Are you oxygenating? It may seem a funny question, but a recent academic health sciences center study found that 1-2 minutes of an oxygenating exercise each hour of the workday lowered stress and its effects for participants, increasing their focus and effectiveness.
Today’s article shares 3 techniques of what I call “Radical Self-Care,” or the neuroscience of effectiveness, including oxygenating (and how to do it!), that you can use immediately to raise the bar on your focus and productivity, and lower the stress that comes with multiple projects and responsibilities.
1. Oxygenating. A recent study at an academic health sciences centered showed that participants who practiced an exercise to get the blood flowing and oxygenated reported more calm, focus, energy, and some other happy surprises, including lowered blood pressure, lowered blood sugar, and other positive aspects of their health.* The great news is that you can do this right at your desk! Here is the exercise concept:
Once every hour while working:
- stand up, breathe in while putting your arms out in front of you are though you are reaching.
- Now, breathe out slowly while doing what I call a “cross-country ski move” – a half squat while bringing your arms down and back, as though you are helping imaginary ski poles guide you forward.
- Come up to standing position while breathing in, arms outstretched.
- Repeat 15-20 times.
We will be teaching exercises, tips and tools like this one at the upcoming Radical Self-Care Retreat in La Jolla on June 25 and 26.
2. Prioritizing. Each evening before you close up your office, select the three top items or concerns you must address the next workday. Focus on these three items first, one at a time (uni-tasking for increased effectiveness in focus and saving time!), before moving on to the rest of your workday.
3. List-Making to Remove Distractors. When distractors and multiple demands keeps your brain juggling, it can cause concern or worry, which causes stress. Unfortunately, when you are stressed or worried, your decision-making moves from the creative part of the brain to another place, rendering you less effective. One simple step you can take right now to begin creating brain space and energy as distractors come your way?
As you recall items and concerns you need to address, jot these down on a piece of paper. This actually de-stresses, freeing up the brain from worrying about recall, and clears the mind for increased focus.
While these techniques may seem simple, the results are profound.
* Disclaimer: these results were study outcomes. Individuals who practice this technique may have varying results.