Further into my swimming lessons, there was another important lesson to learn. It is to relax in the midst of all the pulling, kicking, and treading water.

While we learn swimming, it is natural to panic in the water and stay tensed. This leads us into an endless cycle of sinking and panicking. I told my coach to remind me to relax every now and then. Once I achieve the relaxed state of mind and body, it becomes easy to swim. I get to pay attention to the technique and correct the mistakes made.

It is not easy. As I get exhausted, my body start reacting to the struggles around. I forget to relax, forget the technique, and gets pulled into a downward spiral of chaos. And the coach reminds me once again - “relax”!

This happens at work too. Often there is a hustle towards meeting the deadlines. It’s a panic situation. I have found that a calm and relaxed state improves the creativity and productivity of the team.

While we panic, the fight or flight response kicks in. The work becomes hard and sometimes unreliable. That’s when we need to remind ourselves, “relax”. Or get someone to tell you, “relax”.

Note: Also read It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work