Here we go, seven simple and powerful ways to give a busy mind a break.

We constantly hear stressed people say that they have a busy mind that just won’t shut off. Yes, stress can be an addiction for some people, however, most people yearn to have some tools and strategies so they can shut off a busy mind when they choose to.

Busy minds need time to refresh, have time-out, to play, to enjoy extra periods of sleep from time to time, exercise and ‘just do nothing’ sometimes.

Using a diary is an excellent way for you to block out time for activities that give your mind a rest. As you make business appointments, health care appointments, hairdresser appointments, go one step further and commit to keep your personal appointments for ‘time outs’.

#1… Take a break from electronic devices. Be prepared to ‘turn off’ your phone for periods each day, especially when you sleep. Like you park your car when you arrive at home or at work, park your phone in another location in your home when you sleep.

#2Disconnect from social media for periods each day. The addiction of 24/7 connection to social media is becoming a disease for some. Recent research reveals 26% of teens are connected 24/7. Totally disconnect at night and park your device in another room to recharge, while you recharge your brain as you sleep.

#3… Spend a little time with others. This can be a powerful de-stress time as the calming effect is so much more powerful when it’s face to face. In 30 minutes time I’m off to have breakfast with a friend. We do this once a month at the start of our busy day to chat, catch up and enjoy each other’s company. No phones, just two blokes catching up face to face in the flesh can have a grounding and calming effect.

#4… Empower your gut with yoghurt. Ireland’s University College Cork has discovered a bacterial strain found in some types of yogurt—lactobacillus rhamnosus. This affects the brains of mice, reducing their stress hormone levels and making them act calmer than those fed bacteria-free meals. The soothing signals travel from bowels to brain via the Vagus nerve which is a key modulator of your parasympathetic nervous system. This is the ‘slow me down’ part of the unconscious or automatic nervous system.

#5… Create a couple of 5 to 10 minute mini-meditation sessions each day. Yesterday afternoon I decided to take the train from our outer suburb to the city for a dental appointment so I would not have to hack the peak hour traffic driving home. On arriving at the station the train was a few minutes early and I just missed it. WOW… I then enjoyed an unscheduled 30 minute meditation time. It was special.

#6… Change your bed time, not your wakeup time. Deeper sleep changes you stress hormone balance, and getting 7 hours for most people is the ideal to support you to de-stress.

#7… Using your breath still tops the list. When it comes to calming down, deep breathing is still the top of the list. Psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek says, “By forcing yourself to breathe as you do in your most relaxed moments, you trick your body into releasing calming neuro-hormones, causing a biological shift in how you feel. Whether you breath low and slow for one minute or five minutes, it’s going to bring you to a calmer place.”

If you would like to immerse yourself in two days of creating your own unique Stress Management Toolkit with tools and strategies that build your resilience and lead you to the calm, then join us in Brisbane on 13 & 14 August for the Stress to Strength Experience Workshop. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed.

To join us, register at www.stresstostrength.com/experience/

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