Posted on July 2nd, 2015 by Seth Nickinson
“Brain breaks” are a concept that has caught on in K-12 education, as a way to help keep students alert, re-invigorate the mind, and adapt to different learning styles.
Brain breaks for kids can include games, kinesthetic activities, and dancing to well-known songs. We want to encourage you to not be so age-focused: check out our brain breaks for students page, and get inspired.
But OK, you are a grown up. So what might your “brain breaks” be (beyond checking Facebook or playing Minesweeper – those are not true brain breaks!
(inspired by content on HelpGuide)
We all find ourselves humming or singing a tune when we are happy. Music has the ability to quickly shift our mood, affecting our subconscious mind where negative thoughts feed on our fears pile on to our stress.
Singing is one of the best ways to shift the patterns of thoughts. By helping slow and regulate breathing and promote relaxation, it can literally alter the hormones and cellular activity in our bodies. Most pop songs are just 2-3 minutes, the perfect amount to change your vibe.
So pick a song that you know is reliably calming or even happy-making for you, and make it part of your day. Sing in your car on the way to work. Sing in the bathroom. Sing on a 15-minute break. Or just sing at your work station if you can do it without disrupting others.
Want an even bigger effect? Join a choir. Group singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins
A mantra is a simple syllable, word, or phrase repeated as a way of concentrating focus, relaxing the mind, and opening up personal growth. “Mantra” is mostly heard in reference to Indian spiritual practices – yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism – but they are more common than you think. Consider the visualization techniques that many athletes use, e.g. “Be the ball,” or even the famous phrase from the Little Engine That Could: “I Think I Can, I Think I Can”. Something like a single line from a Christian hymn, a favorite quote, or a single line from a song can be a mantra.
These are from Sirena at TinyBuddha, who shares how she uses them.
4 Simple Mantras to Help You Stay Positive and Happy.
So go ahead, pick a prayer or phrase that resonates with you, and add a mantra to your day.
We have done a number of posts at Project ACT on stretching.
Animated, Humorous Stretch with Maximo
We can’t resist proposing dancing, because it’s such a helpful way to de-stress and clear your mind. It hits the body thing and the music thing.
You can go pop-culture like Michelle Obama and Ellen
You can rock an “Instant Recess” (a dance-meets-fitness hybrid)