We could all do with a bit more time to ourselves, but with jampacked work and social schedules, we barely have a minute to sit down, let alone time to fully decompress.
Our frenetic lifestyles are what prompted Chinese Medicine oracle Katie Brindle to share these one-minute ways to calm down, which you can easily add into your everyday life.
"Everyone tells me they're too busy to add calming practises into their day, so I teach ways to immediately calm yourself down that you can do while you're doing things you do each day anyway, from boiling the kettle, to checking your emails or waiting for the train," Katie explains.
"By introducing self-care gently and lightly into our lives, we can change our patterns of behaviour to feel instantly calmer," she adds.
Read on for Katie's three fail-safe ways to feel calmer, and watch the video below to see Katie talk through the three genius methods.
Table of Contents
1. The thumb hold to stop worrying
Loosely hold your thumb in the palm of the other hand, so your hand is wrapped around the whole of your thumb.
Take a few deep breaths and then repeat on the other side. "It's really effective and works immediately," says Katie. "It starts to calm the body and it's an instant thing and is why children suck their thumb instinctively. You can hold it in your lap and nobody would even notice," Katie continues.
It works because according to Chinese medicine, the thumb connects to the earth element, which corresponds to worry and trust, helping us feel held and supported.
When you hold your thumb you experience feelings of trust, which neutralises anxiety and worry, nurturing the body.
2. The Rescue Breath to ease agitation and exhaustion
"When people tell me they're too busy for self-care, the rescue breath works because we're all breathing anyway," says Katie. "I tell my community to do the rescue breath while they're boiling the kettle or checking their emails. It helps the body to calm down as well as energise and helps when you're feeling agitated.
"It trains the mind to focus and immediately calms. This effortless technique is powerful because it gives your mind something to focus on. It’s basically a minute of easy meditation," Katie adds.
The rescue breath is based on the Chinese Medicine inner smile. "It is simple, effective and works in literally one breath," Katie explains. "Take your hands to your lower belly, close your eyes, smile like Mona Lisa and take your attention down to where you can feel your hands and imagine the same smile down in your lower belly.
"Allow your breath to elongate, breathing gently in and out, feeling the breath caress your nostrils, entering your body smiling down.
"Keep on breathing slowly like this for five breaths before taking your attention back to behind your eyes and gently come back to the room.
"It allows you to govern your stress response which gives you that heavenly feeling of relaxed yet energised rather than exhausted yet restless."
3. The Shimmy to help you relax
Not just a jazzy dance move but a way to ease lethargy and help you relax.
Katie explains that people often tell her they simply can't focus when they try to meditate. She explains this is because we go from straight from our usual activities into trying to relax, when in reality we need to transition to a zen state.
To transition, Katie recommends shimmying the upper body. Stand with your hips shoulder width apart and rock from one foot to another, lifting and lowering your shoulders.
"It's a brilliant transitional exercise to get you out of a sense of agitation and into a relaxed state," Katie says, explaining it's great if you're feeling lethargic and need to boost your motivation to do something.
"A minute of shimmying will take you out of your slump and encourage you to do something active, like go for a walk or do yoga," Katie adds – or it will reset you relax ahead of your evening.