WALK WITH ME

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.

DE-STRESS WITH TECH

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.

Headspace

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

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.

White Noise

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.

Pause

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.

Sleep Cycle

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. 

The Importance of Stillness

Finding the time to be still in today’s fast-paced world is no easy feat. You’re expected to be actively engaged with work, family, friends, even friends of friends, through email, social media, and group chats (that you were involuntarily added to) 24 hours a day. You’ve also got to find time to shop for groceries, do the washing, go to the dentist, attend an after-work function, and the list goes on and on. There’s no time to waste, but that’s exactly why you need to find the time to be still and practice being mindful.

Tim Ferris, best selling author of the “4 Hour Work Week” and host of The Tim Ferris (business) podcast, has interviewed thousands of highly successful people from all walks of life and industries. Ferris found that “at least 80 percent of the people I have interviewed have some type of daily mindfulness practise.” Yoga is included in Ferris’ definition of mindfulness, which successful people use to quiet their minds, concentrate on breathing, and rid themselves of unnecessary stress.

With that in mind, here are five famous yogi’s who attribute the routine practise of yoga as a key ingredient to their success.

Beyoncé – Musician

If you want to “run the world” like Beyoncé, do as Beyoncé does. The pop sensation is a famous yogi and incorporates it into her weekly workout routine. She says that yoga is great for “relieving stress and making you bendy.” If you’re looking for evidence you only have to watch one of her live performances or iconic music videos.

Richard Branson – Businessman and Philanthropist

It’s no surprise that the man behind Virgin Active gyms promotes being active as a key ingredient to his success. More specifically, Branson wrote on his blog that “Yoga is a less strenuous way to get active, but also very rewarding and relaxing.” He’s even hinted at the idea of “in-flight yoga.” That’ll make those long-haul journeys a lot more fun.

Ellen Degeneres – Talk Show Host

The talk show queen, Ellen Degeneres, attributes looking and feeling so young to practising meditation, eating healthily (Ellen’s a vegan), and yoga.The funniest woman on television starts her day with 60 to 90 minutes of yoga poses to calm her before her busy day begins. Once her mind is clear of all that unnessesary clutter, she can concentrate on what’s really important – making people laugh.

Giselle Bündchen – Supermodel

Gisele Bündchen is probably the most famous supermodel in the world. That hasn’t happened without a lot of hard work. She dedicates at least one hour a day to working out, listing Anusara yoga – a form of free-style yoga – as her favourite activty to help maintain her incredible physique and provide her with tranquillity and stability of mind.

David and Victoria Beckham – Footballer and Pop Star Turned Designer

The power couple like to practise yoga together. They reportedly do power yoga classes for couples twice a week, which is impressive considering their hectic schedules. A source close to the couple told The Evening Standard “It’s a very intimate experience. You have to learn to become one entity entirely. You stretch, breathe and move as one. They started taking the classes about a year ago and it’s astonishing how in tune with each other they are these days.”

So if you’re looking to bend it like the Beckhams or simply find some time to be still in your hectic schedule, make yoga a part of your weekly routine, and add a can of Tranquini to your daily dose of stillness.

A Portrait Of Calm

At 100 metres below the oceans surface its almost entirely dark. The pressure exerted on your body is 13 times stronger than at sea level. It’s freezing cold, you’re at least a minute and a half swim away from the surface and virtually out of breath. Your lungs will have hardened to protect your chest cavity from being crushed, and because you have very little air in your lungs pushing you towards the surface, the swim back requires twice the effort. Sounds like a nightmare right? Not for the likes of Guillaume Nery, world famous free-diver, who describes feeling amazing at these crazy subterranean depths.

Above the surface, under this kind of pressure, your natural instinct is to fight, resist and struggle but according to Nery, who has regularly broken the symbolic 100-meter mark, you must do the exact opposite. You must convince your mind to relax completely and to stay calm.

Unlike most extreme sports, which require high levels of adrenaline, free driving requires total relaxation of the body and mind. In the words of Nery “you have to tell yourself that nature and the elements are stronger than you. You have to let the water crush you. I accept the pressure and go with it.”

He also says that its incredibly important to stay positive and no let your thoughts wonder, to the infinite amount of “what ifs”, which will make you panic and drive you crazy. It’s important to remain completely focused on the present and deal with what you can control, not what you can’t. “Never look at the surface, not with your eyes or your mind,” says Nery.

Free diving also emphasizes how important it is to breathe correctly. Focusing on your breathing allows one to stay calm and in the moment, and in the case of free divers explore an underwater universe that few get to witness.

By applying mental techniques such as the ones listed above, Nery and free divers like him have been able to swim to depths that doctors and physiologists had previously deemed impossible. The sport continues to prove the incredible power of the mind.

So the next time you start to panic before a big presentation, or you’re stepping into an exam, or someone cuts you off in the traffic, remember to take in a deep breath, relax, stay calm, stay present, drink a can of Tranquini and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Five habits of successful people

Author Jonathan Franzen wrote parts of his award winning novel The Corrections wearing earplugs, earmuffs and blindfolded, so that he could concentrate better. British artist Francis Bacon liked to work on a hangover, because in his words “my mind is crackling with energy, and I can think very clearly.” Benjamin Franklin used to take ‘air baths’, which involved opening all the windows and doors and stripping down, to ‘refresh.’

A lot of highly successful people have habits that help them with their productivity, and while some are clearly more eccentric than others, a lot of these habits make sense.

For instance, there is a popular misconception that in order to be successful one has to work oneself silly, often at the cost of relationships, personal time and sleep. But speak to those who know, and they’ll tell you how important it is to get enough sleep, spend time with family and friends and get away from it all.

