Don’t try to relax by rushing out to spend money at a spa or salon or an expensive restaurant – that will only stress you out more. Other than the obvious methods of getting zen, including exercise, yoga, meditation and sleep, here are three that are guaranteed to work in no time and cost you nothing.
• It’s summer in the UAE. When were you last outside? In the morning or late afternoon today, drive to a park or the beach. Enter. Take off your shoes – socks too, if you are wearing them – and feel the grass or sand beneath your toes. Take a deep breath. Stay awhile. According to a 2012 review of research published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, “earthing,” or reconnecting with the Earth, has been found to promote “intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being.”
• Watch or listen to an ASMR video on YouTube – people are making them right here in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Many people find the chewing, whispering and scratching immensely relaxing, due to an increasingly popular psychological phenomenon known as autonomous sensory meridian response. “ASMR offers relaxation through calm eye and ear whispering contact, precipitating what is often described as a tingling sensation,” Dr Franziska Apprich, assistant professor in the School of Communication and Media Studies at Canadian University Dubai, told Gulf News.
• Pick one task that must be done but has been lingering for far too long and just complete it. Does something need to be couriered? Is there a drawer that explodes when you open it? A conversation at work you’ve been putting off? Unfinished tasks like these create unnecessary stress, dread, even. Finished tasks on the other hand are small successes, and those release dopamine into the brain. Guess what dopamine is? A chemical messenger that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Celebrating even small wins boosts our sense of confidence and creates a more positive inner work life, according to the Harvard Business Review.