Friday 25 May 2018

How to relax well this week - Surround yourself with positivity

Drinking tea
Drinking tea
De-stress yourself: Try to read positive news
Karl Henry

Karl Henry

And breathe! It's been a hectic morning I'm sure and you no doubt have a busy day and week ahead of you. Even with all of the tips I have given over the past five weeks, it's still so easy to get stressed, uptight and lose control of your day. So sit back, put everything else out of your mind for the next two minutes and just focus on this column, nothing else.

That is what is known as 'mindfulness': the ability to focus on what you are doing when you are doing it, no matter what that is. You can focus on your breathing, on that document you're preparing for work, on washing your car, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that you are focusing 100pc on that moment, nothing else. Then when you come back to what was actually stressing you out, you see it in a very different light, often finding a solution that maybe wasn't there before.

This week, I want to show you that relaxation and a less-stressed life is best achieved simply. All of the tips over the last few weeks are surprisingly effective, but by making them so straightforward and easy to do, you are far more likely to try them out.

But what I also want to discuss is the final component of relaxing well, and that means enriching your life with positive people and positive experiences.

By increasing the positive and reducing the negative aspects of your life, you can in turn reduce your stress levels and how you deal with stress. So let's take a look at what you can do to make those positive changes happen...

People

This is the most obvious but potentially the hardest. How you feel is directly impacted by the people you surround yourself with. Healthy, happy friends and family mean you are more likely to be healthy and happy. The opposite is also true. When I started running years ago, I trained with people fitter and faster than myself and the same was true for any sport I tried.

Places

Similar to the people in your life, the places you spend time will affect your well-being too. Do you sit with all the stressed people in the office at lunchtime or even on your commute? Do you spend the weekend in the pub? Take a look at where you spend your time and ask yourself if it has a positive or negative influence on your day.

Who you follow on social media

Social media has become an incredible extension of our lives and as much as I hate to admit it, social media does influence our decisions. So my advice would be to ensure you follow those who have a positive influence on your life - it's something I have done myself, and by dramatically reducing the numbers of those who I follow, I've found it to actually improve my experience online.

What you read

The same rule applies to what you read. What news do you read? I try to read positive news that enhances my life and my day as opposed to a constant stream of negative content that doesn't. It's not always possible to avoid the bad news, but you will be surprised at the difference it makes when at least a portion of your news becomes more positive.

Above all, it's crucial you make these tips work for you. Whatever seems easy and enjoyable to do, that's the one to use and from all the advice over the last five weeks, that's the best tip of all.

Irish Independent

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