You’ve tried everything to keep your co-workers attention – interactive multicoloured pie charts, Tony Robbins motivational videos, a death defying pyrotechnics act that almost got you fired and resulted in your having to wear fake eyebrows for a month after they were singed off. None of it could keep your disengaged colleagues’ eyes away from their phones and the latest, looping cat meme. To be fair, a cat leaping into a cardboard box is hilarious. But there could be a more simple meeting solution that will force your colleague or boss to look up and be engaged. Take them for a walk. No, we don’t mean like a dog. We mean, take your meeting out of the office and conduct it while walking.
Research has found that walking increases creative thinking, and is a great way to aid in problem solving. When we walk the heart pumps faster, which means more blood and oxygen circulates to all the muscles, including the brain. Because walking does not require much conscious effort our thoughts are free to wander and be more creative, because exercise promotes new connections between brain cells while increasing memory and attention.
Not only does it help get the creative juices flowing, it’s also good for you. The average person spends close to nine and a half hours sitting everyday, which is over an hour more than they spend sleeping. This startling statistic prompted TED speaker, Nilofer Merchant, to declare “sitting is the new smoking.” It’s a strong statement, but it’s well documented that prolonged sitting increases the risk of illness. Taking regular walks during office hours will improve your health and reduce stress, while increasing the well-being of employees, particularly if you can have those walking meetings in a green space.
Steve Jobs, despite his fame, was spotted on numerous occasions wondering around Palo Alto in deep conversation with colleagues, while Einstein took walks along the beach whenever he encountered a difficult problem, and it should be noted that neither of them did it while staring at their mobile phones.
So what are you waiting for? Open your iCal, set the venue for your next meeting to ‘the park’, and take along a couple of cans of Tranquini for added stress relief. You and your colleagues will be positively relaxed in no time.
Have you ever been called upon to help an elder family member suffering from ‘tech deficiency’, like your gout-suffering grandfather mistakenly sending a photo of his big toe to everyone he’s ever known, or your mother’s Facebook page magically changing to Chinese even though she swears she never goes on ‘The Facebook’? It’s no wonder that every time your Dad clicks on the minimize button he has a near nervous breakdown trying to locate the lost window panel.
Technology can be the source of a lot of stress and anxiety for all generations, not just your parents – just try and get through an important Skype call on a bad connection. While a lot of technology was originally intended to help increase efficiency, by adding ease and convenience to your life, some tech has had the adverse effect of increasing anxiety when it doesn’t work properly, or it consumes every spare moment when our brain needs time to switch off.
Fortunately there are some apps out there that are specifically designed to help you de-stress, by helping you take some time out of your busy schedule, to be mindful and relax. We have found five of the best apps that, together with a can of Tranquini, will help you relax, de-stress and use technology to your advantage.
With over 8.5 million active users, including celebrities like Emma Watson, and Richard Branson, Headspace is considered one of the most popular and effective de-stressing apps currently available. Created to improve mindfulness, concentration and decrease stress the app specifically focuses on guided meditation, made simple. 10 to 15 minutes a day is all you need to find some inner peace and de-stress.
Breathe2relax teaches you how to improve breathing through video in order to reduce stress. Diaphragmatic breathing, like meditation, has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress and induce calm. It also helps with mood stabilization, anger control and anxiety management.
Is all the noise around you stressing you out or keeping you awake? White noise is designed to block out those distractions by inducing calm and focus through carefully curated looping soundtracks like the therapeutic sounds of rainfall or waves lapping against the shore. Use it in your office or in your bedroom at night for a more calm, controlled and ‘noise’ free environment.
The scientifically verified app is described as “relaxation at your finger tips” Pause is like playing with an interactive lava lamp on your mobile device. Borrowing from ancient Tai Chi principles, a user slowly and continuously moves his or her fingertip across the screen following a lava like blob, aided by touch sensitive techonlogy and audio cues. The app triggers your “rest and digest” response, helping you regain focus and release stress within minutes. Be warned though, this app is addictively relaxing.
The importance of a good nights sleep in order to relieve stress and be your best self is well documented. Sleep Cycle monitors your sleeping patterns using your phones in-built microphone or motion detector, using graphs to indicate what time you went to sleep, when you woke up and the quality of sleep you’re getting each night. Using this information you can make adjustments to your schedule and diet to ensure you’re getting enough rest.
So if you’re going to spend time on your computer or mobile device, use the time wisely to de-stress with one of the apps above, or better yet, put your phone in your pocket, grab a Tranquini, and head outside to get positively relaxed.