Taking exercise helps us get back in touch with reality. It grounds us and releases tension and feel-good endorphins. However, strict deadlines don't always allow for a break from our desks, so what can you do when you need to work at your maximum and keep your mind sharp?
When you are straining your brain over some task or problem, the neurons of your brain function more intensely. As they do this, they build up toxic waste products that can cause foggy thinking. You know that feeling you get when your mind seems like ‘cotton wool'? Can you afford to operate like this?
At its very worst, not doing any exercise can lead to depression and neck and back problems. There is evidence that illnesses either start with or are exacerbated by allowing tension to build up.
Exercising speeds blood flow through your brain, moving these waste products faster. You also improve this blood flow so that waste is eliminated more efficiently even when you are not exercising.
But of course, you don't have the time to do exercise. Well, you think you don't. But you could fool yourself into doing exercise regularly by sneaking it into your life. Here's how.
If you are sitting at your desk now, take a deep breath and let it out like a sigh. It feels better already. Doesn't it?
What is stress?
Your body's reaction to a demand or difficulty is stress. Everyone feels stress, which may be brought on by various situations ranging from little inconveniences to significant life upheavals like divorce or job loss. Physical symptoms like an increased heart rate and blood pressure, thoughts and ideas about the stressful event, and emotions like dread and rage are all parts of the stress response.
Sit up and make sure your feet are flat on the floor, raise your arms straight up and join your hands with your arms as near your ears as possible. And stretch; Release your arms now and relax. Repeat at least twice.
Swing your chair away from your desk, and kick your shoes off. Start with a deep breath, take your arms over your head, and slowly with a flat back, fold yourself over whilst exhaling and flop down with your arms dangling to the floor and rest there. Your back will thank you, and your brain will experience the benefits of blood and oxygen. (Pretend you're looking for a pen or something if you think everyone's looking, but chances are they're so involved with worries they won't notice.) Now come up and take a few more calming breaths. Repeat as you feel the need.
Body twists are good if you're feeling blue, anxious or fearful.How to Reduce Stress
Sit on the edge of your chair with your left side facing the back of the chair. Your feet and knees are together and must stay that way throughout the pose. Place your hands on the back of the chair or as near to it as you can. Keep your feet and knees together. Take a deep breath in, and allow your shoulders to rest downwards. Exhale and twist your upper body to your left to look behind you and go as far as is comfortable. Keep your face aligned with your chest. When bending to the left, push with your right hand and pull with your left. Repeat the other side.
Now I bet you're feeling better, brighter and more ‘up for it'? Are you not?
Having a taste for exercise, capitalise on it and start thinking about how you can build more walking into your day. A walk at lunchtime, walking upstairs instead of taking the lift or escalator, a walk around the office or to someone else's office. There are countless ways for you to do this. Act now because as you do more, you create the habit, and your mind will present more opportunities to take an exercise break and find that you want to do longer, traditional forms of exercise.
Speed Up Your Success By Slowing Down
And finally, like most people, you always tend to be in a hurry, rushing from one place to another and not spending much time sitting down and clearing your mind. You may find that when you have to perform, for example, by giving a presentation, your mind panics. An excellent way to avoid this kind of response is to slow down and think things through, visualising a positive outcome for yourself. You will find this very calming and practical way to train your mind and body to give you what you want.
Here is a technique to get you on the fast track to success :
Take a long slow breath in through the nose, gently hold it for a count of four and then let the breath out as if sighing slowly. Try it now . .. feel the difference it makes with just one breath. Try two more, and with each out-breath, say the word ‘relax' to yourself. Notice how you can slow down, allow any thoughts to pass, and imagine they are like clouds floating by on a windy summer's day.
Turn your attention to b-r-e-a-t-h-I-n-g … In … and… out.
Now how do you feel? How easy was that?