Lisa Blackshaw Howell

December 29, 2020

Do you ever get out of bed and envision an amazing day ahead of you? And then it all goes wrong…

SURF past the urge to react ….

SURF past the urge to react
SURF past the urge to react

When you receive a not very pleasant email, comment, zoom call, phone call? Your blood boils, you immediately start typing like a maniac, shout at the wall, swear, say something inappropriate back…. And then wonder why all your good intentions came to nothing?

Many clients at BHC we noticed have been having heightened stress and pressure and are in a heightened state of frazzledness often!! This is made worse from ongoing uncertainty of working differently throughout lockdowns, working from home, feeling plugged in and ‘got at’ from technology and not getting time for any breaks (or even the loo)! Those working ‘on site’ in Manufacturing and service industries have daily uncertain staff levels which lead to not enough people and too much to do, feeling like there is always a mountain to climb and no end in view. On top of which everyone carries health worries of self, family and friends and their communities just to add to their loads! Sound familiar? Does the constant day after day, week after week, month after month relentlessness of these times, of no proper holidays, nothing to look forward to and no end in sight of anything other than work and possibly the uncertainty of a job, leave you reacting in a way that you can’t work out why it’s all going a bit ‘Pete Tong’ (wrong)!?

If so – SURFing will help you to take back your sanity, professionalism, operate and lead like you used to, with control and confidence and behave in a way that leaves you feeling calm :

People don’t have a behaviour problem; they have an emotional processing problem. You can manage these thoughts and get past the gut emotional reaction according to positive psychology theory. Our emotional urges last for 90 seconds. Instead of answering the urge, you should remember to SURF past the urge you have to react—and keep on focusing on your behaviours, appropriate responses and emotions. Don’t allow that email or statement by a colleague or team member to add pressure, take 90 seconds to reflect. According to the theory, taking this small amount of time is all we need to do to process the emotions and keep charge of our behaviours.

How to SURF

SURF is an acronym that stands for:

Surrender: acknowledge your reaction and feeling/thoughts

Unfold: turn those thoughts off and focus on your physical sensation

Recede: watch the wave recede away as it gets less intense

Find the name: label the emotion. What was the feeling?

  1. Name the emotion and let 90 seconds pass
  2. Reflect and notice how this enables you to take a step back and manage the pressure levels in the moment
  3. Notice how you gain control, perspective and control and influence again.
  4. Assess over time as you get used to using this technique: are you able to be a better leader / business strategist/ human being at work and home?

AT BHC we believe in eating elephants, not whole but in incremental bite sized chunks. This is one of many of our simple and quick to use techniques. We see results immediately for the people we work with. If you’d like to be supported to stride into 2021 and thrive as a business owner, leader, team member or individual and take back control then we have many packages and coaching options to meet your needs.

For more information contact /