Life is full of drama, its all around us. We wouldnt be human beings if this were not so.
It doesnt matter whether its at work or at home, wherever there are people, there will always be conflict, change, difficulties or differences to deal with.
At work there’s always one or two who like to create a storm in a tea cup… like, who hasnt washed up their coffee mug or hasnt replaced the loo paper in the toilets. Then there is that person who sits in the workstation opposite who drives you mental and just rubs you the wrong way. There may be a manager or team leader who constantly tries to control and micro-manage you to death, then takes the credit for all your hardwork themselves. Of course if anything goes wrong then you know the blame always gets directed straight at you or your team.
And it doesnt stop there. You get home and one of the kids is sick, your partner is annoyed because you forgot to pick up the brie, deli meats and crackers for dinner on your way home and the inlaws are on their way over. On top of all that, you check the mail, and amongst all the bills is a note from your neighbour threatening to call the council ranger if your dog continues to bark incessantly throughout the day.
Learn to avoid drama
In case you had never noticed…drama creates drama. In order for it to remain alive, drama needs constant input and attention from us and others in order to thrive. All this can be a huge distraction from the things we really need to be focusing on. Attention to drama also drains us of energy and robs us of our precious time.
It is important for us to recognise when we are at risk of being drawn into the mix. Some people are experts at creating problems and dragging others around them into their own little drama production. There are number of reasons why people do this. They may love the attention it brings them by constantly having something to complain about or gain sympathy for from others. Sometimes these drama queens create the conflict, get everyone upset and worked up, then stand back and watch everyone self destruct. This person gains a feeling of power from the chaos they have created and ususally have learned this manipulative behaviour early on in life as a coping mechanism. Needless to say it pays to be aware of the dynamic so you can recognise when these situations occur and steer completely clear of them.
As I mentioned earlier, drama feeds on drama. The more we buy into the mayhem the more it grows and we are at risk of being cought up in its destructive path. There is nothing more satisfying for a drama addict than when people are caught up in their web, this just adds to their feeling of power. On the other hand those who fall victim are being robbed of their energy, time and focus. In the workplace this means a huge loss of resources and productivity.
Training your mind
However sometimes we could unknowingly be the source of drama ourselves. Too often our minds can latch onto something bothering us or an underlying fear, constantly going around and around analysing the situation from every angle in an attempt to problem solve.
Many people have developed over their life time “stories” about themselves that constantly play out in their head. For eg. “Why do I always get lumped with the extra work? I always seem to be carrying the whole team. I’m always the last to leave the office. Why doesn’t Sarah ever stay back to help out? This always happens to me! Its because she is younger/prettier/sucks up to the boss etc…Its not fair!! This always happens to me, it used to happen when I was small too. Just because I was the eldest I had to do most of the housework. Life’s not fair, I always get the rough deal”.
Most of us live with and undisciplined mind. Random thoughts and fears, daydreams pop into our minds without us having any realization that this is happening. This constant mental chatter goes nowhere it loops around and around in our minds draining our energy and taking our attention away from the present moment.
This constant mental activity can be so familiar to us that we dont realise we are even doing it. When we are unaware of this, that means that we are not in control of our mind….our mind is controlling us!
Mindfulness is a wonderful tool for gaining more control over our everyday thoughts and thought processes. So much of our daily stress is created by engaging in unconstructive thoughts.
Mindfulness is when the mind is aware, focused, open and relaxed. You can imagine how wonderful life would be if we could practice learning to be in this state more often. Much less of our time and energy would be drained dwelling on negative, unwanted and uncontrolled thoughts.
There is now much research being done on observing the visible changes in the brain processes as a result of engaging in mindfulness practice.
Practising mindfulness enables you to bring focus awareness to the present moment. The temptation to ruminate on things that have already happened and are in the past and projection and worry about things that “might” happen in the future all take us away from the present moment. Taking up this practice can have a huge positive impact on both work and personal life
A simple mindfulness technique
This is an easy mindfulness exercise, and one that you can do anytime throughout the day. Take a moment right now to try this. Check your watch and note the time. For the next 60 seconds your task is to focus all your attention on your breathing. It’s just for one minute, but it can seem like an eternity. Leave your eyes open and breathe normally. Be ready to catch your mind from wandering off (because it will) and return your attention to your breath whenever it does so.
This mindfulness exercise is far more powerful than most people give it credit for. It takes some people many years of practice before they are able to complete a single minute of alert, clear attention.
Keep in mind that this mindfulness exercise is not a contest or a personal challenge. You can’t fail at this exercise, you can only experience it.
Use this exercise many times throughout the day to restore your mind to the present moment and to restore your mind to clarity and peace.
Over time, you can gradually extend the duration of this exercise into longer and longer periods.