Now that the international schools are back in session and expats are returning from their summer holidays, life in Singapore is back in full swing. You may be feeling more stressed, tense and under pressure. We can help. Keep calm with these simple ‘exercises.’
Spend a few hours each week immersing yourself completely in a solo activity, be it reading or baking. If you’re baking, enjoy the way the dough feels in your hands, take in the aromas when it’s baking, and relish the flavour of the finished product. This “exercise” encourages you to find pleasure in the simplest things and helps you relax.
Read only the good stuff
Scroll through the positive comments that friends have left on your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Soak in the praises – even if it’s just a remark on how nice your #ootd is – and well wishes. This is a great way to get an instant confidence boost.
Let go and LOL!
Laughter increases your body’s production of endorphins (also known as “happy” hormones) and lowers the levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Watch your favourite sitcom or browse through funny clips on Youtube (we’re loving The Ellen DeGeneres Show).
Let your worries “float away”
Let go of problems beyond your control. Close your eyes and imagine that they are “floating away” in a large balloon. Every time you exhale, visualise the balloon drifting further away, until it disappears. As for the stuff you do have control over, write out solutions for dealing with them so you feel empowered.
Think of someone who did you a kind turn and write her a thank-you e-mail or buy her a meal. Being grateful helps you focus on the positive rather than the negative. It also lowers your stress levels and the risk of depression, according to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Research in Personality.
Expert sources: Daniel Koh, psychologist at Insights Mind Centre, and Dr Lim Boon Leng, psychiatrist at Dr BL Lim Centre for psychological wellness, Gleneagles medical centre
By Sasha Gonzales, Her World, May 2014.