5 Quick Ways to Free Up Your Mind When You’re Stressed Out So You Can Get Back in The Zone in 10 Minutes Flat

Stressed Out, The Freedom Philosophy, Stephanie Holland

Behind the scenes of every startup there is blood, sweat and tears in a volume that would make an eighteenth century Highlander weep.

(Jamie Fraser* may have had to deal with the Red Coats, but never with list-building.)

Stress & anxiety are part of the beginners package.

And yes, sometimes it feels impossible to for me to go any further.

And even though I continue to show up, sometimes it’s only ‘in body’ while my heart & mind are elsewhere {usually on a beach in Mexico or half-way through my fourth coconut macaroon).

There are challenges, struggles and roadblocks on a daily basis.

There’s planning, website maintenance, list building, communications, content creation and marketing.

And more: Admin, accounting, and — oh yes! — a life to fit in, too!

I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter how I feel. It’s what I ‘do’ that counts. 

So when I feel totally stressed out it’s what I ‘do’ that matters most.

I’ve developed a few tricks that get me back into the zone in under 10 mins flat.

They are obvious and brilliant and they work.

Try them.

Here are the 5 Ways to Free Up Your Mind When You’re Stressed Out

#1: Just Breathe

Did you know that you can use your breath to fire up your idea machine; create space where it feels there is none; and bring you back to sanity when it feels like you are the centre of a storm. And in only 3 minutes?

But there’s one thing standing in the way of that.

You’re breathing on autopilot.

Which is likely fast and/or shallow and without any awareness at all. Breathing on autopilot leaves us at the whim of our emotions and at the mercy of the world around us.

Because here’s the thing.

Our breathing is affected by our mental and emotional state. If we’re stressed out or anxious it becomes shallow and/ or fast.

But if we breathe slowly and deeply we can control our mental and emotional state.

We can use it to feel calm, centred, creative and focused.

What a powerful a tool for your life and work.


If we breathe slowly and deeply we can control our mental and emotional state. #Powertools Click To Tweet


Try it now:

  1. Sit down in a chair or crossed legged on the floor. Wiggle a little to get comfortable, take a few deep breaths to centre yourself. Close your eyes. Then…
  2. Rest your left palm face up on your left knee.
  3. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, shooting the other fingers straight up to the sky like antennae.
  4. Breathe long, slow and deep through your left nostril, counting 26 inhale-exhale cycles.

It should take around 3 mins but you can set the timer for 6,11 or 33 if you like. It’s up to you.

This exercise is called ‘Left Nostril Breathing’, taught in the Kundalini style of Yoga, my favourite.

I’ve done this standing up on the train, on the beach and even in the loos /toilets / restrooms of public buildings. No excuses!



#2: Stretch Your Body

According the the British Pyschological Society Survey the average office worker spends 5 hrs 41 mins a day sitting.

Believe me that multiplies exponentially when you start your own business.

(You’ve heard that an entrepreneur is someone who works 80 hours a week to avoid working 40, right?)

The trouble with sitting for long periods of time is that it stops the energy and blood circulating around our body freely and as a result our mind and emotions stagnate, too.

Feeling stressed, anxious or frustrated is often a symptom of not enough movement in our day.

Exercise is a strategic imperative for life and business – you’ve got to move and activate your energy. It doesn’t happen by itself.

Stretching is brilliant.

It powers up your metabolic rate, meaning it kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn more energy, too.

It boosts your circulation and increases the flow of energy and nutrients around the body.

Try it now:

I love the #StretchGuide on http://amandabisk.com. (#notanaffilliate #justafan)

The guide has a 10-minute and 1-hour stretch sequence that will transform your energy levels and flexibility very quickly if you do it every day.

It also means you don’t need to leave your house, or even your room.



#3: Take a Cold Shower.

Another Kundalini trick for a body, mind, soul awakening, whatever your spiritual beliefs you’ll feel alive, alert, awake, energised and raring to go after a FREEZING cold shower.

No cheating. It must be freezing cold.

