So how do you handle stress when you are facing overwhelm? It seems impossible in this day and age doesn't it? Don't worry, there are definitely strategies out there!
The Box Of has interviewed and partnered with the brilliant Gaelle Tuffigo from The Expand Approach after attending a workshop she did on Managing Energy at Google Campus' workshop. Read on for her motivation, approach and techniques to get you on top of things!
Gaelle, tell us what you do for a living?
I am a Mindfulness & Meditation teacher, and a coach. I inspire and motivate work-hard-play-hard women to get out of their busy routine and expand their mind, by finding more balance, developing healthier habits of being & acting, and leading a life that is more aligned to who they really are.
Fantastic. The world needs this. What motivated you to get into this?
I used to be a work-hard-play-hard woman myself! I had a full-on job in London, went to fitness classes, saw friends and went to gigs in the evenings, went on lots of weekends away, and on holidays that were packed of things 'to do'! I had the life I thought I'd always wanted but I was deep down quite unhappy and lost! Eventually, I had a burn out. I then really had to look at my life: my lifestyle, my habits, the beliefs sitting underneath, my motivations, and my dreams. I realised that I was living a life that wasn't mine, and from there started a challenging, but rewarding self-development journey.
How did this mindful journey unfold?
I used a variety of resources to help me out, and at the time felt really overwhelmed by them all. Looking back, I wish I had someone my by side on this journey! Over the last 10 years, I have compiled the best sources of inspirations, exercises and tools from all the coaching programmes and the retreats I have attended, into an innovative approach, The Expand Approach, which I share with groups and individually. My approach is very accessible, practical, and I am definitely not a 'guru'! The aim is to make personal development and mindfulness accessible to ALL, even those who think they can't meditate. With me, you can!
Why do you think managing your energy so important?
There is so much written about managing your time, but to me this is so 1990's, and so irrelevant! We have 24h in a day, so from a time perspective, we could have 24h available for work, but does it mean that this is what we should do? Absolutely not! Longer days at the office don't work, they leave people feeling exhausted, disengaged and sick. By managing your energy, you can learn to replenish and build healthy habits that are sustainable for you in all aspects of your lives, and that can have a positive impact in the long term. It also allows you to best schedule your work, depending on when you are the sharpest, and most creative, or not.
"we live in a world that is busier, faster and more demanding than ever. The world isn't going to slow down."
What do you think about the rise in the mindfulness movement?
I think it is great, mostly! Mindfulness is 2,500 years old, it is not a new fad, or the cool thing of the day. But the fact that more people are interested in it is a sign of our days - we live in a world that is busier, faster and more demanding than ever. The world isn't going to slow down unfortunately, so since we can't change our outside world, it is important to learn to manage our 'inside' - our 4 types of energy: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical.
I think the challenge is that the quality of the teaching varies, and that's highly dependent on the teachers experience and ability to teach in an accessible yet impactful manner!
Tell us what works for you personally?
Stress can really bring our energy levels down, so when I feel in the grip, I remember all the people and things I have in my life that I am grateful for, and why I am grateful for them - I call this an abundance & gratitude practice. I allows me to shift perspective.
How do you manage competing priorities and demand of others as a busy entrepreneur?
I am very focused when it comes to prioritising! Every Sunday night I organise my week ahead, and every morning I re-plan each day. Each day is planned to ensure I focus on my top 3 priorities whilst still have some break time. The key question is 'what are the 3 things I need to do today to bring me closer to my goals'?
"Learning to manage our thoughts is not a 'nice to have', but an essential practice to optimise our performance and well-being."
If there was one tip you could give for people struggling, what would it be?
Seeing as the brain uses more energy that any other human organ - 20% of our overall energy!- learning to manage our thoughts is therefore not a 'nice to have', but an essential practice to optimise our performance and well-being. You can do this by learning to observe your thoughts and ask yourself: 'Is this thought bringing me happiness or not?' and from there choose which thought to entertain. Your mind is like a garden, and you can decide whether you want to water the flowers or the weeds! It's a simple concept, but not always an easy one, and it takes practice, which is why it's always a good idea to find a good mindfulness teacher/coach to work with!
Gaelle offers a unique approach of Mindfulness, Coaching and Training to help people Expand in a faster, busier world. Discover more about The Expand Approach a method which aims to make mindfulness accessible to all at www. gaelletuffigo.com .
Follow her on Instagram @gaelleexpand Twitter: @expandapproach