Mental Capacity: Let Your Mind Come Up For Air

photo by HaPe_Gera via PhotoRee

A few posts ago I started a topic around the importance of maintaining a balance between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual capacity to ensure functioning as a highly effective professional.  So many of us tend to neglect one or more of these aspects which inevitably reduces our effectiveness and even worse, leads to a degradation of our overall health.

The last several weeks I have been intimately experiencing the effects of not maintaining my mental capacity.  My wife and I have been preparing for a move from Chicago to Denver.  Not only have we been preparing our personal belongings and working through the logistics of a cross country move, we have also been trying to wind down our current jobs leading up to our final days.  On top of this I have an added layer of mental taxation as I have started searching for a new job!  As one can imagine my mental capacity is being stretched to its extremes.  As a consequence of this I have noticed that I have enjoyed my job less, been more tired and experienced a lack of efficiency in both my professional and personal life.

This observation led me to take a step back and evaluate how I am approaching my current situation.  Because my mind is racing between so many different things, it has interfered with my focus with leads to dissipated energy.  If not addressed, this can lead to a downward spiral of fatigue and apathy when approaching my everyday tasks.  I have found myself breaking my rules about routinely stepping away from work a couple of times a day.  Instead I have been working through the small breaks that I typically use for a mental reset during the day.  Those breaks help me quiet my mind and emotions which promotes energy recovery.

I believe this can also be seen at the macro level.  I have worked with people who just don’t know how to unplug from the mad dash of their work life and the responsibilities of their personal lives.  These people always seem run down, unhappy and apathetic to me.  They seem to convince themselves that if they take a moment to relax and let their minds clear the world will come crashing down around them, when in reality, their frantic approach to stay on top of everything is actually causing most of the mental and emotional chaos they are experiencing.

Personally, I am a big proponent of stepping away from desk a few times a day and going for a walk and on a macro level ensuring that I nurture my hobbies like photography to promote the mental oscillation between the left and right side of my brain.  I am always happier, more creative and more productive when I do.  But even knowing this, I too can get sucked into the constant grind of life and forget to come up for air.

What are some things you do to promote your mental capacity?

About the author: Heath

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