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4 ways to find your calm

4 ways to find your calm

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Somewhere, in between the smartphone, the chock-a-block diary and the mountain of ‘must-dos’, our minds are more bombarded than ever. Take a break and calm down quickly with these 4 quick and simple ideas.

Go green

A large-scale study from Japan found that green tea may lower stress levels. Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the research probed the headspace and diets of 42,093 Japanese subjects.

“Green tea consumption was inversely associated with psychological stress with a minimum of 100ml per day,” concluded the authors (who also noted that black tea may hold the same powers, as the “constituents of the two types of tea are similar”!).

Tip

Try substituting coffee for green tea three days a week—my favourite variety is Genmaicha. Add a teaspoon to a cup of boiling water and infuse for 5-10 minutes.

5 minute meditation

“Meditation allows you to choose which thoughts you want to jump into, and which you want to let pass,” says Wai Cheong Kok, resident Buddhist teacher at Vajaya Institute in Ashfield, Sydney.
“We have a bad habit of jumping into any ‘thought train’ that enters our mind. A lot of people get frustrated when the mind wanders. A better approach is to let go of the distracting thought.”

If the traditional ‘crossed-legged, eyes closed and hands facing-backwards’ gig is not for you, ‘mindful meditation’ may just be the solution.

Tip

To calm your mind instantly, focus on your breath. “Breathe in and out a few times and try to enjoy the soothing sensation of your breath. Let those agitating thoughts go and let your mind return to a more balanced state,” instructs Cheong Kok.

Sleep soundly

According to psychologist Dr Suzy Green, a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to boost your mood stave off stress.

“We need about 8 hours each night,” she says. “Don’t do what I do and fire up your lap top while you’re sitting in bed, though! You need to make sure that your mind primarily associates your bedroom with sleep and not other activities, like entertainment or work.”

Tip

If you’re female and you’re menstruating, did you know you need more sleep? “Women tend to need a little more than normal for a day or two before their period, and on heavy flow days,” says naturopath Emily Bradley.

Head-soothing herbs

Hypericum perforatum- St Johns wort may help to relieve feelings of sadness and low mood.

A review has found that St John's wort may help to relieve thees symptoms of the blues, with fewer side effects than standard pharmaceutical options.

Tip

"If your practitioner advises you to take St John’s Wort, be mindful not to skip doses, this can reduce the herb’s efficacy" says Bradley.