Rise Wellness Webinar – Brain Hacks for Real Estate

By February 7, 2024 April 12th, 2024 No Comments

Mental health – just like physical health – is a spectrum. Sometimes we have great days, some days we struggle.

So how do you know what’s normal, whether you are just feeling a bit off – or it’s something else? Can you turn around your mindset in 2024?

In this FREE webinar, presented by Rise Initiative coordinator Kylie Davis, Brain Hacks for Real Estate will explore how our brain works, how we really ‘think’ and how to better manage stress and mental wellness to perform stronger than ever.

This webinar includes frank conversations about how we’re really feeling – and why working in real estate can be hard.

Improving mental wellness can be an important driver to everyday success in both our careers and personal lives. So grab your lunch and join us – 2024 is the year to continue making important investments in yourself.

This webinar is proudly sponsored by MRI.


Hey, everybody, if you’re just joining us, great to see you at the first wellness webinar for Rise. Thanks so much for being here. We might kick off because we’ve got quite a lot of material to cover as part of this and I might just start off by doing a quick welcome to country. My name is Kylie Davis. I am the organizer of the Rise Initiative, which is a charitable association that exists to support mental wellness in the real estate industry. We were founded back in 2019 and by the fabulous Chris Hanley and a bunch of amazing volunteers and enthusiasts in real estate. And we’re celebrating our fifth birthday this year. I’m here with you on Wango country, part of the Eora nation of Sydney. We are Russell Lee, Drumoy and five dock.

If you know the inner west of Sydney, cover the Wangork is the north side of or inner west side of the harbour. And I want to pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. It’s great to see so many of you jumping on the call for this really important conversation about mental wellness. Let’s kick off. So brain hacks for real estate agents. I’m really excited to be presenting this today. What we are going to be looking at are the way our brain works and we’re going to be looking at. And then my background is in the technology space and so we’re going to kind of try and combine some of those things together to work out how you can improve your performance as a real estate agent or a property manager. This works for anybody because.

And we’re going to explore what this idea of mental health and mental wellness really is. Here’s just before we kick off a few important points in today’s presentation, we are going to be talking about some topics that do pertain to serious mental health disorders. These include anxiety and depression. And there is a short session on a very short mention of suicide. Now, if this triggers anybody on the call, do not in any way hesitate to take a break, jump off the call, walk away from your computer, whatever you need to do. Your self care is really important to us. You don’t need to sit through anything that makes you uncomfortable and your sense of safety is important to us. These are the rules of psychological safety. So here’s what we’re going to be covering today. We’re going to be looking at new ways to.

We’re going to be looking at some new ways to assess what happens when we say that we’re fine. We’re going to look at this word fine and why it is such a strange and weird thing in the english language. And what do we really mean? We’re going to talk about the elephant in the room of mental health and the elephant in the room of mental health in real estate and why real estate and mental health have a bit of a relationship. We’re also going to deep dive into how our brains work and we’re going to look at how they work normally and then how we think and how they also work when we are under periods of stress and then under periods of prolonged stress. Because all of these things have an impact on us.

We’re going to explore the spectrum of mental health, because when we talk about mental health, it’s one of these weird things in a language that we tend to talk about mental health and think about illness, but we don’t talk about any other kind of health and think about that. So we’re going to tackle that. We’re then going to look at how you can hack your brain knowing all of this stuff. And then I’m going to share some tools that can help. So I really want to thank to MRI software, who are our sponsors of the Rise wellness webinars. This is our first one that we have done for the year. We’re going to be running sessions once a month, every. Well, most months we’ll have a few hot and hold while we’re doing our leadership event. But let’s dive right in.

Why do we need to discuss mental health when I’m fine, you’re fine. A whole bunch of people on the call before told me that they were fine. And if we’re all fine, then does mental health even impact us? Well, let’s dial into that, because this word fine and the way that we use it as Aussies is actually quite a problem because often when we use it and we tell people that we’re fine, you know that you’re actually not fine, but it seems too much of a bother to go into it, or you don’t want to depress the other person or weird them out, or when someone tells you they’re fine, your tummy compass goes and you know that they’re not. Right.

But when you try to dig deeper or ask more questions or sort of find out what’s really going on, they start to shut you out. So how can we work with this word fine? What do we, what do we use instead? How can we think about what fine really means? And the alternative to that, which we learned from hard on our sleep partners, Mitch Wallace and his fabulous team, is to ask yourself what’s your cruising altitude. So on a scale of one to ten on an average day, what number do you cruise at? How would you rate yourself? Now, me, I’m a pretty optimistic, positive kind of person. A typical cruising day for me is a seven or an eight.

I know that if something bad happens, I can get knocked back to a you six or a five, but I could come up pretty quickly. And when I’m really excited, I’m like a nine or ten or even an eleven, even though the scale is up to ten. But it doesn’t matter that my scale is an eight. It matters. What is your normal scale. So to encourage each of you to think about what your cruising altitude is and maybe just pop it into the chat and let us know kind of what level it is. There’s no right or wrong in this answer, but what we want to do. What got you to that level? What makes you feel like you’re cruising altitude today? How do you feel today compared to your normal cruising altitude?

