2 minutes in 2020
Wouldn’t it be great if you could breeze through your workday feeling calm, happy and productive? Or what about going to meetings full of ideas, creativity and energy? It’s not like that though, is it? A lot of the time we feel stressed at work and when we feel stressed it’s not so easy to give of or be our best. Yet if you can include these 2 minute exercises into your every day you will experience immediate results and feel energised, refreshed and clear-headed.
1. Plan positive experiences – plan for joy! It’s the quantity of positive experiences that make the most difference so the simplest things count like having that cup of tea in the afternoon, looking up to enjoy the sunshine, eating that little square of delicious chocolate! Plan as many of these into your day as you can!
2. Breathe – the 3,4,5 breathing method takes less than 2 minutes and produces instant calm. Simply breathe in for 3 counts, hold for 4 and breathe out for 5. Do this three times. Bliss.
3. Write down 3 things you are grateful for. This really does only take 2 minutes. Research shows that doing this regularly boosts happiness levels. Make it a daily habit and, even better, at the end of the working day write down 3 things that have gone well today.
4. Stretch – we tend to get more tense as the day goes on and this shows up in your body. Get rid of the tension by stretching – arms up over your head as far as they can go. Stand up and rotate your shoulders, breathe in and lean over to the right side stretching your left up and over and do the same on the other side.
5. Lavender oil – an immediate stress-buster, try rubbing some essential lavender oil into your temples or burn a few drops into an infuser. Or a few drops on a tissue or handkerchief which you breathe in gives you an instant hit of calm.
6. Power pose – want to give your best at a meeting or presentation? Feeling a little nervous? Try a power pose for 2 minutes beforehand and you will experience a surge of i positive hormonal and behavioural changes which boost confidence levels. Try the Wonder Woman” power pose, you stand with your feet apart, your hands on your hips, and your chin tilted upward.
7. Drink a glass of water –Drink several large glasses of water a day. You’ll find that you feel better immediately. There is a chemical reason why you get more stressed, as when you’re even mildly dehydrated cortisol levels in the body increase. Cortisol production is triggered by the stress response. And one way to balance these chemicals in your brain? Drink more water. So if you’re feeling sluggish or out of sorts chances are it’s because your body is dehydrated.
8. Warm your hands – When fear and anxiety take hold, the nervous system directs blood flow to the largest muscles, an evolutionary response to protect against physical danger. This redirected flow often results in cold hands. So when you warm them, that automatically signals your nervous system that it’s OK
9. Load up on whole grains – If you’re feeling grumpy, the best idea is to eat an all-carb whole grain snack and you should feel happier within a half hour. The carbs raise blood sugar, which boosts serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with calm, positive feelings that last
10. Relax your jaw – Relaxing your tongue and jaw sends a message to your brain stem and limbic system to turn off the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Simply let your tongue go limp in your mouth, and then open your mouth slightly, which will instantly loosen up your jaw. These exercises help bring our parasympathetic nervous system online, which tells our bodies to rest and restore.