When thinking about ways to improve yourself at work, most people will obtain additional certifications, take courses, and take seminars while others may spend more time practicing on additional projects or assignments. Some people may go to toastmasters to improve their public speaking ability. I am here to present you several non-traditional ways to improve work performance that may transform your professional life more so than any course or certification.
Having briefly been an actor in another life, I feel that acting has truly transformed the way I communicate and deal with stress. One may assume that acting lessons are only useful for public speaking. However, I am here to tell you that the benefits of acting classes are multifaceted.
First, acting classes teaches you to extremely aware of your own emotions. You can better detect when you are stressed, angry, tired, etc so you will be more likely to take a break instead of burning out or lashing out at someone.
Second, acting trains you to be more emotionally aware of others. As a result, you’ll be keener to what other people are feeling, and can react them more appropriately. If you sense that someone is upset, you’ll know to hold back on your request for him to expedite your expense report. If you can read that someone is dishonest, you’ll know to be careful around him. The benefits are limitless.
Finally, perhaps the most obvious and expected benefit of acting, is that it trains you to communicate your thoughts and ideas with more confidence and poise. The higher up you go, the more important it becomes for you to communicate in front of a large group. Acting develops that “X” factor that is so persuasive and impactful.
When I studied the Meisner Technique, I had a fellow acting friend who was a senior finance executive at a large financial company. His primary goal was to become more adept at speaking in front of crowds since he was being asked to present at Board meetings. I personally worked with him on a few scenes. All the hours spent practicing scenes proved beneficial in communicating in front of a large, intimidating group of people, and eventually led to a promotion.
Although therapy may carry with it a negative connotation, it is not just meant for people with serious mental illnesses. In fact, it is extremely beneficial for everyone to have someone to talk to about his feelings, emotions, career, relationships, etc. A trained therapist can provide the right perspective, defuse toxic thoughts, and set you on the right path to having a more fulfilling career. A therapist is perhaps even more important for the people who work the most and live the most stressful lives.
In my experience, meditation has helped me greatly in dealing with stress and getting through more difficult life situations. Meditation is used to clear your mind so that your toxic, negative thoughts no longer drive your mental drama and poison your everyday life. Meditation can help you put your problems into perspective, and thereby help you resolve them much faster. There are many ways to meditate, and a full guide on meditation is beyond the scope of this post. I recommend checking this meditation site, browsing a guided meditation channel on Youtube, or downloading an app such as Calm. These are all great products that I personally use.
Pay Attention to Your Body Sensations
Here’s a quick and simple way to relieve stress and stay grounded. Pay attention to your body sensations. Do your hamstrings feel tight? Does your chest feel tight? Do you feel pain in your arms? Do you feel a nervous tingling in your stomach? Simply paying attention to the various sensations in your body is a form of meditation and will allow you to bring peace and order in busy times. If you need to, stretch out the parts of your body that feel tight. Try to do a stretch that forces you to maintain balance, such as a quad stretch. The act of stretching and maintaining balance will force your mind into the present moment.
Taking a deep, conscious breath in the middle of the day when you are most stressed will make you feel better. It will relax your body and get oxygen flowing around. A deep breath is perhaps the fastest way to feel more relaxed and centered.Taking a deep, conscious breath in the middle of the day when you are most stressed will make you feel better. It will relax your body and get oxygen flowing around. A deep breath is perhaps the fastest way to feel more relaxed and centered.
Professional Development and Personal Finance Blog