And is that a little bit up, is it a little bit down? Or is it absolutely standard? Because when we say we’re fine, we’re usually talking about that cruising altitude. And when we say that we’re fine and we don’t really mean it means that our cruising altitude is off. So the question when you is know that your cruising altitude is sort of heading a little bit lower or it’s had a bit of a hit and you’ve. You’ve dived a bit, how can we start to course correct? What do you need to do to bring it back up to your cruising altitude? Has anyone got some numbers for me? John Cunningham and his team, they are an eight, which is great.

Now, John, I would absolutely endorse that, knowing you quite well, that we do get that if you’re really positive, but if it’s a five, that’s completely okay, too. If your normal cruising altitude is a five and you’ve got sort of halfway, that’s completely okay. What we need to look at with our cruising altitude is how are you tracking over time? Because it’s completely normal for things to happen in our day that give us a boost up, that knock us back for a bit, and then we come back. But if we notice that our cruising altitude is in decline and we’re finding it really hard to course correct, this is one of the things that is an indicator that shows that things are not right and maybe we need a bit of help. Or if your cruising altitude is like.

Is not an altitude, it’s not consistent it’s up and down and up and down. That might be another signal that it’s time to maybe ask for some help or to start to think, how can I actually start to get this a bit more consistent? Because it is normal to deal with declines and increases, knocks and winds during the day and have it wobble a bit. But when we see that it is moving really quickly all the time, or starting to be in decline and unable to return back to normal cruising altitude, that’s when we need to reach out for help. Let’s define mental health because we use this word as Aussies, as when we think about it often as illness, we think about depression, we think about bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or things like that.

But when we talk about how you’re feeling and how our health is, we never think about cancer or other traumatic, horrible diseases. So the UN has a great definition of mental health, which we love at rise. And mental health can be defined as a state of wellbeing in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities and can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community. And so this is what it is. Having good mental health is actually being in a cruising altitude that is fairly consistent and is able to cope with things when they, you know, bad things that happen which knock you back a bit, but then back up to cruising altitude again.

Great things happen, which is exciting and wonderful and empowering, but, you know, they can’t last forever and they come back down a bit. So this is our definition that we use at rise to think about mental health. And we call it mental wellness because it feels like mental wellness and we want it to be really connected to our performance on a day to day basis and this idea of a cruising altitude. So why do we need to discuss mental health, especially in real estate? Well, there’s five really key reasons. There are legal reasons. As employers, it’s mandatory and part of our occupational health and safety obligations, and yet we need to provide a safe work environment, free from discrimination. And our medical information around our mental health, as well as our physical health, needs to be kept private and safe.

It is economic, it’s really good for business. When we feel safe at work, we are able to perform better and be more productive, because 39 billion is the productivity cost of mental health related issues in Australia overall, annually. That’s a really big number, but when we get it right, we’re able to perform at our best. There’s a moral value, safe workplaces as a matter of dignity. 90% believe a safe workplace is important, yet only 50% of us believe that we work in one. Now, these are australian wide, because they’re not specifically for real estate. It’s also the ethical and the right thing to do, because 85% of people look for mental and psychological safety when they’re considering a new job. So if you’ve been thinking about moving to a new agency, you’re probably wondering what the culture is like and will you feel supported?

That’s basically you’re looking out for that. And social. The real estate industry really is at high risk. The risk of morbidity from mental health illnesses is higher than policing in real estate. And I think we’re going to look at that next. These are our statistics in this space, and this is a combination of the work that MRI did and also the revive project. 80% of real estate agents experience anxiety relating to their workload. 79% experience work stress, which impacts our physical health. 76% of us have experienced symptoms of burnout. Like, we just work too hard for too long and then can’t do it anymore. Just cannot even. It’s when our cruising altitude literally crashes. 72% of us struggle to find a work life balance. And isn’t that the case when we kind of feel like we should be working seven days a week?

And according to the victorian coroner’s office, and this is the trigger warning, 13 people per 100,000 employees suicide. And the only industry this makes us a higher level than policing. And the only industry that I’ve found that is fire is actually in the construction industry, where 26 out of 100,000 suicide. So there is something about property that is not right at the moment that we need to be looking into. Let’s move on to some more helpful, positive stuff. So when is our mental health impacted? Let’s look at some of the three key points of time when our mental health can be impacted. Some of these you’re probably aware of, but there might be a few surprises. It’s probably no surprise to think that external shocks can impact our mental health.

It might be death, it might be divorce, it might be, you know, not making a sale. Things that you can’t control, that hit you from outside, can always impact our mental health. They are the blows that we didn’t see coming that, you know, that help, that make us dip. But here are two other ones. Big changes in our lives can create a bit of a mental health, a mental wellness, and impact us in this way. Sometimes it’s because we thought what we thought was going to be amazing actually happens, and then we feel a bit empty. So it might be something like, you know, you’ve been living with your partner for absolutely ages, and then you. And you’ve been planning the wedding and, you know, you’re excited and you have the day and it’s absolutely perfect.

