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Why be emotionally fit? - 14 February 2014

Dr Tom Mullholland’s (‘Dr Tom’ as he likes to be called) very informative and entertaining presentation this morning focused on why being emotionally fit not only benefits yourself but also everyone else in your team. 

When we’re stressed, frustrated and anxious, we are more prone to make mistakes and these could be costly for any business.  In a recent study, surprisingly, it was found that 42% of Kiwis are frustrated, 33% are stressed, and 25% are anxious.   That equates to the possibility of a lot of mistakes being made.

We are all taught at school literacy and numeracy skills, but no-one teaches us how to handle our emotions.

If we think of our body as the hardware, and what’s between our ears, as the software, we need to ensure that both are performing at an optimum level.  If, for example, our diet is wrong, we don’t get enough rest, exercise or sleep, our hardware will be letting us down.  If our serotonin levels are low, we will be irrational and even possibly depressed.  While we may be prescribed anti-depressants for the latter, it isn’t the best solution.

So how do we disengage grumpiness?  Quite simply we need to understand that our thoughts dictate our emotions. 

We need to control our thoughts and our attitude.  Download some affirmations into your hardware and use problem switching.  When a crisis happens, think of the opportunity and problem solve, rather than focusing on the problem.

Manage your emotions by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Does it help me achieve my goal?
  3. Is it worth it?

If you can’t answer ‘Yes’ to all these questions, change your attitude which will help you manage your emotions.  Make sure you have the right thought before you react, as it helps to avoid conflict among your staff, otherwise you will trip up.  For example, have you ever been kept waiting by someone and then been angry with them when they finally arrived, only to be told that they had stopped off to buy you something as a surprise before meeting you?  You felt dreadful, right, that you had allowed your thoughts to control your emotions?

In the workplace, avoid doom merchants ruining or dragging down your organisation.  They are easily identified in your team as those who like to always congregate in the tearoom and have a moan!

Interestingly, Google spends 80% of their resources on the top 20% of their people;  in most companies it’s the other way round.  Consider how much time you or your HR Manager actually spend solving staff problems all day and then work to change that ratio.

Lastly, ‘Dr Tom’, as an Emergency Doctor at Auckland Hospital delivered a simple health message to the audience by encouraging them to stay away from his ED informing them that 60% of the illnesses that patients present with in the ED are avoidable.  Statistically, only half the population will live beyond 80 years.  A range of ‘health bullets’ were delivered as the audience was asked to stand up and remain standing until they couldn’t answer ‘Yes’ to a question.  It was soon revealed that most of our members are enjoying healthy lifestyles and may that continue.  If you would like to live past 80 years, it’s time to invest in a good warrant of fitness, for example:

  • Do you know what your cholesterol is?  If so, is it low or, perhaps, 6 which is high?
  • When did you last have your blood pressure checked?  Is the histolic reading high e.g. 135?
  • Do you still get sunburnt?  Be careful as Melanoma does claim lives.
  • Do you wear your seatbelt when driving?
  • Has a close relative died of bowel cancer?  If you are 55 years plus, make the time to have a colonoscopy.  Early detection could save your life.
  • If you are a woman, are you having regular mammograms?

Here’s to good health in 2014!

John Dawson, The Admirals' Breakfast Club

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