Managing stress is our generations universal challenge. Stress is such a big factor in most people’s lives these days we need to find a different approach to managing it. Traditionally we work forty-eight weeks of the year, and holiday for four. We expect this to revive and recuperate our minds and bodies, but it’s not enough!
Imagine working out physically for two days straight without resting, and then expecting that you can recover in four hours and head back to the gym. It simply doesn’t work. We need to build micro recovery periods into your day so that your mind and body can relax, recuperate and revive before reengaging in work again.
There are a multitude of things that you can do throughout your day in two to three minutes to build in micro recovery periods to help in managing stress. Here are a few simple ideas:
- Use a mindfulness app on your phone
- Take a walk outside, look up and just breathe
- Watch something inspiring or funny
- Stand, stretch, twist and just breathe
- Dream about or plan your next holiday
- Review the photos on your phone and smile
The key here is shifting your focus from your busy work day and allowing your brain to engage with something positive. Your brain is 31% more productive in a positive state than if it’s stressed, negative or neutral[i], so creating these micro recovery periods isn’t just good for your body, it’s incredibly effective for your work efficiency too.
[i] Harvard Business Review, Why a Happy Brain Performs Better. Shawn Achor & Sarah Green. https://hbr.org/2010/11/why-a-happy-brain-performs-bet