And then a couple of months later, you, like, you’re not feeling. Feeling it anymore. Like it doesn’t feel right. You can work really hard to have a baby trial for a long time to get pregnant, bring the baby home, and then they cry. You know, it can be hard to manage, like, asleep. All the big changes in our lives. We can move house and we can move jobs, and what we thought was going to happen either doesn’t work out the way it was intended, or it does work out the way it intended, but it doesn’t feel right inside. It doesn’t feel like it has really made the magic happen that we thought was going to happen. So sometimes big changes happen in our life. Now, this is a really interesting one for real estate agents, too, and property managers, right?

Because, you know, the external shocks and the big changes, like a new house or divorce or death or, you know, things like that, these. We are often dealing with people that have been going through these things in our day to day work that we do. And so we just need to understand that these are big blows to our resilience that require some gentleness around how we handle people because their brains are being impacted. And here’s the third thing, and I want to credit Tangellie for helping me work out and articulate this. But our internal expectations and the voice in our head and what it is telling us, and sometimes what it is telling us about either this external shock or about this big change in our lives, or just about ourselves generally. Here’s a question for you to consider.

Would you talk to your best friend the way that the voice in your head talks to you? And if the answer to that is no, then it’s time to think about what that, like, what that voice is trying to do or save you from, or protect you from, or start to unpack some of that. Because sometimes the voice in our head tangibles, it should ing all over yourself, like we should. I shouldn’t feel like this. I should be able to get back to work. I should be a better mother. I should be able to breastfeed. I should be a better wife. I, you know, I shouldn’t have these expectations. We literally do that to ourselves all the time.

It’s these internal expectations of telling us how things should be occurring versus what the reality is that we’re dealing with, and then the conflict that happens in there. And this can often set us off as well and really impact our cruising altitude. So let’s dive into how our brains work. Okay? Because this is where it gets. Starts to get really exciting. There are lots of part of your brains. We’re going to focus on three key ones as part of this. Excuse me, I’m just going to. Quickly. The first one we’re going to look at is our amygdala, the tiny little part down at the bottom of your brainstem. And it has one job, and its job is to be interpreting danger. It’s constantly scanning like a cyborg, it’s constantly scanning, looking around the environment, around you, to identify danger.

Does that in what you’re being told, does that in what you’re seeing, does that in all of other senses. It is constantly on the lookout, and it is very closely aligned to your hypothalamus, which is sort of just a little bit higher up. And the job of the hypothalamus is to activate a safety plan when it gets a message from the amygdala that you are under threat. And then we have the third part, which is our cerebral cortex, and our cerebral cortex is our big brain. And when we think about thinking, if I asked anybody, like, you know, what does thinking mean? We think about rational, being rational, being logical. You know, the gears in your brain whirring along and making connections and thoughts. And when we think about thinking, this is what we are typically referring to, the way our cerebral cortex works.

But here’s what you probably don’t know about the brain. Our amygdala and our hypothalamus, these are our lizard brains. These have been with us since we crawled from the swamp. And they are there to basically help us evolve and survive as human beings. And they work very differently to our big brain, which is our logical brain. So let’s dive into what’s going on. Here’s how we think. This is what is actually going on in our heads. And did you know that there are, well, at least two different ways that we think? Our logical brain, our cerebral cortex, the part that is doing the grinding and the hustle, these are the neurons connecting and pathways joining. This is where our rational thought and our logic comes from. It’s where they join. The neurons join up. But our amygdala and our hypothalamus, they’re not logical.

They are basically driven by hormone and that rushes into sections of our brains when they see the trigger. Now, you can’t logically undo that. You can’t think to yourself, no, I’m not going to respond that way this time, because it’s too late. The hormones have already gone. Your amygdala saw something that it thought was a threat. Even if logic tells you that it isn’t, and it sends that hormone rush, and then things start to happen, and we’ll look at that. And so, in western culture, we have this very defined idea that there is logic and there is emotion, and they are very different and separate and sensible people are always logical and are big thinkers, and they’re always logical, and they are able to control all of these emotions and things that are going on around them.

But we can see here that when you’re in the middle of a hormone flush, you may not be able to. And here’s the really interesting thing. What helps our neurons, that logical part of our brain, connect? What helps them map their way to each other? What connects our memories, and that is actually our emotions. So our brains put little, you know, like plant little flags in moments. And so if you think about some of your longest memories that you can remember, they are probably attached to a really big emotion that you felt at the time, or whether that’s a positive emotion or a negative emotion, they’re off. You know, these things are connected by our emotions. This is why we are able to remember them against the day to day stuff that happens to us.

So this idea that logic and emotion are disconnected is completely erroneous. So what happens when we’re stressed, when our amygdala noticed something and it sent us. It sent us off to our hypothalamus? What on earth is going on? Well, our bodies are being flooded with cortisol. That increases sugars to the bloodstream, and it curbs our non essential functions. So what might be stressing you? It might be, you know, that you’ve genuinely had a shock or a scare or something terrible has happened, or it might be that your phone has flashed up with a number of someone that you don’t want to talk to. We can actually start to get quite sensitized to things. It might be that someone said something to you that you felt bad about or that you felt found threatening, even if they didn’t mean it.

