When your stress is building into an exasperating moment, emotions can easily get the best of you. And that can be detrimental if you’re in a professional environment. The next time you’re about to explode with stress, try this instead.
Photo by Erik F. Brandborg.
The Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIY) is a mindfulness program that was developed by Google for internal use, but it’s now offered to the public. Next time you feel overwhelmed, SIY suggests you practice the “Siberian North Rail Road” response (or SBNRR):
- Stop: This is the most important step. Instead of becoming wrapped up in the emotion or making an impulse decision, just stop. Decide to take a moment.
- Breathe: Take a deep breath. This helps clear your mind, as well as helps physiologically calm down your brain.
- Notice: Notice what you’re experiencing on a moment to moment basis. What are you feeling in your body? What emotions are you experiencing? Is it static or is it changing? Does the emotion seem out of proportion compared to the trigger?
- Reflect: What’s causing the emotion? Is it the right response? Is a part of you feeling attacked, belittled or threatened? Is there a story to the experience you’re having?
- Respond: Think of all the different courses of actions you can take. Consider the kindest, most compassionate way to respond to the situation (even if you don’t take that path.) Finally, make a conscious decision on how to respond.
As SIY instructor Robert Chender explains to Shana Lebowitz at Business Insider, the more you practise it the more effective it will be. If you want to be prepared for your next meltdown, Chender suggests you think of a challenging situation you recently experienced at work and go through the process in your head. Eventually it will become an automatic process and you’ll be able to collect yourself in just a few short moments.