And there’s something very liberating about throwing all your clothes of in the middle of the day and jumping naked into cold water.

When I lived in Margaret River, a wine region on the coast in Western Australia, I’d run across the street and plunge myself into the freezing cold water for 60 secs. Very quick seconds! It was effing cold but I felt invigorated afterwards, albeit on the verge of a heart attack!!

In my spot in Mexico I have a swimming pool out front. When it’s searing temperatures outside the pool is always freezing in comparison. It’s good for a 10-min sit while the dragon flies zoom overhead.

How does it help? It has numerous recorded benefits:

  • Reduces blood pressure on internal organs, flushing internal organs and giving them a new supply of blood
  • Strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
  • Contracts the muscles and causes them to eliminate toxins and poisons more quickly
  • Brings the power of resistance and resilience to the body

In other words it brings us back to life.

9 months out of the year I jump into the Ocean or my swimming pool. I spend the Northern Hemisphere winter in Australia or Mexico and then the rest of the year housesitting marvellous places.  (I’ve got an article about how to leverage your lifestyle coming up soon. Sign up for my newsletter to stay notified.)

Try it now:

  1. Take off all your clothes, set the shower on freezing and GO!
  2. Stay in there for at least 3 minutes, rubbing your skin vigorously.

Curse my name while you’re in there, but you’ll LOVE me when you’re done.


#4: Drink a Glass of Water

A lot of the stress we feel is due to dehydration.

But this is marvellous because it’s so easy to FIX.

Try it now:

  1. Just drink a glass or pure, filtered water.
  2. Schedule reminders 6 x per day to drink more water.

Water is the queen of liquids, and, unlike any other, absolutely irreplaceable. It’s not the same as tea or herbal infusions; it’s not the same as Vitamin water; not the same as coconut water; and it’s definitely not the same as having a Ribena.

When you drink pure water that’s free of contaminants such as fluoride and chlorine (like in tap water), your body is being bathed, purified and cleansed, and all its functions and processes are supported.

Your joints and eyes are lubricated (so you can move and see easily), your mind is clear and the synapses in your brain are sharp (so you can have ideas and can solve problems).

When you’re dehydrated the opposite is true. And the stress you feel might just be your body and brain screaming for water.

Drink more water. Just make sure it’s filtered, pure, and unadulterated.

#5: Take a Dance Break

Do you need some scientific research to know that dancing just feels good? Of course you don’t.

Put on your favourite tunes and dance in your living room. CRANK it LOUD.

Every morning I put on my favourite happy tunes for my favourite workout and I end up dancing in my rest breaks. It makes me smile like there’s no tomorrow. So I do it when I’m super stressed out, too.

When Mum’s around I indulge in the guilty pleasure of playing Barbara Streisand’s Guilty SUPER LOUD and singing along. It drives her bonkers and it makes us laugh hysterically. She hates it. I love it. It’s hilarious.

Try it now:

  1. Choose your favourite happy tunes. I love Happy and Best Day of My Life. Crank them up LOUD.
  2. Keep dancing for 10 minutes or more. Dance like a mad hatter. Dance crazy. Be silly. Let yourself go. Stop taking yourself and life so seriously.

It has all the benefits of stretching and a cold shower.

How can your mood not be altered by a dance break?!

#6 BONUS: Go Somewhere Beautiful.

The beach. A Park. Some botanical Gardens. An art museum.

10 mins. 1 hr. 3 if you like.

Walk out onto your porch, look at the mountains.

Make a cup of tea and sit on your balcony.

Sit in your jacuzzi or in your garden chair.

Put your hammock up in the park.

Many problems solve themselves while you’re doing something else.

Many problems solve themselves while you're doing something else. Go somewhere beautiful. Click To Tweet


Pick one of these ideas and try it now. And tell me how it goes!

*Jamie Fraser is a character in Outlander, available on Netflix

Which if these ideas speaks to you the most? What strategies help you free your mind when you're stressed out?  

Drop me an email!


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