This is when our bodies are basically in the midst of a hormone flush. So cortisol is increasing sugars to our bloodstream. It’s starting to shut things down. While adrenaline is rushing to parts of our body to help us deal with whatever the stress is. And this is remembering. This is lizard brain stuff. This has been happening. This has got us out of the way of the dinosaurs and the woolly mammoths that were going to eat us. It has kept us safe. And our brains are, by default, safety devices. They are hardwired to keep us safe. But what they do is that they define safety by what feels familiar. And when we’re stressed, this is what happens, that we’ve got all these things running through our bodies. We start to feel tunnel vision. We’re getting signals to our adrenal glands.

You might hear ringing in your ears if you’ve had a really big shock, your lungs, you start to do fast breathing. Shoulders probably come up because you’re breathing so quickly. Your muscles are tensing, your heart rate’s accelerated. If you’ve ever had a really bad shock, your tummy can go. You’re converting stuff to glucose. You might need to go to the loo, and your hand stuck to shake. And you probably feel cold. It is why people tell you when you’ve had a big shock, don’t drive a car. Let someone take care of you when you have heard terrible news, because this is. How are we feeling? This is what’s going on when this has happened. Now, we’ve heard of fight or flight, right? But do you know about the other two?

And in fact, I’m told there’s a couple of other ones that also apply to this, which is freeze or frantic. Now, because we’ve heard of flight or flight. Fight or flight? Fight or flight. We know that the typical way to respond when we’re feeling threatened is that we either stand and fight or we run as fast as we can. And remembering we are full of hormones, we’re full of adrenaline at this point, and that gives us that little bit of extra kick to either, you know, slay the dragon or run like hell. But did you know that there are two other methods, and one is freeze? And so why do we freeze? We freeze because we think I’m under threat. But maybe if I’m very, very quiet, the dragon won’t see me.

Or I can camouflage myself into the background, or I can, you know, just let it pass and it’ll. And the danger will pass. And then there’s this fourth one, which is really not known, although we’ve all pretty much experienced it, which is frantic, which is when we are put in a position of a shock and a major stress that we go into. Fix it mode, and we’re going to fix it, and we start to do all the things which may make no sense at all. And we saw this during COVID when everyone raced out and started buying toilet paper wasn’t a help for a cold and flu based virus, but everyone felt like they were doing something. So it helped assuage that sense of needing to get out there and do something. What makes you decide which one you’re going to do?

And remember, this is adrenaline and cortisol running through your brain, so you can’t logic your way out of it. And yet we often, with our internal voice telling us what we should have done, I should have said something, I should have stood up, and I should have stood up for myself when that happened, or I should have just walked away because we go into freeze mode, or I should have thought, like, so two unhelpful things there. First of all, not recognizing that there’s more than two ways to deal with things when they happen, but also that voice of should in your head, what happens in our brains that makes that quick decision about what we’re going to do or which way we’re going to respond? Well, it depends how big your enemy is or how big the threat is.

So if your brain interprets, if your amygdala has decided that you will never be able to run faster enough to get away from that dragon, or you are far too small to hit it back. Excuse me. Sorry. Then you will go into freeze mode. Or if you feel like it’s up to you to do something, then you might go into frantic mode. So there are all sorts of reasons. Now, this can happen. Especially, this is often quite a gendered response, because often when women are in conflict with men, we are smaller than the guys we’re with. So it’s very common for women to freeze, but equally, a bloke with a bigger guy will often go into freeze as well. But it’s that internal voice telling is what we should have done that is really unhelpful here.

Just recognize that there’s lots of different ways that we can respond with, but it’s your hormones doing the work, not in your brain trying to keep you safe. It’s not actually a logical decision. And here’s what happens when we have that hormone hit those cortisol and adrenaline over a protracted timeframe, we basically turn into COVID Barbie, quarantine Barbie. You don’t have to read all of this, but if you take a quick scan, if we are in a constant state of stress, which in real estate. We often are, because we are using that stress to hit the deadlines, to get the job done, to get the hustle happening, and that’s okay. But over a protracted period of time, this is why we start to burn out.

Because there’s look at this list, and if you can’t, I’m pretty sure you will look at this list and think, oh, my lord, I am both. You know, on all. There’s about seven things on here that are me right now, and actually all of my friends and all of my family. I can see stuff in it. But I guess we’re not showing that to make you sort of self diagnose negatively. What we’re trying to show is that there are lots of different ways that men wellness shows up. It’s not just depression. It’s not just burnout. It’s not just anxiety. We can have really different reactions, and they can be cognitive. We can struggle with concentration. We might think we’re feeling fine, but actually we’re feeling really preoccupied, or we’re really struggling to concentrate. Our responses can be really deeply emotional. We can feel powerless.

We can have anxiety. We can be guilty. We can have extraordinary senses of fear or helplessness. We can tell everybody that we’re absolutely fine, and yet our behavior starts to go off the rails. We can be irritable, withdrawn, angry, you know, accusatory, aggressive, accident prone. We can start to lose things. We can start to question the spiritual side of our lives. We can take that. If we are in a constant state of stress and we’re constant state of cortisol and adrenaline, it starts to impact our personal relationships, it can impact our health, our physical health, and it certainly impacts our work performance, because we find it harder and harder to, you know, to course correct and bring ourselves back up. We can be really apathetic and negative. So just a quick overview of all of the ways that this can show up.

