5 easy ways to destress and create calm by psychologist and author Linda Blair

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The Key to Calm - Ways to Destress

We feel stressed whenever we expend energy thinking that something bad or difficult might happen. When bad things actually do happen, our survival instinct takes over, and we use all of our energy to deal with the crisis. We do this very well, so in truth, there’s no need to waste energy considering all the ‘what if’s’!

How, then, can you avoid unnecessary worry, and instead feel calmer, happier and more in control of your life? Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Take advantage of the light: Make sure you get outside in daylight, if possible every day for about 20 minutes. Lunch hour is a great time. Natural light can help boost endorphins and lift mood.

2. Enjoy your food: Every time you eat, stop for a moment before you begin so you become aware of what you’ve chosen. Note the scent, texture, colours, and temperature of your food. You’ll feel more readily satisfied, and you’ll enjoy what you eat more.

3. One task at a time: Multitasking is a myth—in truth, we can only deal effectively with one thing at a time. Instead of trying to multitask, prioritise what you want to accomplish and focus on the most important task first, until you complete it.

4. Rest well: Turn off all screens half an hour before bedtime and dim the lights in your bedroom. This will allow the hormone melatonin to rise, and you’ll relax and sleep much better.

5. Keep emails under control: Resist the impulse to answer emails immediately—you’ll only invite even more of them onto your ‘to do’ list! Instead, decide in advance when you will respond to emails each day, and—barring true emergencies—stick to your resolve.

Special offer: The Key to Calm by Linda Blair is published by Yellow Kite, £14.99.

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