Stop to check in with yourself, like a pilot running through the pre-flight routine.

Throttle? Check. Flaps? Check. Strobes? Check.

As a pilot prepares for takeoff, there’s a mandatory checklist to run through so nothing’s forgotten and everything’s tested.

Checklists make huge sense.

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In fact in his book, ‘The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right’, author Atul Gawande (a surgeon) shows how briefly pausing to run through a task’s requirements before starting it has huge value. Saves lives even.

We carry mental checklists with us all the time, of course. Whether consciously or subconsciously it’s how you’re able to walk out of the house without leaving the iron on.

But you can think in mental checklist terms on other occasions too. Next time you’re sitting in traffic or lying in bed about to get up, why not make a point of asking yourself how you’re feeling?

Being aware of your state of mind is a first step towards managing it. Quite a big step actually.

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