*Four Minute Read (Para leer en español, haga clic aquí)
When LUNA’s office closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I began sending a daily poll to our staff in hopes of beginning everyone’s day feeling at least a lit bit connected to one another. While some of our staff have always been remote working in the community daily, much of our staff was accustomed to going to an office every day to converse, connect, and build relationships. And these relationships are such an integral part of LUNA.
Without this automatic daily opportunity to physically be in the same space, I was searching for ways to bring us together and keep us aligned and engaged with one another, as well as engaged with the organization as a whole.
In addition to engagement, I hoped the daily poll would create a morning ritual for our work days while also finding common threads to one another based on answers to the questions. It would be a vehicle for commonalities to shine through even though we were no longer physically sharing a space together.
Some of the questions are silly (Would you rather fight a bear or an alligator?), while others are a little more personal (Are you typically a spender or a saver?). And others are intentionally geared towards identifying and shining light on this weird and challenging time for many of us. Questions like, “On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rate your emotional state right now?” Or, “When was the last time you did some sort of self-care?”
On two separate occasions, last week’s daily poll spurred some sort of longing or desire from several people on staff. Whether it was a longing for Mexican food after being asked if they preferred salsa, guacamole, or queso or if they felt itchy after being asked if they would rather have a persistent cough or itch, the power of suggestion was apparent.
It got me thinking about the ways we can influence our thoughts and emotions through the power of suggestion. How can we harness often mundane messages to positively impact our lives day in and out?
Many of us begin our days with social media or some sort of news. And especially in 2020, the messages we are seeing so often on these outlets are negative, scary, and even full of hatred. Is that the tone you want to set for your day? Is that the first piece of information you want to consume?
If you consciously knew and believed the first piece of information you saw each morning would influence how you would feel for the rest of the day, what would you choose to be that first thought? I’m guessing it would not be focused on the racial injustices, the COVID pandemic, or whatever crime or negative things are happening in your community. Yet that is what is so frequently consuming our media outlets right now and how many of us are beginning our days.
This concept of starting my day positively is a large part of why I exercise first thing in the morning. It sets the tone for my day. A tone of strength, endurance, and confidence.
It’s also why I text a friend every morning with an inspirational quote. This little thing helps us focus on something good and motivating for the day.
Some people meditate. Others may read the bible. And some may journal. The options are endless. What can you do to control the tone you set for your day?
Reading, hearing, or creating a positive message first thing in the morning when your brain and thoughts are still mushy and not yet stuck in their ways for the day can really create a huge shift.
Another easy trick to help harness the power of suggestion is the superhero pose. Studies have shown standing in a strong stance and one that physically takes up space (like a superhero with feet spread wide and hands on your hips) for two minutes can elevate testosterone (our power hormone) and decrease cortisol (our stress hormone).
This simple exercise can help build our confidence and ability to enter situations feeling mentally strong and prepared. I’ve even read stories that people who did this in a mirror prior to an interview or presentation were far more successful as a result.
It’s an easy way to set your brain and thoughts into believing you are as strong and capable as possible. And the truth is we are all incredibly strong and capable, yet too often we allow our shame gremlins to run rampant on our thoughts and talk us out of believing our true self-worth.
I challenge you to be mindful about the first thoughts and ideas you consume each day. And to take note of how this may or may not influence your day. It’s a tiny shift that might make a world of difference. And it doesn’t hurt to stand like a superhero every once in a while too.
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Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at stevie@LUNA360.com.