My previous blog, Stop, Look and Listen mentioned this Zen saying, but didn’t discuss how it can lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness.
When we feel anxious and hurried, our breath becomes shallow and oxygen to our brain is reduced, minimizing our ability to think creatively. When we are calm and relaxed, brain oxygen and creativity increases. Dr. Herbert Benson in his groundbreaking book, described the relaxation response as “learning to respond to stressful situations by reducing rather than increasing tension.”
Neuroscience research has shown our greatest moments of insight and creativity emerge when our mind is calm and relaxed. Insights often come to me when I am in nature or riding my bicycle. Slowing down combined with physical activity often changes my perspective on a problem and provides me solutions. When time is short, I act slowly and ‘Stop, Look and Listen’.
What actions have you found that increase your ‘relaxation response’ in difficult situations?