Shine Bright like a Diamond

What if I said to you ‘Shine bright like a diamond’…How would it make you feel? ‘What would this mean to you?

‘To shine bright like a diamond’ is an attitude, a philosophy, a state of mind. It is also a journey and the destination is a happy place for sure.

The Oxford dictionary defines ‘to shine’ as giving out a bright light, glowing, being bright with emotions, being very talented and performing very well. How are you ‘shining’ within your organisation?

Let’s explore ‘bright’ then. ‘Bright’ is defined as ‘intellligent, cheerful, lively, successful, happy, vibrant, clear, high-pitched’. What if you could be all of those?

Most people think of a diamond as a beautiful gemstone used to make beautiful jewelry. But do you know what your diamond really is? It is an element that creates a sparkle. A diamond is unbreakable. It has the tendency to be transparent and clear. One of the first things most people learn about diamonds is that every diamond is unique. What would it take for you to feel being like a sparkle, unbreakable, transparent, clear and unique diamond?

The role of wellness is important for us to feel good. If you treat your mind, body and spirit well, then you have a better chance of ‘shining bright like a diamond’. So how do you treat your mind, body and spirit on a dalily basis? What are your priorities?

Burnout is the opposite of ‘shining bright like a diamond’. Burnout is a big problem in the UK. According to a new YouGov survey commissioned by Virgin in 2015, over half (51%) of full-time UK employees said they have experienced anxiety or burnout in their current job. Last year, a survey of more than 2,000 UK GPs by Pulse, found that 50% of them were at high risk of burnout. And in one of the largest studies of burnout among social workers in the UK conducted by Community Care, 73% of the respondents reported levels of emotional exhaustion so high that the lead researcher said it was above the cut-off threshold to be considered at risk of burnout.

Press PAUSE and STOP. You have a choice. You decide…What would you like to do to ‘shine bright like a diamond? Here are a few ideas that have worked for my clients:

1. Exercise: Physical exercise make your brain works better. Researchers at University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.

2. Recognise that food and nutrition matters. The food you choose affects your level of stress level. You need B vitamins, magnesium, Omega 3, Vitamin C. But a Gallup poll shows that only 57% of you are actually getting the servings of fruits and vegetables we need. What makes you not follow through on what you know you need to do?

3. Practise Yoga when you get up: Just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga — an ancient form of the practice that emphasizes physical postures rather than flow or sequences — can improve cognitive function, boosting focus and working memory, reduce anxiety. In a University of Illinois study, participants performed significantly better on tests of brain functioning after yoga, as compared to their performance after 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise.

4. Meditate. Meditation improves attention and concentration. Meditation helps your cognitive skills on the job, helps relieve your subjective levels of anxiety and depression, and improve attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being. One of the most interesting studies in the last few years, carried out at Yale University, found that mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts also known as ‘monkey mind’.

5. Sleep: Make sure you get sufficient and quality sleep. There is a link between sleep and mood. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.

6. Socialise: Simply talking and interacting with others can help you relieve stress, boost self-esteem. According to researchers from the University College Dublin, socialising can reduce symptoms of depression: ‘Increased social interaction helps sufferers to rebuild their self-esteem which in turn enables them to maintain and develop positive relationships and friendships’.

7. Relax: have you ever tried to do nothing? For many of us, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. In addition to its calming physical effects, the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. There is no single relaxation technique that is best for everyone. When choosing a relaxation technique, consider your specific needs, preferences, fitness, and the way you tend to react to stress. The right relaxation technique is the one that resonates with you and fits your lifestyle. In many cases, you may find that alternating or combining different techniques will keep you motivated and provide you with the best results.

8. Use aromatherapy: it works! I remember in my first Headship, some of my colleagues would say as they entered my office, we are entering a spa! What scents work best for you? Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Marjoram, Patchouli work well with fatigue for example. Aromatherapy can transform your mood and productivity.

9. Be wildly, obsessively, precisely grateful – I have always been grateful to people that I have worked with. So for February 2017, I would like to be grateful to Amy Sahf for being fired up with my blogs, Karen Cappello for her inspiring energy and focus, Harry Jones for creating and refining the design of my website, Adeline Owen for her unconditional support in my business projects.

Everything has to start somewhere… I use ‘Shine bright like a diamond’ philosophy in my coaching approach with my clients. I can make you see differently! It takes a little rigour and practice to start a new journey, a new direction with new possibilities. If you would like to explore how this could work for you, then contact me at npowrie@nadinepowrie.com.

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