We Have A Crisis In The Workplace!
How are we going to manage it?
Here’s a neuroscientist’s perspective on how to manage seemingly never-ending crises both in and outside the workplace:
First, it’s important to realize how our brains work.
We pay significantly more attention to negative information than compared to positive. Our amygdala grows bigger when stressed, which actually makes us more and more susceptible to becoming more and more stressed out!
Why do our brains have this – seemingly counterproductive – quirk?
Well, when our ancestors were huddled together around the fire and keeping each other safe, they had to be aware of dangers at all times. Ferocious animals, sneaky snakes, human enemies… One danger could lead quickly to another, so our brains adapted to keep us hyperaware and, quite frankly, alive.
So, what are some solutions to help ease stress at the workplace or just the overall feeling of stress in the world?
1. Boost your and your team’s autonomy Instead of sitting and ruminating on the feeling of overwhelm, think to yourself or brainstorm with your team one way in which you can make the situation better.
2. Be kind Studies have shown that doing something nice for someone else releases dopamine (happiness), serotonin (well-being), and oxytocin (social). This neurochemical cocktail is called the “happiness trifecta” and can help us feel better instantly.
3. Find your purpose We are hard-wired to feel like we are making a difference, so if you’re in a crisis, it’s important for you and your team to know why you’re doing what you’re doing and how it helps the overall community. Knowing your purpose will help your brain and body maintain energy levels and push through feelings of overwhelm or stress. It’s about creating the right working conditions for better productivity – and happiness – in and out of your workplace.