And what we saw because of COVID is that there really was a rise in post pandemic stress disorder, or which was caused by lockdowns, and that was caused by a protracted state of acute stress. So basically, the whole, you know, especially Victoria, New South Wales, went into lockdown repeatedly, especially the Victorians, and that put a whole bunch of stress onto a whole lot of people for a protracted period of time and gave them no way to deal with it. And us human brains are simply not here for it. We’re not designed that way at all. When we are unable to execute a stress response, to fight it, to run away from it.

When we are forced to stay in place, that does turn into trauma if we’re not careful and if we can’t do anything about it, because we’re just not designed to work like that. So here’s one of the things that we face in real estate that we work in an industry that is really quite stressful pretty much all the time. And it’s up to us to put the boundaries around that so that we can let our bodies and our brains start to recalibrate. So let’s look at the spectrum of psychology we have in the middle. Coping. This is where we want to be. This is actually a spectrum, which was explained to me that goes this way. But if you think about it probably is a circle, and they kind of start to connect up. On one side, we have coping.

And then when we’re in flow, when we’re really enjoying ourselves, when we’re loving everything we do, when we wake up in the morning and we can’t wait to, you know, when our cruising altitude is eight and we’re at that period, we’re having one of those periods where we’re kind of always at a nine or a ten or whatever your number is, we’re always a couple of degrees higher than our cruising altitude. That’s when we’re thriving, when we’re really enjoying life. Often at work, we can do things that make us feel in control, and they can make us feel really good, and then we can keep doing them until wear them out. And that’s when we start to get into mania and we start to just do the same stuff all the same, all the time.

But we stop getting the results that we wanted to, and so we just double down and do it even harder. On the other side of coping, we have languishing. And we saw this a lot during COVID Right. It’s when you’re not depressed, but it’s just starting to get hard. You’re cruising altitudes a couple of degrees down, and you’re struggling to bring it back up. It’s, do I wear. Do I really need to change it out of my pajamas today? Kind of, you know, kind of feeling, should I just watch Netflix on the couch all day? And that might be okay for a day or two, but if you find it happening all week or into another week, then. Then obviously you’re starting to head back down into depression, which is where we don’t want to be. Here’s what we know.

That when we are in a protracted state of stress, of prolonged stress, then languishing. Is a place that we go to first. But when we are in a. When we have a motivated response to prolonged stress, that’s when we’re thriving. So this is where we want to be really in this coping space and having periods of thriving. And then when we do find that we start to languish, we recognize what it is and we’re able to start to bring ourselves back. Because mental health is not just about being broken, and it’s not about an absence of a diagnosable illness. It’s actually something that we deal with every day, because all of us have a brain, and like physical health, it’s a spectrum. And we can definitely, absolutely do things to improve our performance and our focus at any time.

So how does this apply to real estate? How does this work for us? So we’ve talked about that we’re often in a constant state of stress, and that it’s hard to have boundaries when you’ve got clients who want service all the time. And it’s hard to have boundaries when you’ve got clients who are in themselves in a state of heightened anxiety or stress, or feeling the effects on their mental illness because of the position that they’re in. And we are by definition, a really externally motivated industry. We can’t actually directly control our success. We might know that if we make ten phone calls a morning or 20 phone calls a morning, whatever that number is, that if you’re going to hit your number, you have to do a certain amount of activity every day and do that consistently to build up.

But we don’t know the direct correlation. It’s not like if you can do ten calls one day and get two, maybe get two responses, you can do ten calls for the next four days and get no responses. It’s not like if you do eleven calls, you’ll get another response. This is not like pull a lever and a widget pops out. This is a deeply psychological game that we have to play with ourselves in real estate, equally so in property management, where we’re constantly juggling lots of different instructions and a monstrous to do list and ticking things off. It’s not always some things that we can control. So we have these constant external stresses, these constant sort of hits coming at us from outside our ability to control.

You can have the most amazing sale campaign organized for the most beautiful house in the world, but if no one turns up to the auction, that is a really big stress. And the financial rewards are directed by factors outside our control. So again, market driven. We’re not sure how many people are definitely going to show up on the day to buy the house. We’re never sure exactly how many offers are. You can make your best guess based on the activity that you’ve done. And so this is not to dis real estate in any way.

This is the space that we play in, and there’s no way that we can change it at the moment, but it’s to help you understand that your body is constantly having these little cortisol hits, which are spiking adrenaline in you because of the phone calls and the conversations that you’re having, and the open for inspections and the drama that is going on with your clients and your determination to stay on top of that, your determination to stay positive and resilient, is your big brain working very hard to manage it. And that can be, over a long period of time, really exhausting, because you can’t logic your way out of this stuff all the time. So here’s the scientific theory of wellness. How do we get through that? What do we do with it?

