Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the Simple Health Radio. Today’s question of the day comes to us from Dr. Janice Hughes, who is a chiropractor in Boulder Colorado. She’s also a wellness coach and published author. Her website is www.drjanicehughes.com
Recently she sent us a question. Let’s have a listen:
First, let me thank Dr. Janice Hughes for sending in an excellent question about mindfulness.
What are the top daily success, health habits with actions to promote health and wellness?
There are 2 specific techniques that all talk about on today’s episode. I have found these to be beneficial not just for health habits, but also to promote health, wellness, and to reduce the anxiety of the mind. The 2 things I will talk about our multitasking and mind mapping.
People who multitask think they’re getting so many things done. Multiple studies from Stanford and other researchers have proven that people who multitask actually have worse performance than people who just do one task at a time.
There may be a small amount of time savings with multitasking, but the final outcome is actually of poor quality.
That means we end up redoing a lot of the work, later on, to get it right. If we had simply focused on it the 1st time properly, you wouldn’t have to take time to redo it at a later time.
Why is this important? So much of what we do is multitasking either at home, at work, or even on weekends.
We’re never actually able to devote our full attention to one particular task. We’re dividing our brain and attention among 2 or 3 different things and not able to actually complete any of them successfully.
Why is that relevant? Well, it increases stress hormones in the body, including cortisol and it causes a level of anxiety. It means people lose a little bit of control every time they multitask and the brain tries to compensate by overthinking or overreaching.
Furthermore, if we’re at a baseball game to watch our child play, but were consumed by emails and Netflix and other distractions from work, your child is going to notice. That behavior carries over. People tend to tune out people in their own household when they become overwhelmed and start multitasking. It even carries over into our sleep. People can’t turn off that switch they feel like there’s still something left undone.
It creates a constant state of chaos. That’s the opposite of what you’re looking for with wellness.
So the short answer is don’t multitask. Successful people don’t do it. If you can’t get the work done yourself it’s okay to delegate to someone else or even to decline that project or that task. But don’t try to do to were 3 things at the same time. It’s not beneficial.
What does work? Mind-mapping.
Write down your thoughts. Whenever you are faced with a challenge, it is tremendously helpful to write it down. This actually frees up your mind to focus on something that you need to do to get done. It also creates specific steps and things you can act upon a very concrete manner.
Let’s take the example of buying a car.
Some people know exactly what kind of car they want, what color they want, and how much they’re willing to pay. They go into a dealership and buy it and they’re finished.
However, many people are overwhelmed at the thought of buying or even test driving a car. They have no idea how big of a car they want, how many seats it should have, what features it should have, whether they should lease it, or whether they will even like that car.
In this situation, those people go into decision paralysis. The simple act of buying a car is now extremely complex for them. They can no longer move forward with purchasing the car and they can’t go back because they’ve already committed themselves to get this vehicle. That will directly impact their relationships with other people because they are so anxious.
A way around it is to get those thoughts out of the brain and put them onto paper. That’s what mind mapping is all about.
Start by drawing a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and label it “new car”. Then, you draw lines out from that circle with the different things that you have considered.
For example, a Toyota versus a BMW versus a Tesla. Then you have another line that says lease versus buy. Then you’ll have another line that says sedan versus minivan versus SUV. Then you have another line that says cost or payments.
Then you need to outline each of those individual lines. Break them apart even further. If you lease it what will your exact amount be per month? If you buy what is your exact amount. If you have a sedan what are the positives. If you have a sedan what are the negatives.
When you have it laid out in front of you, it’s out of your mind and you can see it visually. Then put it away and look at it 1 or 2 days later. Now all of a sudden you think of something else you’ll make a note that you forgot to include toll fees or insurance costs. Then you might erase something that’s no longer relevant such as leasing. Eventually, after a few more days, your brain will have helped to process what the information was actually all about.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed, now you have 2 or 3 very good options that you can act upon. When you go to the dealership you 40 made up your mind that you want to purchase a Toyota sedan and you’re also going to test drive 3 different models.
From there, it’s much easier for you to make a decision. It’s all because your mind map so you’re able to get that into visual contacts. It doesn’t cost you any money to do the simple mind mapping. There are several websites that you can go to or even apps you could download to set this up initially.
Mind mapping works for almost everything. Whether buying a house, applying to college or even thinking about chemotherapy for a cancer diagnosis. There will always be some stress in making a decision. Having it labeled, broken apart, and well-designed gives you something to think about a piece by piece.
When you get stuck, just sleep on it. Come back to it a day or 2 later. Then show it to your family or your friend or your doctor and they can show you where the different priorities should be.
Although it’s not really a medical diagnosis, I will tell you that being able to focus on one task at a time and being able to convey your thoughts onto paper is extremely important in the medical field. If you try some of these methods at home, you will find them to be very beneficial.
It doesn’t cost you anything to try it. It may just change the way you learn new skills, work at your job, or even how you raise your children.
I want to take Dr. Janice Hughes for sending in a great question about mindfulness and daily habits that can help to reduce stress on the body. You can visit her website www.drjanicehughes.com to learn more.
I’ll have show notes and blogs updated on our website www.simplehealthradio.com.
If you have questions you’d like to send to us, connect with us on social media. I hope we can answer them on one of our future episodes.
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