Many times we feel tired, stressed, unfocused, yet we don’t allow ourselves to take a break because we are “too busy” to make a pause. The fact is that our brain wasn’t built for the extended focus we ask of it these days. So if you’ve been working all day and feel tired, if you’ve been loading yourself recently with to-do lists, or even if you’ve been through a hard time, take a moment. Step back for a few minutes and do these 3 simple exercises to slow you down.

Breath deeply

Go to a quiet place. Close your eyes, and take 10 deep and slow breaths. Put your hand on your stomach and feel how your abdomen fills with air. Hold it there for two seconds, then slowly release it. Try to get rid of all thoughts and just focus on that soft movement of your abdomen filling in and out of air.

Why do you need to do this? Deep breathing will lower your heart rate and counter the effects of stress. Whenever you feel a bit too anxious or overloaded, take one or two minutes and just take a few deep breaths.

Look for positive things to around you

Still with your eyes closed, think about all those things that matter to you, that give your life meaning, and be grateful for them. You may find yourself smiling shortly.

Why is this important? Because the benefits of positivity and gratitude don’t end after a few minutes of practicing it. Research> shows that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and provide an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources to use later in life. Developing a positive attitude takes time. If you are interested in exploring this topic, take a look at an earlier article we published on the power of optimism.

Be mindful

Still with your eyes closed and breathing softly now, pay attention to what you are feeling. Listen to your heartbeat, feel the breeze of the air, the sounds around you, and relax.

Keep being aware of your feelings and of your breath for another minute.

Now you can open your eyes.

How do you feel?

 

 

The importance of taking a break

According to a publication by the Mayo Clinic, practicing relaxation techniques can help by slowing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure, reducing activity of stress hormones, reducing muscle tension and chronic pain, and improving concentration.

We all deserve a break. Get rid of that mentality that you don’t have time for it. Do take a few minutes everyday to do these 3 simple exercises. We promise they will improve your mood, your ability to deal with problems and they will make you feel happier.

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