Conflicts at work are common. Our ability to solve the situation depends on our attitude. Often, we are quick to judge, react, try to solve or resist the issue, or simply run away!

This leads to errors in thinking and decisions that may backfire sooner or later. Do we ever think before uttering words or making a judgement that might hurt others? Without this pause we sometimes sabotage our relationships to the extent of putting our job in jeopardy.

So, how do we deal with this? The normal course suggested by experts is to count slowly up to ten or in the reverse order to cool down and avoid making a hasty decision. A better alternative and a recent trend adopted by many would be to cease activities momentarily. The golden word would be to pause! Take a few minutes or a day to stop, pause and proceed on the right course of action depending on the seriousness of the situation. This way we give ourselves time to react, clear our mind and get out of the situation to enhance our thinking and decision making ability.

Stabilise the mind: When in confusion, just stop and focus on something different (pleasant) to let your mind become calm and peaceful. This will help achieve clarity in thinking. The mind has the habit of jumping from topic to topic and pondering on issues like a ship being tossed at sea. The mind gets restless and distracted leading to fatigue and stress. Thus de-cluttering the mind helps overcome these symptoms and develops focus/attention.

Another way to stabilise the mind would be to focus on breathing. Take a few deep breaths with eyes closed or with eyes focused on some object and just experience the process of inhalation and exhalation. The mind would slowly become quiet.

Experience the moment: Live in the present. Experience the job or work at hand with focus and joy. This again helps stabilise the mind. This brings with it a sense of well-being making us more connected with the job and with the people involved.

A simple tip to remain in the present is to stop, pause and proceed like the traffic signals!

S – Stop. Just stop all the activities and sit quietly

T – Tune in the attention of the mind to your breathing.

O – Observe the mind getting quiet or observe the thought rushing through the mind without giving it any importance by detaching yourself from the thought.

P – Place the question or issue in your awareness without seeking any answer.

Although it requires practice, these four steps help in clearing the mind. Slowly, the answers or the right course of action comes up from within.

So, stop, pause and then proceed with an action plan to facilitate a good decision. This pause helps rejuvenate the inner self and minimises anger and frustration preventing us from being impulsive.

A decision made in haste or words uttered without thinking definitely do more damage than good.

Rekha Murali