Take a One-Minute Break to Marinate Yourself

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

Man relaxing

– Napoleon Hill

“Time is of the essence.” These words have never rung as true as they do nowadays. However, most individuals these days do not realize that time is slipping away from them, one minute at a time.

An increasing amount of people are spending most of their time at work. In our fiercely competitive world, we are left with a sense of “do or die” when it comes to survival, success and progress.

With this silent pressure quietly building up over long periods of time, the effects on one’s health can be detrimental. It’s already evident considering obesity — an epidemic and cardiovascular disease — is still the leading cause of death among Americans.

Excuses, Excuses…

We’ve known for many years now that exercise and a sound diet are essential for one’s overall health, especially when it contributes to lower stress levels. However, the problem arises when you tell someone they need to exercise and eat well, and they respond with, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Before you know it, “tomorrow” turns into “next week” and “next week” turns into “next month,” and so on and so forth.

It is hard to keep commitments when time does not allow us to schedule 30 minutes of exercise into our hectic agendas, or 10 minutes to plan a healthy menu for the next day. However, there should be no excuse why you can’t take one minute, yes one minute out of your day to at least lower your stress levels and feel calm and rejuvenated.

All the following tips and techniques can be carried out almost anywhere at anytime, including at work.

Inhale Your Strength

Breathing is the simplest exercise our bodies perform on a regular basis, but like all exercises, perfect execution leads to more efficient use of muscles and metabolic systems. Surprisingly, proper breathing is not practiced by more than an estimated 90 percent of Americans.

The way most people breathe does not maximize the amount of oxygen one inhales, nor does it expel the right amount of waste gases. Here’s how you should be breathing if you want to achieve the best results:

  • Sit comfortably, keeping your back and neck straight.
  • Close your eyes and imagine that your upper body is a plastic bottle with a cork on top.
  • Slowly inhale, and imagine the cork being released and air rushing to the bottom of the bottle.
  • When you feel you can’t inhale anymore and the bottle is full, slowly exhale while imagining someone squeezing the bottle from the bottom. Make sure that your exhalation lasts at least 1.5 times longer than your inhalation.
  • Repeat the process for one minute.
  • Open your eyes slowly and enjoy the feeling of relaxation.
  • Meditate for a Moment

    Meditation can actually be a great way to release anger, or rather, make it disappear. It follows through from the previous exercise of proper breathing. Start breathing properly, then close your eyes and visualize placing your anger and frustrations and all your stress into a single black ball. Now envision the ball turning whiter and whiter, until it disappears into nothingness. This technique takes only one minute to carry out and you can do it while at work, or right before an important interview.

    You Need a “Time-Out”

    Work is usually the environment in which we become most stressed, probably because we spend more than a third of our lives doing it. But it’s time for a change in your outlook.

    You must realize that work can control your destiny and make you ill if you allow it to. Start taking control of your fate by squeezing a handful of one-minute breaks into your workday in order to unwind. So where can you begin?

  • Get up. Rise up from your chair, walk around and stretch.
  • Yawn. Inhale and exhale deeply a few times in order to get more oxygen into your system.
  • Get some balls. No, not those kinds. Get hold of a stress ball or two and whenever you’re feeling edgy, squeeze it.
  • Do something else. Take a minute away from working and write a love note to your woman. It will surprise her and make you feel good at the same time (make sure to keep it short and simple).
  • Laughter. Read a joke, and laugh. Laughter is actually quite contagious, and it’s a well-known fact that people who smile and laugh more throughout life are more liked and become more successful.
  • Make a call. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is call a friend and engage in a short chat about your day. Discussing your worries and problems can make them seem less daunting. And hearing about someone else’s problems might make you feel like you’re not alone and help you gain perspective.
  • Delegate Your Own Time

    Whether at work or at home, or even when an important event like a wedding or birthday party is being organized, delegation of your own time to others is very important.

    If you are the type of person that loves taking on numerous projects, be careful. It can lead to a physical and even mental breakdown. Our brains are like computers; they have their own RAM (Random Access Memory), which allows us to perform several tasks at once. However, start doing too many and the system crashes. Don’t be afraid of asking for help and assigning your tasks to others who might be eager to help. Just don’t go overboard; otherwise you’ll be viewed as lazy. This way you free up a tremendous amount of time that you can enjoy as downtime.

    Just Do It

    After you finish reading this article, close your screen or computer, lie back on your chair, close your eyes, and daydream a little, even for a minute. It’ll do your mind and body good.

    If you liked this article, please bookmark it on del.icio.us or vote for it on Digg. Thank you!

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    1 Comment

    • Karl Staib says:

      It’s amazing how many people I know, including myself that could follow this advice. It would help someone ground themselves in the present moment and enjoy the little things that much more.
      Keep the great thoughts coming,

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