COPE – The high road to mental wellness in the workplace and life!

C – ut              O – ut              P – otential                E – levators

When you see the word “elevator” you may be thinking of the thing you walk into and push the 4th floor to get to work. Well, no silly!  I didn’t mean cut out the elevator, although a little vigorous walk through the stairwell to the 4th floor may be an awesome stress reliever to and from the office everyday – another good wellness tip. But seriously, that’s not what I meant!!

What are elevators, you ask?  Elevators are those things that may do the following:

  1. Elevate your blood pressure
  2. Increase the flow of blood, which, into your neck and face, becomes red because you may be boiling with anger
  3. Push you to use the choice words from the catalog of “no no’s.” You know the ones that start with the letter S, D, H… (This is adult content so you can probably figure out those four letter words)
  4. Elevate your voice to the level in which you start to see heads peek over the tops of the cubicles and hear chairs rolling into the hallway, of co-workers who are deciding if they need to duck for cover or call for backup

There may be other things that popped into your mind that fit this narrative and your situation and that’s great – think about the “elevators” or triggers that are present in your life. This article is meant to be a tool, to provide you with knowledge and challenge you to be more mindful of those things that cause you to “elevate.” Once you are more self aware of these triggers, you can eliminate some anxiety and operate in a way that is more productive in the long run.

So how can I utilize this newfound knowledge to be a better workplace partner and family member or friend?  Great question again!!  Let’s rock and roll with this:

  1. Become more aware and mindful of when you become agitated or upset. Ask yourself, “what got me to this point? What about this situation has caused me to elevate?”
  1. Address the trigger. Ask yourself, “is this something that I can address with the other person or people?” If the answer is YES, collect your thoughts and calmly and rationally set aside some time to address your concern(s) with the individual(s). If the answer is NO, then ask yourself, “what can I change so that I am no longer elevated and can restore my balance to move forward from this situation?”
  1. Reflect. Once you have either addressed the elevator situation with the other party, or restored yourself to a place of balance, reflect. Ask yourself, “is there a pattern I noticed with this situation and others and what “elevates” me?” When you take time to reflect, you allow yourself the opportunity to make changes and grow from the experience.

It is only when we take no ownership for our own “stuff” that we begin to pin the blame on others. Our elevators become worse and so do our abilities to cope and live in a less stressed and more comfortable and calmer state. While elevator rides can be smooth, they can also be bumpy and make unexpected stops when certain buttons have been pushed. Take some time to truly self-reflect and get to know what buttons elevate you, address them and see how things change for the better.  Your personal and work lives will benefit from the reflection.

Be easy… Cut Out Potential Elevators and watch things begin to change for your better!

NakaishaHeadshotAbout The Author: NaKaisha Tolbert-Banks is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor, Certified Empowerment Coach, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, and an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner. She is an Energetic Public Speaker, lover of writing, and workshop presenter who enjoys laughter as a way of connecting with others, be it friends, family, or good ol’fashioned strangers in the community. She has a counseling and life coaching firm in Indianapolis, Indiana. www.duogiggles.weebly.com