Well, to be well, mentally well, we need this combination in our lives as much as we can get of it as possible. We need to have positive emotions. This is why we get told, focus on your gratitude. Like, what are you grateful for? Think about that. We need strong engagement. So sitting at home all day, you know, on zooms or playing or watching Netflix, is not a great way to stay engaged. We need valuable relationships around us, with our friends and family and colleagues. We need something in our lives that brings up meaning, and we need to feel that we’ve got a sense of accomplishment, and then we need good physical health as part of that in order for us to stay well and healthy. And this is both physical and mental. But if we can have all of these six things, then. And.

Or the majority of these six things, then we are in a state of wellness. So, how do we break the cycle? Because I don’t know about you guys, but look, we’ve all had times in any day of the week when things happen, and you feel the. You know, you feel the charge, you feel the zip go through your body, you find yourself, you know, going off or emoting or venting or whatever you’re doing, and. And we know that we’re in a state of anger or upset or shock, or, like, we know we’re having a reaction. Right? The psychologist Bandura identified this framework, called the cognitive triangle. Now, I first learned this as part of my MBA, as part of understanding how business worked, but it makes complete sense. It changed my whole life.

Bandura teaches us that thoughts and feelings and behaviors are actually three different things now, in our head. Often they just mushed into one thing, which is reaction to whatever happens. Someone cuts you off in traffic, like, you know, screw you, like, beat the horn, shout, yell, abuse, all of that sort of stuff. But that is a mixture of how you felt. You felt offended, you, basically, your behavior. You tooted the horn, you know, gave him the finger. And then how you. And then what you. What you were thinking about, like, how dare they do that? I was just driving along, and they’re minding my own business, and you feel, you know, feel upset. So thoughts are one thing, behaviors are another, feelings are the third, but they are, of course, really deeply connected.

But what the Bandura triangle teaches us is that one of these three things in any given situation will be a little bit stronger for you. You’ll have a little bit more control over one of them, at least, but always there’s one that you can grab hold of and go, okay, hang on, that’s not. I can change this. And if we can impact a change on just one of these behaviors, when we’re in that state of outrage and upset, then we can actually start to hack our brain. And how this happens, how we start this, is that the first step is to simply recognize when you’re having a moment, when you’re being triggered, when something has upset you, something’s happened to you that you’re having a reaction to in whatever way, shape, or form might be a good reaction.

But you can start to understand, how am I feeling? How am I thinking? What’s my behavior? And which one of those could I actually start to change so that I start to feel and think or behave differently? Now, we talked about cortisol and adrenaline as the squad that are basically zapping you every time something a bit stressful that your brain identifies a risk and tries to keep you safe. There are, however, four, at least happy hormones, and what we’re going to do as part of this hack is work out how to turn them into our cheer squad. Now, dopamine is our reward. Home hormone. It’s all about well being and pleasure. We’re going to look at some ways that we get these down the track.

And this is the worst thing about doing this as a webinar, I’m hoping there’s a few jokes in this, so please bear with me. Give me a hands up if you thought things were funny. We can see serotonin. It is our feel good hormone. Serotonin helps us stave off anxiety. So it can be why, you know, you get told, go for a walk outside. If you’re feeling a bit, you know, blue, go outside and get in the sunshine. Our endorphins are our natural painkillers. They maximize our pleasure, lots of ways that we can do them. And oxytocin is the love hormone. Like when you’re deeply in love with someone, when you’re falling in love, your body’s full of oxytocin, you’re feeling really good when you’ve had a new baby. That’s what hits you the minute the little buggers popped out.

And it’s what happens when you’re breastfeeding. But these things, you don’t have to do it that way. But dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin. How can we start to get more of this happening? And especially what can we do when we’re having a reaction to something and we’re in our. We’ve got these three things that we’ve started to identify. What can we do about them? Well, here are some tactics to start breaking the cycle. Remember, we’re trying to work out, do I want to change my behavior? Do I want to change my feelings? Or am I trying to change my thoughts? Because when we know when we’re in that cycle, it can be really hard to start to break that cycle.

So what we want to do is we want to choose something that is going to either impact our behaviour, impact our thoughts or impact our feelings. And here’s how we can do it. Go outside and sit in the sun can be just a great start. Instead of sitting at your desk or peering into your phone and trying to go into frantic mode and fix things really instantly, maybe take a moment, walk outside, look at the trees, get some serotonin into your body and just take a break from it for a minute. That will help you start to handle things differently. What I have missed.

Sorry, and I’m sorry about this when we’re in that state, because we talked about the example of the drive, but we all know, like, the negative example of this is what we do when we’re in a spin on this. So maybe you do get caught in traffic or maybe you lose a sale or you lose a client that you’ve worked really hard on and it’s a really stressful, full breakup. And so you feel terrible about that and then you think, or you have an argument with someone and so you think of all the things that you should have said and then you stay with that all day, because your brain’s going over and over and over and over on it, right? And you can’t get it out and that’s making you feel like rubbish.

And so then you go home and how do you behave? You’re horrible to your partner and then you basically start the whole cycle again, because now you’re arguing with them and you’ve had a shitty day and they’ve had a shitty day because you’ve come home and given your shitty day to them and everybody’s looping out and everyone’s in a bad way. So what we’re trying to do is basically break that cycle first thing. When it happens, don’t try to fix it through your phone or go into frantic mode. Go outside in the sun. When you do get home, before you do anything, give the dog a big pat. Hug your kids. Be grateful that they’re there in your life. Exercise. This is why Tom Panos tells you to wake up at five in the morning and do a big walk.

