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Stressed? Calm your jets and build resilience in less than three minutes

By October 24, 2019No Comments

kripaluI had the amazing opportunity recently to attend a RISE workshop at North America’s largest yoga retreat center, Kripalu. The RISE program advises busy professionals in healthcare, law enforcement, and other hectic professions. Women business owners who juggle work, kids, parents, charity work, and more made up my RISE group.

People dismiss relaxing behaviors claiming they “don’t have time.” But studies show “micro moments” of three minutes or less actually positively impact resilience.

1. Take three minutes to start your day off right. Whether you like to journal, stretch, do yoga sun salutations or meditate, just three minutes in the morning can set the tone for your entire day.

2. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. When you’re working, even just checking emails, your “fight or flight” nervous system is on. It’s called your sympathetic nervous system and is the reason for the feeling of a hard rock sitting in your stomach after you eat while stressed.

Instead, turn on your parasympathetic (rest and digest) system by getting up from your desk, taking a three-minute walk, and eating somewhere other than your workspace, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

3. Measure your heart rate variability (HRV). The higher the variability of your heart rate from beat to beat, the more potential you have for staying calm and on track. Many smartwatches are now offering apps that measure HRV. I have the Garmin Vivoactive 4S and their Connect App on my iPhone.

I found I am much less stressed with fewer meetings after 4:30 pm. You might find you need much more wind down/no screen time before bed to get yourself into a recharging state.

4. Don’t just breathe deeper, breathe SLOWER. You’ve probably been told that when stressed, you should “take deep breaths.” However, deep inhalations followed by fast inhalations don’t really help. Take long, slow breaths IN and OUT.

5. Celebrate your strengths. We often tout our skills, but don’t celebrate our character strengths and work to improve traits. Take the Via Character Strengths Survey to learn more. Note: this one will take 10-15 minutes.

Thanks for taking the three minutes to read this post. Hopefully, you will be rewarded on your path to calm!

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Chris Slocumb

Author Chris Slocumb

Chris is the founder and president of Clarity Quest Marketing, where she leads a talented group of marketers and designers helping healthcare and technology companies achieve marketing and business goals. To learn more about Chris' experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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