“Between the stimulus and response, there is a space. And in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.”
– Viktor E. Frankl, Author, Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor
Name It To Tame It
Think back to the last time you felt angry, scared, or anxious. It was tough, right? Well, good news: There’s a trick you can use to instantly calm down those emotions next time they arise.
It’s called affect labeling. Simply name your emotions, and watch them simmer down.
Research shows that affect labeling works as a form of emotion regulation. It allows us to create distance from our emotions. And it prompts our logical brain to take over from the more reactive emotional centers.
(Bonus: Labeling works on others as well. Try it on an emotional toddler – you’ll see the magic happen!)
The hardest part about labeling is remembering to use it when emotions are running high. Mindfulness practices can help: they train our brains to find that little moment of space before we react or respond.
Check out a handy mindfulness practice for labeling emotions here and see how it works for you.
Retain What You Read
Hands up if you read lots of useful stuff… and then forget it? ✋ (Yep, us too!)
Here are some ways you can retain more of what you read:
- Focus on reading only (avoid distractions and don’t multitask!)
- Avoid reading when you’re tired or mentally drained
- Highlight and make notes as you go – with a pen or digitally
- Even better, make your notes searchable (you can use software like Evernote)
- At the end of each book chapter or article, jot down a summary of the main ideas
- Reflect on how and why the information is relevant to you personally
- Make connections to things you already know
One of our biggest mistakes is skipping straight from one piece of content to another without pausing to reflect. That’s why taking notes and writing summaries is so beneficial.
Try some of these strategies next time you read something interesting, and let us know if you have tips of your own.
Lauren McGoodwin, CEO, Author & Podcast Host
As CEO of Career Contessa, a female-focused career platform, Lauren McGoodwin’s mornings are busy. After rising at 5am, she:
- Walks for an hour while listening to a podcast
- Showers and gets dressed in her “daily uniform” of jeans and tennis shoes. “Starting my day the same way, Monday through Friday, has been a source of calm and control amid the uncertainty.”
- Writes out a to-do list, highlighting her top three priorities
- Starts work, tackling her biggest tasks first
Why it works:
- Some research shows that walking while listening to podcasts actually improves learning and retention as well as mood
- Having a daily uniform reduces decisions and thus avoids decision fatigue
- Highlighting priorities and tackling them first ensures the important work gets done
If we don’t consciously single out our priorities for the day, we can easily get sucked into “busy work” – stuff that needs to be done but doesn’t progress our main goals.
Do you use Panda Planner to note down your priorities each day? Let us know how it works for you!