Because exercise is one of the best ways to basically start to move the stuff out of your body. Get pumping. If you want to punch something, go to the gym and punch a bag, walk it off, run away from it on the treadmill, start to move the stuff physically out of your body. It can be a great way to behave. Set some goals, because if you are not necessarily someone who’s really physical into stuff, but you’ve got a big brain and you like to feel organized and that makes you feel safe just sitting down and deciding, what did I learn from this? What could I change? What would, you know, what should my goals be? Setting some goals can be a really great way. Taking some hard action to step away from stuff can be a great way to bring it under control.

Cuddles and sex, they can be a great dopamine. They bring all the endorphins on. It can obviously has to be consensual. But hug your wife instead of growling her. Hug your husband instead of, you know, going off it in. Look after yourself and look after each other. Belly laughs. Turn on Netflix, watch something really stupid. Pie in the face stuff. A really good belly laugh can be fantastic for moving stress around. And we all know this one in real estate, right? Especially property management. But we all know this one. Chocolate and wine. Or wine or both together. Often they do go together. Often they go together in great quantities. But what’s happening when we’re eating chocolate is that we’re actually getting a dopamine hit. And so and so. And that’s why we crave it. The same with wine. It’s why we crave it.

It’s the sugar in it. Time out with a friend, potentially with sugars and wine, with chocolate and wine, possibly with cuddles and lots of belly laughs. These can be enormous benefits to starting to move the crap out of your system and starting to feel better. We know that all the problems of the world can be solved. Women know that the problems of the world can be solved with a girlfriend and a very large bottle of wine and blokes. You should do it too. And here’s a tip. If you are in a state of real upset and you’re with male and female and you’re in a state of upset, don’t necessarily sit opposite each other and look each other in the eye to have the conversation about what’s upsetting you.

This is a great way to have a conversation about what’s upsetting you with your partner. Go for a walk and talk side to side so that you can be focused on what’s ahead of you, but you’re still having a really good conversation. Most men, especially, find the whole face to face thing very confronting, but doing it side to side in the car, driving, having a side to side conversation, often better things can come out of it. If maybe one of the reasons that you’re having this reaction is because you are actually genuinely very tired, because sleep is a really big impact on our mental illness. You can take a nap or maybe just take some time to meditate and just get into a quiet, still space and that can start to move it away. Or you can have a massage.

Like a massage is a great way, and I’m not going to make the joke about it because it’s sitting under cuddles and sex, but obviously up to you how you do it. Make sure that it can literally, having someone touch you can be very soothing and it can also help move, literally move the hormone stuff through your body. Now, here’s what I want you to understand. We want every. Everyone at rise wants you to understand that when we all go through these reactions to how we feel like to, when things happen to us, and we are not alone, any of us, we’re not the first person to feel like we do, and we will never be the last, because this is the human condition that we all deal with.

What we have to do, though, is to understand this loop, to understand our cruising altitude, and to start to observe what happens to us when we’re hit out of the blue with stress when things happen to us and when we start to have a really big stress response. And what we need to do, as our first step, is to recognize that we’re not alone, but to make a decision that we’re going to start to take positive action to break that loop. And if you’re struggling with it, start to reach out and ask for help. Even if that reaching out is going for a walk with someone and not looking them in the eye, but just saying, I am not. Okay.

I don’t know how to deal with some of this stuff because I don’t want anyone on this call to underestimate how much your health and your potential is benefiting the people around you and how loved you are by the people around you. So please don’t think that you’re alone. What we also need to do is to recognize the triggers. Now, all of us have had a childhood. It’s like one of the, you know, it’s part of the human condition. We’ve all had a childhood. And even if you’ve had a really good one with amazing parents, then you still have triggers. We all have triggers. We can’t. We can’t stop it. It’s something that happens to your.

To you as a child when you’re sort of in that age of between two and three, and our little tiny child brains that are growing and developing all the time and building up. There’s that moment when our childhood brain basically gets to a point where it realizes that we are no longer physically attached to our mother. And then something happens, invariably in that time or space, which becomes a trigger for us, which we carry on into later life. The things that trigger stress is when our lizard brain is taking over. So we need to actually understand what our lizard brain is, what’s basically activating it, and then we need to find strategies to avoid it or manage it.

Now, I’d really recommend that you go down the management part rather than avoiding it, because sometimes you can spend your whole life running away from it. But running into it to actually deal with it can be enormously powerful. And what we need to do, especially in real estate, is that we need to connect the internal and the external. So we need to connect the work that we have to do as agents and property managers to some internal goals that have positive meaning and that are powerful for us. What do we love doing? What gives us a buzz? What is our. Why? Why are we here? We’re here for friends.

And if we’re here for our family, if we’re doing this job, because we want to provide great lives for our family, then don’t do that by spending all of your time at work and spending no time with them. We need to start to put borders and boundaries around what we do. Start working in sprints, recognising how we have very hectic periods in real estate and then rewarding ourselves at the end of that for getting through that. And rewarding our families for getting through that. And spending more one one time to connect our internal and our external. When we link internal goals to the work we need to do to get our external results, we find that achieving those external results becomes easier.

