Homes+ (Australia) - - HEALTH+ -

Per­sis­tently high lev­els of stress will sab­o­tage any at­tempts at chill­ing out and calm­ing the mind. Un­for­tu­nately, many of us aren’t aware we’re at burnout stage un­til we “hit rock bot­tom”, says Dr Baulch.

“Once you cross into that burnout zone, the part of your brain that is re­spon­si­ble for de­ci­sion-making and prob­lem-solv­ing al­most shuts down. That means even making a de­ci­sion like what to have for din­ner can sud­denly be­come a very big deal.

“Your body re­flects how stressed you are, so it’s im­por­tant to tune in to it. Find ways to re­lax and calm your body. If you don’t re­lax, you will find your thoughts are re­ally af­fected by your body, and vice versa.

“You could also look at mind­ful­ness, yoga classes or get­ting a mas­sage. Learn to ob­serve your breath. If your breath is short, rapid and shal­low, the mes­sage to your brain is that you’re in a stressed state.”

An ex­er­cise such as sim­ply fo­cus­ing on your breath can help, or try a more elab­o­rate set of breath­ing ex­er­cises where you breathe in, hold it for a few sec­onds, then fo­cus on a long ex­hale of breath. If this rou­tine is done reg­u­larly, it can be ben­e­fi­cial in help­ing to de­clut­ter the mind.

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