Your mind is like a computer, which takes nearly four minutes to switch off and on again. If you feel stressed, hit the “Reset” button in your mind and clear your mental “Hard Drive”.
Your brain has two modes: “task-positive”, which is where your focus is, and “task-negative”, which is when you daydream but become more creative. See-sawing between both of these drains you mentally, so you need to switch off distractions e.g unread emails. Then you will stop thinking about them and be more productive in your work, and use a designated time to do your social networking.
You will find yourself thinking differently when you feel anxious to when you feel relaxed. Things that would not usually trouble you seem loud, overpowering and upsetting. This results in you fearing the worst and thinking negatively, which is unhelpful and maintains anxiety.
You can use self-talk to overcome these emotions, as talking is a natural way if checking out things. When you see that danger does not exist, you can choose more helpful phrases to say to yourself, such as “I met a friend recently. Nothing bad happened and I enjoyed their company.”
Take a Microbreak
Studies have shown that interrupting a tedious task at work with a 40-second “microbreak” improves performance as well as focus on your assignment. An example includes looking at a digital image of something natural, like a flower.
Avoid Unhealthy Snacks
Instead of raiding the biscuit tin, make a trail mix that consists of nuts, seeds and dried fruits, like cranberries. The nuts and seeds stop insulin levels decreasing and maintain energy, and the phosphorus in dried fruit gives you a boost with its healthy sugars.
It can be hard to maintain a good posture if you are sitting at your desk for long periods of time. To improve your posture, set a timer at regular intervals during the day. Then, sit down with your glutes behind you and roll your each of your shoulders up, back and then down. Keep your torso relaxed but straight, which will increase circulation and wake up your glutes.
Music can improve your mental performance and wake up your brain. Studies have shown background music also helps with problem solving and one’s ability to think. Even music from computer games have the power to stimulate concentration.
Fool Your Brain
Think back to a time you felt happy and full of energy, and why you felt this way. This acts as a “shortcut” to being more productive and focused.
‘Relapse Prevention Booklet’, August 2011.
Snape. J, ‘Reboot Your Brain’, Men’s Fitness magazine, August 2015.