3 Habits That Keep Successful People Sane — Even In Pure Chaos

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When it feels like the entire world is catching fire, how do you stay sane?

Mental fitness is about having the ability to stop, in the moment, to consider how you will respond to a challenging situation. It also gives you the ability to consider how you want to respond.

A situation can be an aforethought, an external stimulus, or a feeling. Being mentally and physically fit will give you the ability to choose your response, in the moment.  


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Having the ability to respond positively and constructively to a situation can help you avoid sustaining or causing emotional and relational injury with mental fitness.  

Physical fitness gives you the ability to function better in your daily life by being stronger and energized as well as less prone to accidents and injury.

So, how do you stay sane?

Like physical fitness, mental fitness needs constant building in helping you to be a healthier version of yourself.

Mental fitness is about having and maintaining a state of well-being and constantly building an awareness of how you think, behave, and feel.


Resilience is part of mental fitness.  

Building resilience gives you the ability to advance despite adversity towards your desired outcome. This means you need to keep moving towards what you want to achieve in your personal life or work life, despite the challenges you may face.

By improving your overall well-being — both physically and mentally — you will have the ability to function at your optimum.

This results in being able to respond to the demands of the day more easily, reduce stress, increase positive emotions, and experience a sense of achievement.

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Here are 3 things the coolest, most 'together' people do when the world turns upside down. 

1. They avoid their stress triggers.

If a trigger of stress for you is being around toxic behaviours in the office, you could choose to change how you respond in this environment.


Setting and clarifying which behaviors you expect from your team from the start is a great way to steer these types of situations. It ensures that you remain in a state of calm to respond positively and constructively.

2. They challenge their own perceptions.

You can challenge how you perceive a situation and, therefore, how you respond to it. Perceptions are often based on past similar experiences.

Your brain automatically looks for patterns to build automated responses. Therefore, if a situation occurs which is like a situation from the past, how you responded to the past situation, is likely to be your default response to the current situation.

This happens unless you've tapped into your ability to change your response, in overriding your automated response.


If you're constantly building an awareness of how you think, behave, and feel, this will give you the ability to challenge your perception of a situation before responding, and choose how you want to respond, which will result in a positive outcome.

3. They do the work to get "unstuck".

If you're struggling to find clarity and focus to give clear direction to your team at work, it's time to prioritize your overall well-being. 

Clear thinking is only experienced in a state of calm, so it's important to have a strategy to ensure you can bring yourself into this space when needed. 

Feeling "stuck" in what you're seeking to achieve, is only experienced in a state of stress and overwhelm. Therefore, you need to identify what it is that brings you into a state of calm for you to become "unstuck."


For example, I worked with a client who realized she needed to have routine and organization in at least one area of her life to experience a state of calm. She realized being in a state of calm gave her the ability to respond to the demands of the day more easily. 

Her strategy involved having a morning routine of preparing for the day the night before and setting allocated days and times for social activities combined with regular exercise. She's now able to maintain a state of calm by ensuring she has routine and organization in her personal life. 

This has given her the ability to consider how she will respond and how she wants to respond to any challenges which come her way.


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Catherine Wood is an executive well-being coach. She helps corporate leaders to build resilience, self-awareness, and increase their mental fitness through executive wellbeing coaching. For more information, visit her website.