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How To Destress In 5 Minutes

How To Destress In 5 Minutes

In this post, we’ll take a look at an easy yet powerful form of meditation, that you can use to destress in a matter of minutes. What’s more, you don’t need any previous meditative experience; all it takes is an open mind and some motivation to practice.

You probably already know that meditation is physically and mentally calming, but it’s also emotionally soothing. That makes meditation most pleasant and revitalizing.

Before we get to the mediation, let’s examine the nature of stress first.

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What is Stress?

When the mind is speeding from one thought to the next like a jet, and the physical body feels intensely alive, that’s a common type of stress. So, is it a pleasant or unpleasant mental state? To answer that question, I suggest you tune in to your bodily sensations next time you are under stress. That way, you will know for yourself.

Stress is generally triggered by heavy workloads and tight schedules. For example, you have to cover for a colleague at the office who has called in sick, which doubles your workload. Another scenario would be a deadline that moved up.

Ultimately, thinking is the cause of stress. The sheer thought of a heavy workload or a tight schedule, can give rise to a sense of panic. With this knowledge, it’s quite easy to see that destressing is fundamentally about not thinking. In other words, the most effective way to relieve stress is by taking a break from thinking.

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How to Destress: Guided Meditation

Guided meditation does not involve thinking. Instead, you work with plain awareness. When you meditate, you give relaxed attention to your meditation object. That’s it!

The mind calms down the moment awareness takes the place of thinking. In this context awareness, attention, and mindfulness mean the same thing, they all point to a state of mind that is free from thought.

Guided meditation is one of the easiest meditation techniques available. What is more, it’s as fun as it is powerful. All you have to do is press play, close your eyes, and follow the voice instructions.

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Meditation downloads can be found by searching for guided meditation in any search engine.

Meditation Tips

  • Meditate in a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed. That makes it easier to relax and concentrate. It’s also a good idea to switch off the sound on your cell phone.
  • Meditate lying down on your back. It’s natural to relax the body while lying down. Remember that a relaxed body makes for a relaxed mind and vice versa, so make yourself as comfortable as possible. If there is nowhere to lie down, sitting on a chair will do just fine.
  • Meditating with your eyes closed makes it easier to stay focused. Moreover, darkness has a calming effect on the mind. So if you like, you can switch off the lights in the room.
  • Always give relaxed attention to your meditation object, trying too hard only increases physical and mental tension.
  • Meditate 1-2 times per day for a minimum of 5 minutes per session.
  • It’s better to do multiple 5-minute meditations with short breaks, than a long session. In the beginning, the mind quickly gets tired since it’s not used to giving its continuous attention for extended periods of time.
  • Meditate in the morning while you’re still in bed. That gives you a fresh start of the day. Likewise, you can improve the quality of your sleep by doing a session before going to bed at night.

A final note. The more you practice, the deeper the meditation takes you, making the destressing more effective. The soothing and calming effects also become more pronounced with experience. In short, you have everything to gain by establishing a regular meditation practice.

Good luck!

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Feel free to share your experiences of destressing in the comments…

Featured photo credit:  morning meditation via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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