Take a breath…

We’re in a place very few of us have any direct experience of.  For many the health of our loved ones and survival of our businesses is in doubt.  A rising sense of panic affects behaviours in unexpected ways, despite an underlying feeling that this may actually be an over-reaction to the actual level of threat.

I can speak from past personal experience when saying that the fear of fear is crippling.  Being anxious about having anxiety attacks is deeply damaging to wellbeing in general and particularly for mental health.  We lose perspective on the wider picture of what is good and worthwhile and narrow our focus into an intense, internal beam examining every detail of how bad we feel.  Our physiology reacts and we self-fulfil and confirm our fears with affected breathing, heart rate and cold sweats.

It is essential that we break the cycle.  We have to do this by shifting our focus outwards, away from the self and a detailed examination of our personal issues towards others and the wider world.  This is the power of the balcony singers in Italy or the recognition in the news that with the shut-down, deaths caused by pollution in China have fallen by more than the actual death-toll from the virus.

I finally cast off my panic attacks for good more than 30 years ago when I discovered that my inner voice could be trained to quietly encourage me to pause, take a breath, look at the world and feel strong – to focus outwards rather than those immediate feelings.  I discovered that no matter how intense the anxiety was initially, it faded quickly when not amplified by my focus.  Once the cycle of anxiety is broken, its power rapidly diminishes.

Too personal for a business post?  Not just now, I don’t think.  The more we can pause, reflect and take a wider perspective than just what’s in front of us (and shouting the loudest) the better.  All of us have dependants, colleagues, customers, stakeholders or supply chains to consider.  We need to set the example of what ethical and sustainable business should look like.

So take a breath, stay positive, and focus on the widest view you can take of society, economy and ecology (not necessarily in that order!).  And don’t forget the coaching and encouragement that your inner voice can deliver.  Tough times demand good people to step up.  You are strong and you CAN do the right thing.

#px3 #sustainability #climate change #climateemergency #strategy #greenIT

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