Life & Relationships

5 Tools To Be Calmer & More Focused In Your Life, According To A Doctor

5 Tools To Be Calmer & More Focused In Your Life, According To A Doctor

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Life & Relationships

5 Tools To Be Calmer & More Focused In Your Life, According To A Doctor

We loved performance psychologist Dr. Dana Sinclair’s first book Dialed In: Do Your Best When It Matters Most so much, we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at some of her expert tips on how to face life’s stresses and power through them, regardless of your age or career.

What do Don Mattingly (baseball legend), Nick Nurse (NBA coach), and Alicia Coppola (director & actress) all have in common? They all know how important the mindset is to performance, and they’ve all endorsed the coaching of performance psychologist Dr. Dana Sinclair. 

From professional athletic teams across the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, PGA, MLS, IndyCar, WTA and the Olympics (whew!) to surgeons, students, executives, parents, coaches and performance artists—actors, musicians and more, Dr. Sinclair is taking her knowledge and research of working with high-performers to show that the same strategies that work for them can work for us all.

Motivational and uplifting, the topics of performing well, getting results and feeling satisfaction are a great way to nourish your mental health. And who doesn’t want that? Simple, smart, and effective Dialed In, Dr. Sinclair’s first book, is just like having your own performance coach in your back pocket.

Read on for her advice on how to coach yourself to be calmer and more focused—a better, more productive you for today and tomorrow.


Harnessing your power

“As I’ve witnessed, even high-level performers struggle under pressure—they get tense and nervous, they lose confidence, second guess and make mistakes. As humans, we can all let our mental approach undermine our abilities. But the good news? I’m here to help show you how you can harness and make it work for you in powerful ways.

As a licensed psychologist specializing in performance, I focus on straight-up performance enhancement work—tools to help you right away—and I’ve noticed that many top performers naturally use some, if not all, of the following difference makers at different times. They also apply these skills to more than one type of performance. And for those of us who don’t naturally do it, you can use these strategies, too.


Take Action

If you are a cautious, helpful, undemanding or modest person, one that likes to ‘play it safe’ and study a situation before you act, this difference maker is for you. You would be surprised by how many top performers are also mild and moderate by nature. But they have learned to make things happen rather than watch things happen. They initiate and do; they don’t shrink from difficult situations. They don’t take action all the time, mind you, but they know what they need to do to get things done.

Taking action doesn’t change your personality, but it can help you overcome a natural characteristic that will help you perform better in the moment.


Slow Down

Emotional control rules your ability to get results under pressure. The foundation of emotional control is a calmer, clearer mind. Owning the ability to self-soothe, to be able to calm down quickly, and to act with patience lowers your tension and puts you more in control. If you can slow down, you can mitigate a bad mood and settle your feelings of stress and worry.

Quieting your thoughts means you’ll argue less, hold back snap decisions, tamp down a rising temper, and stay focused on the task in front of you for longer. Slowing down actually gets you where you want to be faster and better.


Listen Longer

As in talk less, or just be quiet more. Even a five-second delay in responding to someone can make the difference between conveying disinterest or confidence. Connecting to what the other person is saying for a little longer gives you the space to interpret their words as they intended, to minimize wrong-headed assumptions, or absorb information and emotion that make for more objective decisions.


Drop The Details

Detail-oriented people strive to be precise. They like the guidance provided by rules and systems and do well with order and structure. Tolerating uncertainty can be uncomfortable, so they look for high odds of success before trying something, especially if it’s unfamiliar. Self-conscious and self-critical, they like to know what is expected of them and want to get it right the first time, every time. This can lead to feeling anxious and to procrastination.

Stop drowning in the details and losing sight of the big picture. Sometimes you need to drop the details to better manage a task and give yourself newfound relief and energy.


Check Yourself

Whether you’re the type of person who always thinks you aced it or breathes a huge sigh of relief when your performance is over, look back on it to see what you can learn. It’s hard to improve if you don’t know how or what you’ve done. Checking yourself may take courage, but it’s the smart way to get ahead.”


Want to learn more?



Dialed In: Do Your Best When It Matters Most (Simon & Schuster) By Dr. Dana Sinclair, $28





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Life & Relationships

5 Tools To Be Calmer & More Focused In Your Life, According To A Doctor