston and one of the conference keynote speakers; courage and bravery are ‘must have’ qualities of individuals in the evolving workplace, if we want to have meaning and success.

Research shows that vulnerability is the cornerstone of courage and bravery.

This makes sense.  When you are courageous and brave, you are entering into unknown territory, risking emotional exposure and forgoing the comfort of familiarity.  This is vulnerable stuff!

Cultivating work spaces, home environments and schools where vulnerability is welcome, will allow us all to be more courageous and brave.

In the meantime, while it’s not the norm and the environments we live and work in may not be conducive to this new code of conduct, how do we as individuals jump into these deep waters?

Emotional and Physical Safety Nets

Personally, I’d suggest a safety net! After all, people do not go boating without life preservers.

Although these seem like contrasting scenarios (boating safety and bravery), when it comes to our cognition they are interchangeable because physical and emotional threats take an equal toll.

Since our mental state and emotional balance are anchored in our body, there are tangible physical ways we can fortify our inner terrain to keep us more grounded, centered, clear, energized, confident and positive – anytime, anywhere, including those times when we need to be courageous, brave and vulnerable.

Try this Simple, but Effective, Brain Fitness Activity

There are dozens of stress relieving, performance enhancing strategies that I share in my Brain Fitness keynotes and training programs. All of them have several variations, so regardless of age, role or stressors, everyone becomes equipped with more tools for their personal and professional tool boxes.

I’d like to share one with you right now. It’s a simple activity that uses your sensory system and movement to direct and drive brain functioning.

It is wonderful at alleviating tension, evoking a more calm state, activating lines of communication and creating hemispheric synchronization – using both your left and right brain hemispheres together as a team. This means accessing more of your resources and potential.

When we are in stress due to actual physical threats, perceived problems, or emotional exposure, our physiological responds accordingly. Our immune system, mental clarity, balance and ability to communicate effectively, make good decisions and make timely and appropriate actions are all compromised.

It’s important to be able to recognize stress and be able to do something about it.

Brain Fitness strategies and tools like this one in this video are highly transferrable from the workplace to schools and home environments as well.  Your whole family can use them and you will all reap the benefits.

Here’s a video demonstrating the activity.  Give it a try!

Let me know how you enjoyed it.

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