Right up until he passed away, Dr John Hinwood was a prolific blogger (an award-winning blogger in fact!). John’s blog’s shared musing from a rich history of experience, learnings, travel and wisdom.
The Hinwood Institute is named in honour of Dr John and to continue his legacy, we’re republishing his blogs to keep his wisdom, wit and wise words alive for the world to enjoy.
You can learn more about the legacy of Dr John Hinwood HERE.
Here we go, seven simple and powerful ways to give a busy mind a break.
We constantly hear stressed people say that they have a busy mind that just won’t shut off. Yes, stress can be an addiction for some people, however, most people yearn to have some tools and strategies so they can shut off a busy mind when they choose to.
Busy minds need time to refresh, have time-out, to play, to enjoy extra periods of sleep from time to time, exercise and ‘just do nothing’ sometimes.
Using a diary is an excellent way for you to block out time for activities that give your mind a rest. As you make business appointments, health care appointments, hairdresser appointments, go one step further and commit to keep your personal appointments for ‘timeouts’.
1. Take a break from electronic devices
Be prepared to ‘turn off’ your phone for periods each day, especially when you sleep. Like you park your car when you arrive at home or at work, park your phone in another location in your home when you sleep.
2. Disconnect from social media for periods each day
The addiction of 24/7connectionto social media is becoming a disease for some. Recent research reveals 26% of teens are connected 24/7.Totally disconnect at night and park your device in another room to recharge, while you recharge your brain as you sleep.
3. Spend a little time with others
This can be a powerful de-stress time as the calming effect is so much more powerful when it’s face to face. In 30 minutes time I’m off to have breakfast with a friend. We do this once a month at the start of our busy day to chat, catchup and enjoy each other’s company. No phones, just two blokes catching up face to face in the flesh can have a grounding and calming effect.
4. Empower your gut with yogurt
Ireland’s University College Cork has discovered abacterial strain found in some types of yogurt—lactobacillus rhamnosus. This affects the brains of mice, reducing their stress hormone levels and making them act calmer than those fed bacteria-free meals. The soothing signals travel from bowels to brain via the Vagus nerve which is a key modulator of your parasympathetic nervous system. This is the ‘slow me down’ part of the unconscious or automatic nervous system.
5. Create a couple of 5 to 10 minute mini-meditation sessions each day
Yesterday afternoon I decided to take the train from our outer suburb to the city for a dental appointment so I would not have to hack the peak hour traffic driving home. On arriving at the station the train was a few minutes early and I just missed it. WOW… I then enjoyed an unscheduled 30 minute meditation time. It was special.
6. Change your bedtime, not your wakeup time
Deeper sleep changes you stress hormone balance and getting 7 hours for most people is the ideal to support you to de-stress.
7. Using your breath still tops the list
When it comes to calming down, deep breathing is still the top of the list. Psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek says, “By forcing yourself to breathe as you do in your most relaxed moments, you trick your body into releasing calming neuro-hormones, causing a biological shift in how you feel. Whether you breath low and slow for one minute or five minutes, it’s going to bring you to a calmer place.
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About the Author
Dr. John Hinwood is a Global Leader in Stress Management. He is a very experienced and respected executive coach, mentor, consultant, sought after international speaker and author. He specialises in facilitation that leads clients out of the stress and into the calm. He has a reputation for innovative and transformational work in stress-life balance and mindset change for front line employees, to managers and business leaders.
Dr John Hinwood has shared the stage with Dr John Demartini, Dr Deepak Chopra, Dr Wayne Dyer, Dr Joe Dispenzia, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul fame), Dr Bruce Lipton, Dr Masaru Emoto and others who are at the cutting edge of human behaviour and mindset change.
He has written 14 books with 4 being Amazon international best sellers. He has had papers published in academic journals and was once Captain/Coach of the Danish National Rugby Team. Dr. John’s experience as a health professional by training, successful businessman by effort and an inspiration by inclination has given him an awesome array of practical tools for success.