WATCH YOUR BREATH
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.