5 Minutes at the (Brain) Gym to Fuel ‘Er Up and Still Git ‘Er Done

{2 minute read}

I consider myself a hard-worker who is pretty organized. I love myself a good strike-through list and have been given props for my thorough follow-up ability. (That’s right.) At the same time, I am someone who can easily channel a car chasing puppy in mere seconds and really has to work at staying focused instead of daydreaming for the afternoon.  I wonder what it really would be like in John Malkovich’s brain?  I have moments throughout the day where my brain is frazzled with priorities, ideas, bills, and content – oh, good God, the content – to the point of being on the fritz. I feel the overwhelming buzz descend from above until it has fully inhabited my brain. A voice then commands, “Brain, this is for your own good. Let’s power her down in 3…2…1”. Poof.

Wild guess that this isn’t what they mean by power napping.

Even though this is our societal norm, not only does it not have to be this way, but we are not wired for it to be this way. We are in such a twister to hustle that taking a few minutes to pause turns into a hassle. We give an “Ah, that’s so cute,” to those who go for a walk or meditate or do any sort of slooow self-care. Or self-care at all for that matter. These people are often labeled as New Age or Dreamers. They’re soft and innocent. So we give them a non-verbal “pat pat” to their head and take a passive aggressive swing at them, hoping they duck in time. “You’re so lucky that you have time to do that. I just don’t have any time. I’m hustlin’, baby.”

Well, all you hustlers out there: Make the time.

Taking a few minutes out of your day to pause is what will ground you, humble you and welcome you back into the world with a fresh, clear mind. Doing this non-negotiable act on the reg will set clear boundaries for yourself and others that you have self-respect and self-awareness. Which, last time I checked, are the shining stars of admirable traits. Your ego will fight you tooth and nail. It will call you names and laugh in your face. It may even throw a hissy fit with fists and all. Too bad.

To help you out, below are three super easy, and incredibly effective, brain gym exercises (Silly, rabbit, these tricks aren’t just for kids!) to help you decompress, refuel and just straight up chill out for 5 minutes. Because we all know that a frazzled mind in us lends itself to a furrowed brow in others.

The Cross Crawl (Targets: Concentration)

Can be done sitting or standing. To perform a Cross Crawl, touch your left elbow to your right knee while your right arm moves behind you as if marching. Then, touch your right elbow to your left knee while your left arm moves behind you. Continue to shift back and forth between the two positions for approximately two minutes.

Hook Ups (Targets: Focus & Anxiety)

Can be done sitting or standing. Cross your right ankle over your left ankle. Then place your right wrists over your left wrist, and curl your hands interlocking your fingers. Then rotate your wrists inward towards your breastbone until your elbows point outward. Stay in this position for a few minutes, breathing deeply and slowly.

Brain Buttons (Targets: Focus and Energy)

Place your right hand on your navel and with your left hand make an “L” shape with your thumb and pointer finger. Keeping your left hand in this position, place the tips of your fingers on the hollow spots under the collarbone (right about where the knot of a tie would lay). Rub these spots vigorously for anywhere from 30-60 seconds. Switch sides.

Just think, taking the time to steady your mind can help ward off forehead wrinkles on the rest of us. You’re the best! Thank you! Joking aside, doing just these three exercises every day (or even when you feel anxiety or overwhelm creep up) will help you to release tension and refocus your attention so that you can bring your best self forward.

Kudos to that!

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