Three 60-second de-stress techniques you can do anywhere

So, stress. A perennial topic, prompted today by the fact that Friday is International Nurses Day, and if there is one group of people who have to deal with stress at work on a DAILY basis, it is our valuable healthcare workers. So, this one is for all you healthcare heroes out there, and anyone else who needs a few stress reducing Micro Habits up their sleeve. 

Here are THREE instant de-stress techniques that are drawn from my time teaching Yoga to the good people of Northcote Point, in Auckland:

#1   Activate Your Right Brain: this is spookily stress reducing. 

Broadly speaking, the left hemisphere of our brain is where our rational logical mind lives, and our right hemisphere is home to our sense of peace and creativity. At work we can tend to get stuck in left brain dominance, very task focused and logical: all good things, however it’s also where we get stuck in overthinking and anxiety. 

If you are wanting to hit the pause button on the overthinking and stress take 60 seconds to get out of your left brain and consciously activate more of your right brain. Our right nostril “talks” to our left brain, and our left nostril to our right. 

Simply close your mouth AND then close your RIGHT nostril by pushing it closed with your finger. Breathe in and out for 10 breaths just through your LEFT nostril SLOOOOOOOOWLY to energise the right brain. 

Take 60 seconds to do this before a meeting and notice how much more calm and focused you are. Spooky.

#2   Relax Your Face

So much tension can build up in the face, we are sending stress messages TO our brain from the clenched set of our jaw and our wrinkled brow. 

You can relax your mind by relaxing your FACE, and you can use the yoga asana “lion” to do that. 

Sit quietly, put your hands in your lap.t hen scrunch your face up, tight tight tight, scrunch the forehead, wrinkle the nose, grit the teeth: make a real scrunched old prune face, tight as can be like comedy scrunchy face…then BIIIIIIG exhale and release your face…open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out, open your eyes wiiiide, and breath out through your mouth with a big “ha” sound. 

Then just check in with how you are feeling. better huh? I know, you don’t realise just how much tension you are holding in your face until you release it. Nice.

#3   Unwind Your Mind

If you are getting super stressed by a particular task or person ask yourself this: 

How much will this thing, or this person’s opinion of this thing, matter to me 5 years from now? 

99% of the time the answer is ‘hmmmm, not so much actually’ and simply asking the question is accompanied by a release of mental tension. 

Realigning your long term perspective with this simple question reduces much of the pressure you are feeling, literally in the moment, which makes it much simpler to complete too. Ahhhhhhh. 

So, three techniques you can use in 60 seconds to dial down the stress: 

  1. Activate You Right Brain:
  2. Relax your Face
  3. Unwind Your Mind

All it takes is 60 seconds to press pause and your body and mind will thank you for it. Let me know which one works for you! 

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