At Tranquini we believe in a healthy, balanced lifestyle that allows for hard work, play and rest, and we’ve found five highly successful people who tend to agree. Read on and be inspired.

Always Stay Optimistic – Elon Musk – Tesla

The CEO of Tesla, Space X and founder of PayPal has faced immense obstacles throughout his career, like being told that electric cars are impractical by the auto industry, banking over the internet is impossible and sending a man to Mars would never happen in his lifetime. Yet despite the naysayers, Musk continues to defy the odds and prove his critics wrong. The main reason – he is unshakably optimistic. He’s made a habit of finding a way to make things work that were previously regarded as impossible. In his words “If you wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.”

Take Risks – Beyonce Knowles – Musician

Beyonce has made a habit of taking every opportunity she’s been given, even if it presented a big risk or an opportunity for failure. “I can never be safe,” she says, “I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.” Successful people take risks where others might remain too cautious. Even if they don’t succeed the first time, it’s their ability to learn from their mistakes and bounce back that see them succeed in the long run.

Read, Read, Read –Mark Zuckerberg

In 2015, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg pledged to read a book every two weeks. Bill Gates reads a book a week while American business tycoon Warren Buffet devotes over 80 percent of his day to reading. Successful people across the board are known to read a lot and are highly selective about what they read, preferring non-fiction, educational books, as well as biographies about other successful people.

Stay Active – Barack Obama

Barack Obama has a strict, 6 days a week, 45-minute workout regime that he maintained throughout his Presidency. It involves a combination of cardio and strength. He was also known to frequent the basketball courts of various federal buildings throughout Washington. Editor in Chief Anna Wintour plays an hour of tennis every day before work. Richard Branson kite surfs regularly while Jennifer Aniston does a spin-yoga combo every morning. Successful people understand that in order to have an active mind it’s important to get exercise on a regular basis.

Practice Stillness – Oprah Winfrey – Talk Show Host

Oprah Winfrey practices stillness for 20 minutes every day. In her words, “The one thing I want to do is center myself every day and make that a practice for myself. Because I’m 1000 percent better when I do that.” Science has proven that meditation reduces stress, and improves productivity, and is practiced by a number of highly successful people including Jeff Weiner (CEO of Linkedin), Russell Simmons (CEO of Def Jam Records) and Lady Gaga.

So there you have it, from the minds of some of the most successful people living today – very manageable everyday habits that promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Be sure to include a can of Tranquini in your daily habits.

Adult playgrounds

‘Adult playgrounds’ – the term conjures up memories of that time you and three friends embarked on a party weekend that involved, a leopard print thong, a point-and-shoot camera containing damning evidence and an annulled marriage. Good times. But before you get the wrong idea, the kind of adult playground’s we’re referring to do not involve any nefarious activities.

Rather they refer to urban playgrounds and parks that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids alike. In some cases they’re specifically tailored so adults can get in touch with their inner child and help relieve stress by participating in health related activities, without having to sign up for expensive gym programs.

This trend, embraced by designers and urban planners across the world, offers a welcome alternative to the sterile, indoor gym environment to exercise, socialize, be creative and have fun in centrally located public spaces.

We’ve found five amazing examples of adult playgrounds around the world for you to marvel at, and hopefully enjoy one day. 

Superkilen – København, Denmark

Superkilen is the perfect example of an adult playground. The park is subdivided into three distinct areas: a red square, a black market and a green park. Each contains uniquely designed elements such as recreational facilities, barbeque and picnic areas, green spaces, pet areas, sports facilities, as well as multiples cycle tracks throughout. The park celebrates diversity by containing objects from various countries, including swings from Iraq, benches from Brazil, manhole covers from Zanzibar, a fountain from Morocco and a Japanese Octopus jungle gym. This place has something for everyone.

Mount Mitte – Berlin, Germany

Ideal for those who love climbing, Mount Mitte located in the heart of Berlin, is a gigantic high ropes course containing three different levels, six different courses, ninety different obstacles, and amazing views of the city provided you don’t suffer from vertigo. If climbing is not your thing you could play a game of beach volleyball, or enjoy some tasty food and drink at the Hawaiian-themed beach Bar located nearby.

Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain, Duisberg, Germany

Designed by German artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth, this elevated pathway has been likened to a rollercoaster without the cars. The 21 meter high sculpture walkway is positioned on top of a hill in Duisberg, offering amazing views of the surrounding area. Visitors can walk, run or climb the walkway by foot although at some point will be physically blocked by a closing loop. It’s open both day and night, lit up by LED lights and offers a truly unique experience for those lucky enough to visit it.

CITY MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS, USA

The museum that covers over 600,000 square feet is a fantasyland for both adults and kids. It consists of largely repurposed architectural and industrial objects, where visitors are encouraged to touch, climb and play on the various exhibits. It contains a ten-story slide, manmade caves, a Ferris wheel and two airplanes. On weekend nights it’s open to adults only and has a vibey bar for those that want to take the edge off.

JEJU LOVE LAND, SOUTH KOREA

Okay, so this place contains something a little closer to the ‘other’ type of adult playground you might still be thinking of. Described as an erotic theme park, it was opened in 2004 with the idea of breaking the traditional taboos surrounding sex by celebrating the natural beauty of sexuality. The park contains 140 sculptures depicting various sexual positions as well as erotic video installations and other artworks. Popular for honeymoon couples, this place is strictly for adult’s folks.

So go on then, embrace you inner-child and find an adult playground near you, to de-stress, socialize, get some exercise, and celebrate being forever young.