Give Your Brain A Break!

Adapted from Terry Small, The Brain Guy.

Daily life is a rollercoaster, and sometimes, you just need to give yourself a little grace and give your brain a break. Here are 14 ways we think you can take a break, check out a bit, and breathe:

  1. Stop complaining – focus on finding 1-3 things you can be grateful for that day. Even on the worst day, refocusing on what you can be grateful for will help lift your attitude.
  2. Stop judging – we are definitely living in a comparison society nowadays, and sometimes, we need to take a breath, and stop judging others AND ourselves.  
  3. Stop worrying – I know, I know… easier said than done. But if you can try and focus on solutions or positive steps, versus worrying about what you can’t control, you will find your stress levels going down.
  4. Forgive others – There’s a quote from Malachy McCourt that says, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” And it’s true… holding onto grudges or anger will end up affecting you far more than the other person.
  5. Forgive yourself – Again, easier said than done! But it’s such an important step. Work on treating yourself like your best friend – with the utmost of kindness and love.
  6. Go for a walk outside – it’s proven that a little bit of physical activity and sunshine and fresh air will help your mood elevate, allow your foggy brain to clear, and give you a chance to relax.
  7. Watch a sunset or get out in nature – Indulge and take time to enjoy nature a bit. A beautiful sunset… lying on the grass and looking at the stars… a breath of cold fresh air… gazing at the mountains… all amazing activities!
  8. Pay someone a compliment – making others feel good, makes you feel good! So compliment a friend who’s been killing it at work… compliment the cashier who is giving you amazing customer service… compliment your partner or kids, for their contributions to the household. Trust us, it’ll make you feel great!
  9. Do a good deed – see above! When you do a good deed for someone, no matter what it is, you’re going to feel good too.
  10. Laugh – laughter relaxes your whole body, boosts your immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, and actually burns calories! So go ahead – find something that makes you literally laugh out loud!
  11. Unplug – we all love technology… but we all need a break! Unplugging from technology will help you reduce your stress, keep you from being “ON” 24/7, and will help you be more present and aware of the people around you.
  12. Read – reading a good book is one of our favourite pastimes here at NSTEP. Reading a good book will engage your mind, take you away in a creative world, and give you time to focus on something other than your problems.
  13. Take a nap – Power napping is so good for you! A good power nap means that your stress will be lower, you’ll be more patient, have better reaction time, and be more efficient too.
  14. Smile – Just like laughing, smiling has huge benefits. Your mood will boost, your body will release cortisol and endorphins, and your blood pressure and stress will go down. Yay for smiles!


We are definitely living in a comparison society nowadays.  We need to take a breath and stop judging others AND ourselves.

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