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Relaxing can be tough when you live a stressful or busy life.
One reason for this is our lives are structured around rituals: running for the train, household chores, constant email or text messages and drinks with colleagues are just a few examples.
Being overly busy or stressed can also limit how perceptive we are: cognitive processing is associated with two action types. Controlled procedures are just that - they are mental actions we have control over. For instance, reading an email or text message. Alternatively, automatic processes are factors which are not consciously controlled such as judging speed whilst driving. The second process can also interfere with the first. For example, if you are reading what you need for a recipe whilst unloading the dishwasher you may find the wrong utensils in the incorrect places or mistaking the equipment required for the cooking. We have all been there; I know I have found myself myself nearly putting gravy in the washing machine drawer!
So, next weekend, or on your next day off, go back to basics! Try five of the following during one day and you will be more relaxed and more perceptive ... guaranteed!
1. Turn your phone off for a day.
2. Clear one messy drawer or cupboard.
3. Enjoy a long walk.
4. Avoid alcohol for a day.
5. Start a journal.
6. Try mediation or yoga.
7. Tell a friend or family member you appreciate them and how you feel.
8. Buy a plant or flowers for your desk in your workplace or for somewhere at home.
9. Devote time listening to your favourite music.
10. Stop using social media for a day.
11. Watch a dawn or dusk.
12. On a sunny day, if you can, enjoy the rays for ten minutes. Take the sun protection!
13. Get together with mates you haven't seen for a while.
14. If the night is clear, look for the North Star.
15. Avoid watching film or TV for a day.