6 Tricks to Stay Sane in the Business
I continually remind myself to balance my life physically, mentally and spiritually every day to have the strength to be the woman and speaker I’m called to be. Many people focus on their physical health so they have the stamina they need. But how often do you focus on your mental and spiritual health? A strong mind, body and spirit better equip you to create and deliver your messages for the world and to cope with life’s challenges.
Here are six simple, yet powerful, life-balance tools that help me cope with everyday life and staying sane in the speaking business.
Most people need a nudge—or a shove—to take time every day for mental rest and relaxation. Deep breathing is one of the best and most effective ways, but is so simple, most people discount it. Rhythmic breathing releases not only stress and tension, but endorphins, the “feel good” medicine in our brains. Endorphins have the same molecular makeup as morphine. Breathe for a natural high. Stress at work and life raises your adrenalin levels, putting you into the “flight or fight” mode. This ancient survival mechanism, left over from cavemen, sends all of the energy and circulation to the organs needed for survival at that moment, and away from those not needed. That’s why your heart beats fast and your breathing accelerates when you’re scared. You need a heartbeat and breathing to survive. What you don’t need is a bladder. When I was an aspiring speaker, I rushed to the bathroom during my own introduction. Slow rhythmic breathing is a great way to deal with and prevent stress. Try it now: Breathe in through your nose to the count of 4, then out through your mouth to the count of 4, deeply from your abdomen, over and over. Do this several times a day, maybe to easy-listening music. Relax.
- Think Positive.
When I was in my twenties, I read The Power of Positive Thinking by one of NSA’s first members, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. He taught the world that people get what they expect in life. When they expect positive things, they act accordingly and get positive things in return. When they expect failure, they usually fail. When they expect success, they tend to succeed. When they expect health, they make healthy choices. Ultimately, people live out what they foresee. For my mastermind group’s meeting in January, each member created a vision board: one half personal, the other half professional. On one side, I glued photos of my wonderful hubby, our kids, grandkids, cabin, horse, and words like peace, faith, sanctuary, play and gratitude.
On the other side, I put the cover of a book I intended to write, and a big, fat, fake check made out to me signed by Happy Client for a new expensive system I was developing. I glued the words abundance, believe, prosperity and hope. At our year-end meeting, every component of my vision board came to fruition, which also held true for most of the members in the group. Einstein said, “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.” Positive thinking and visualization are like mental engineering. Your brain can literally be “rewired” by it. New thoughts and images stimulate new pathways in the brain and when constantly repeated, they will have great impact on your behavior and your life. Read the books and listen to the recordings of NSA members who are prolific on this topic. Incorporate positive thinking and visualization to change your happiness, health and business.
Proverbs says, “Laughter is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Now there is medical evidence to corroborate that theory. Stanford Medical School compared laughter to a form of physical exercise. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate, improves lung capacity, massages internal organs, increases memory and alertness, reduces pain, improves digestion and lowers stress hormones. The study proved that three to five minutes of laughter was as beneficial as three to five minutes of strenuous rowing. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather laugh than row. Make a list of movies, comics and books that make you laugh, and then enjoy them in your life every day. Are there people who make you laugh until you gasp? And are there some who suck the joy right out of you? Well, unless you’re married to one of them, spend less time with them! Surround yourself with people and things that bring you joy. Remember to laugh at yourself … you’re your own best material.
This tool may be the hardest, yet it’s the one my audiences thank me for the most. People waste a lot of energy, and compromise their health and even their lives when they fail to forgive. Buddha, Jesus and other spiritual figures taught this holy philosophy. Forgiveness is good for your soul, heart and body. Science has proven that people who forgive are healthier and happier. The first hurdle is to forgive yourself for past mistakes or regretted decisions. That was who you were then, and you acted based on what you knew then. It has nothing to do with who you choose to be today. Next, try to forgive somebody else, no matter how horrific the offense— and I know some are horrific. It took me too long to realize that when I refuse to forgive someone, it doesn’t hurt that person; it only hurts me. Why would you give someone who has deeply wounded you the power to continue to harm you with sleepless nights, upset stomachs and headaches? You must forgive, whether or not you think someone deserves it. I know people who are mad at people who don’t even know they’re mad at them. I know people who are mad at dead people! People must forgive. It’s freeing and healing. It’s an empowering choice. So read the books, see the counselor, write the letter, make the call, or do whatever it takes. Move on and be free. Forgiving is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
- Connect with Your Higher Power
Creating spiritual balance is as important as physical and mental balance. Polls say that 93 percent of Americans believe in God. If you are among them, I remind you to be in touch with the God you believe in, every single day. Don’t wait for weekends. Even if it is just for 15 minutes, take time for prayer, meditation or reflection. “Fifteen minutes?” you say. “I barely have time to eat, sleep and exercise! I’m working hard on my business!” This was a hard discipline for me. I knew it was important, but I just couldn’t seem to allocate the time daily and regularly. So I bought a little daily reading book to start. But being the task-oriented, I couldn’t sit down and read the entire book at one time, but I could read it every day while I dried my hair. Then, a few weeks into this routine, it occurred to me, “You know, LeAnn, I think you’re supposed to sit down, shut up and listen.” Listen to your deep inner voice. You can call it intuition, Holy Spirit, gut feeling, or whatever label fits your spiritual beliefs. In quiet moments, pose questions to your inner voice about your personal and business life. In the silence, you will “hear” the wisdom, and gain guidance and direction.
- Live Your Priorities
What is the No. 1 priority in your life? Are you living it? Your priorities aren’t what you state them to be; they’re how you’re spending your time. Look at your daily and monthly schedules. Are you living your priorities? When you’re juggling balls of responsibility, you should determine which balls are rubber and which are glass. The rubber balls are usually our “stuff” and even our jobs. If you drop them, they can bounce back. But when glass balls are dropped— people you love or your health—they can be irretrievably broken. By now you’re thinking, “I know this stuff.” But are you doing it? My little sisters used to say, “You’re not the boss of me!” Well, who’s the boss of you? Who says how much you breathe, think positive, laugh, forgive and pray? Be the boss of you. Care for your body, mind and spirit. Then, you can breathe easy through TSA lines and get to the gates of your life, happily and healthily, just as you visualized.