And that the things that have been bothering or upsetting us, either back at home or that they all start to come together. So we need to create really meaningful rewards for hitting targets, not just, well, if that happens, I’ll buy myself a Ferrari or I’ll buy myself a new car. If we get through this really busy period, I’m taking the kids to the Gold coast. You know, we’re going to do all theme parks, like make it really meaningful for where you are in your life at the moment. I’ll take my mum on a cruise, whatever works for you. And really, we need to look after our health and the four key things of that. Eating well, fighting, sorry, hydrating, like drinking lots of water. Not waiting till you’re choking to have a sip of water. Moving, like getting the. Getting the body moving.

Good sleep. We all need, you know, really good sleep, whether that is 7 hours for you or 8 hours or 10 hours, whatever it is, understand what it is and then let yourself recharge when you need to. And really good mental and emotional health. Because if you’re having more than three days a week that are more bad than good, and if your cruising altitude is either just constantly on the decline or you are having trouble pulling it out of decline, and that is when you need to prioritise action and we need to create some good habits. And this is what a lot of the coaches are out there trying to help us to do.

We need to make time in not just our sprints and the time, big chunks of time, but we actually need to make daily habits that actually give us a little bit of a happy hormone hit every day. Because the stronger we get and the more ability we get to separate ourselves, separate out those three things and start to manage and maneuver them. The stronger we get, the more resilient we get. So we’re able to cope with more before we respond and then we’re able to deal with it faster after it’s happened and that impacts our long term health and our coping strength. So we get more and more resilient the better we practice it. So, you know, atomic habits. Thinking about that, we need to not just create resolutions at the beginning of the year to better.

We actually need to create little micro habits that help us start to actually do the things that are going to make us better now. Thank you everybody so much for being part of this webinar. There are tools out there to help you manage your mental health and your wellness. And the one that we have worked on really hard at the rise initiative is the real care app. So if you haven’t downloaded it yet, please use the QR code and download it. It’s been designed by real estate agents and property managers. For real estate agents and property managers, there are tools inside it to help you deal with stress, anxiety, anger and compulsive behavior, which we all deal with in real estate.

Let’s face it, if you find yourself constantly looking on social media or doom scrolling or constantly looking to your phone for something to deal with, your brain, that is a pretty sure sign that you’ve got a bit of a dopamine addiction. Because every time we click like or something, the backlit light in our phones gives us a little hit. If you find yourself constantly looking at social media or games on your phone, just once a day, once a week, just pop into the app and spend a few minutes doing something you need, rather than doing the normal stuff to help yourself rebalance. There are great tools in there to help you create healthier habits for exercise, sleep, meditation and even financial management, because that is a really big issue in real estate as well.

And most importantly, there is access to three private phone counselling sessions which are courtesy of domain and there is crisis support numbers in there. Now you’re welcome to use that for yourself or for people in your family, but it is hard to find a counsellor at the moment. So this is an amazing tool. It’s actually won four awards now from both Reb and property management partners and it has been designed and it is completely free of charge. So please share it with your friends and download it yourself. And remember, mental wellness, it’s not black and white, it’s not one or the other. There’s a lot of stuff going on in there and it impacts all of us because we all have a brain, we’ve all had a childhood, we all have a life. It is absolutely a spectrum.

Changing your thoughts can change your behaviors and your feelings and nobody is stuck or alone. So use the tools, start to observe your behavior, get some help when you need it. Watch your cruising altitude and manage your wellness. So do whatever you can to avoid ill health. And then boosting your performance becomes easy because you’re feeling better both about yourself as well as about what you’re doing. So thank you everybody so much for joining us on our first webinar. Thank you very much to domain for their work with the Realcare app and also to MRI for their support helping us set up our first wellness webinars. The wellness webinars will be held on the first Wednesday of every month and we have some awesome guest speakers coming up from the real estate’s best coaches.

Tangelee, who’s on this call is going to be one of our future speakers. I think they got her locked in for the next one. I’ve just got to confirm that. But we’ll be emailing everyone to let you know as we get more organized what our upcoming ones are. They’re all free. Bring your, bring your office, grab your lunch, and if you felt triggered at all today, please do look after yourself. There’s some numbers there and if you’d like access to the real care office toolkit, reach out to us. We’ll be sending an email out after this webinar with a copy of the webinar, if you want to watch it again, a copy of the deck and also access to those tools. So thank you everybody so much for being part of today’s webinars.

Are there any questions or comments, things that you want to raise? Pop them into the chat or the questions I’m going to stop sharing so I can see. So we won’t make them available in the real care app tange because it’s hard coded and it only has updates every once in a while. But we will be making them available on the real, on dot au website and they will be. Thank you, Sharon. Anyone’s got any questions? All good. I’m just checking the chat. All right, well, look, thank you so much everybody. It’s been great having you here. Please join us again on the first Wednesday of next month. We’ll be sending out a note again. I hope you’ve really found it valuable. So I keep going the wrong way because I’m back to front. Please download the real Care app.

There’s the QR code there and thank you so much for joining. Rise. We look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you.