Between deadlines, meetings, picking up the kids, walking the dog, grocery shopping and family gatherings, it can be challenging to keep our stress levels in check. Luckily there are some simple, but effective stress busting techniques that you can do in just 60 seconds. Find one that works for you and take a minute to have a little Zen-time.
Organise your space
If it seems like there is too much to do, reorganise your To Do list. Instead of having one long stress-inducing list, break it up into smaller sections. This could be by making a To Do list for the next hour, or the morning, or the day. Prioritise what is realistic for that period of time and leave everything else for later. At the same time, declutter and clean your work space/home (as much as you can), an organised workspace will help with a feeling of calm.
Focus on your breathing
Sounds simple, and that’s because it actually is. The idea is that we spend most of our lives breathing quickly, and not effectively. But, according to clinical psychologist Gemma Cribb by slowing down your breath and concentrating on it, you can induce a parasympathetic (rest and relax) state. She recommends trying to get your breathing rate down to 10-12 breaths per minute, by sitting (however is most comfortable for you) and breathing in and out deeply and slowly. Do this for a minute to feel instant calm.
Phone a friend
Laughter is one of the best ways to distress and feel calm, and apart from watching bloopers on Youtube, phoning a friend can be the perfect way to attack your feelings of stress and find some calm. Studies at Loma Linda University in California show that laughter decreases the amount or cortisol, known as the ‘stress hormone’.
Depending on your job it can be hard to get outside, but several studies from the Journal of Environmental Psychology suggest that just a short time in the fresh air is associated with greater vitality. If you can try doing as many star jumps or burpees as you can for one minute – Harvard Health publications have confirmed that exercise can counter depression and dissipate stress, which will help you find Zen.
Another way to find Zen in 60 seconds, no matter where you are, is to close your eyes and go back to a 'peak experience,' a time in your past where you feel pleasure or happiness. Linger in that memory and notice the details: what you saw, what it sounded like, tasted like, who was there… anything that will take your mind and sensations back to that moment. As you remember and dwell in that experience, according to clinical psychologist Gemma Cribb, you should notice that you begin to feel warm around your chest – this is the feeling of dopamine being released, which is a natural anti-stressor.
Finding a spot for these two yoga moves might be challenging but they are both designed to calm and reenergise. The first one is Child’s Pose (Balasana), where you kneel down on the ground, spread your knees apart, keeping your toes together. Lean forward with your arms out, touching the floor in front of you, and breath deeply. This pose releases tensions in your back, neck and shoulders where most people carry stress. The second one is known as the Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) and it’s a great way to ease lower back tension and lower high blood pressure. It may look funny, but hey, it works!
Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to press pause on your life for a minute. Mindfulness is the practice of having a single point of focus on a particular feeling. This could be anything from the feeling of your feet connected to the ground to your experience of drinking a cup of coffee. Notice the sensation and immerse yourself in the experience rather and every time the mental chatter comes back let it go and re-engage. There are great apps for meditation as well, check out 1GiantMind for a meditation helping hand.
It’s very tempting to reach for an expresso when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need energy right? Well, not so fast, Swisse nutritionist Sheree Banh recommends taking a quiet moment to drink a steaming cup of lemon balm, lavender or chamomile tea. Consider putting in your earphones and listening to any Spotify ‘Chill’ playlist while you down the goodness.
Inner health, outer glow #Swissebodybeautiful