Cast your mind back to a time when your negative emotions were high and you had to focus on work, give a presentation or even have a simple conversation. It probably wasn’t easy to focus and to deliver the best results. The reason for this is that when the mind is flooded with stressful emotions the rest of its thinking capacity is shut down. The body goes into attack mode as the cortisol rushes through you and as a result, you can’t think clearly, you can’t focus and you won’t make good decisions. Many of us have experienced the pressure of trying to focus under these circumstances where our minds work ten times as hard to deliver a simple sentence and when we have no idea of what the other person or people have just said. These kind of experiences slowly erode our confidence and our ability to deliver well. Your subconscious records the event and will send out early warning signals when it feels any similar emotions arising. The mind and body shut down to protect you; they have gone into survival mode and they are saving your resources so that you can either fight or run. Think of how impractical either of these reactions are in a meeting or when you are about to give a speech or having a difficult conversation with your boss or even a family member.
The converse is the case when we have a positive and open mindset; we can think very clearly and easily. Creativity flows and our capacity to make connections quicker is much greater. The result is that we make better decisions.
This week, notice what triggers you to think in a negative way. The process of being aware of these triggers is the first step to cutting out the negative effects on your ability to think clearly.