Most people who have had some time and experience in the business world are used to the saying "what is in your toolbox" referencing a set of skills that the individual has acquired that makes them capable of completing the task or the job.
But how often do we think about ourselves and the emotional and mental skills we have acquired in order to successfully navigate our days in a happy and mindfully way? What tools are in our emotional toolbox in order to navigate the stress that the world throws at us on the daily? Have you thought about it at all? You should.
Besides the simple acknowledgment that you need an emotional toolbox, there is the inevitable discussion of what should be inside. Of course it varies depending on the person and where they are in life. However, I think there are a few simple things that everyone should start with:
This is something very short that you can tell yourself over and over throughout the day and your life. I had a client of mine pick a mantra and hers was "I am enough", three simple words but they are incredibly powerful. She repeated this when she was happy and when she was struggling. It was something she needed to hear to remind herself often, especially in hard time. Picking out a mantra that is meaningful to you is deeply personal, but so worth it.
2. A Hype Song
This speaks for itself. Sometimes you need a song that can raise your spirits, even if it is just for 3 minutes. This is a song to motivate or simply just shift your mood for a moment. It can do wonders to stop the spiraling patter of our mind if used at the correct time. Music can truly heal the soul.
3. A Calm Song
Similar to the Hype song, this is a song you can play when you just need to calm down. Not necessarily for sleep, but if you are anxious, or upset, or too wired, this song will help you calm down and breathe. It will allow you to re-focus after emotions have send you off the deep end. It will help you relax and hopefully reset a bit.
4. A Daily Intension
It is important to set an intention for your day. It can take you 5 seconds in the morning, but it is helpful to set a purpose for your day. It is a guide or a reminder throughout your day. Things like "be present in the moment" or "enjoy my creativity" can set your day on track and reminding yourself of your intention throughout the day can keep you on that track.
This goes without saying, but even if it is for 3 minutes, it is important to try to calm the mind. Tune everything else out and just breathe. So much gets thrown at us all day every day, it is important to, at some point in the day, come back to stillness and re-ground ourselves. It doesn't have to be long or a huge undertaking. Just taking a few minutes to sit in the stillness can do wonders for our well-being.
There can be many more things in your toolbox, but, if you have yet to build one, start with these. If you need help finding more, just let me know.