Note: This is an excerpt from the first draft of an as yet untitled book I'm writing. This is not the final product, but an insight into what I'm doing. Enjoy.
Just like understanding your body, knowing why your mind is doing what it’s doing can have great benefits. In rule #4 I explained that self reflection can help me understand why I’m feeling depressed or unaccomplished and it helps me evaluate what I need to do start getting back to a mentally or emotionally healthy state. That self reflection helps me know my mind, and as time has gone on I don’t always need to stop and evaluate before adjusting. Having knowledge of my mind and emotions has allowed me to be able to adjust on the fly. Granted, that’s only in some situations, but knowing my mind also gives me the ability to know whether I can adjust or if I need to take a moment.
This also helps me when interacting with people, especially in a tense situation. If I’m in a situation where someone is saying something that makes me angry, I can often know ahead of time I’m potentially going to get mad and tailor my response to keep the situation from escalating. Working in customer service, you don’t have the luxury of ego. You have to respond professionally no matter what. Knowing when to respond right away, or if you need to wait a moment so you have the best response is the difference between making an angry client happy, or losing them (or even your job).
This also ties into knowing my body. I store my stress in my neck, jaw and stomach. If I’m getting a tension headache from clenching my jaw or hunching my shoulders I know I’m probably stressed and potentially activating my fight or flight response. If I’m very anxious it has some very negative effects on my stomach (I’ll spare you the details). In those instances I can take medications to deal with the symptoms, but that only has a short term result, and it doesn’t make the symptoms go away completely. Knowing that my symptoms are caused by mental and emotional issues I’m going through allows me to spend time in reflection and solve the cause of my anxiety, stress or depression which usually makes the physical problems go away, often without medication.
That might not always be the case with you, and if you need to talk to a professional, please do so. I don’t take any prescriptions for any of my anxiety or depression since mine are always situational, not clinical. If you have a clinical need for those medications, a professional can help you. And just like rule #5, this awareness can help you talk to the doctor so they know the best way to help you. Talking with a professional can also help you develop this awareness of your mind as well.
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