Give Your Brain A Break!

Adapted from Terry Small, The Brain Guy.

Daily life is a rollercoaster; 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. We need to take a breath and stop judging others AND ourselves.
  3. Stop worryingI 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 othersThere’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 yourselfAgain, easier said than done! But it’s such an important step. Work on treating yourself like your best friend – with the utmost kindness and love. 
  6. Go for a walk outside – It’s proven that a little bit of physical activity, 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 natureIndulge 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 burns energy! 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 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 to a creative world, and give you time to focus on something other than your problems.
  13. Take a napPower 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. SmileJust 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!
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