Arianna Huffington has a simple solution for business executives and professionals who are busy called microsteps. Microsteps are small activities that can be done in 1 to 3 minutes each day. These are science backed and personalised activities that can help people. A microstep can create a strong impact for creating healthier, relaxed and peaceful state of mind for people.
When you stick with microsteps for 30 days or more, they become habits and even rewire your brain. You don’t need a lot of time, but microsteps to be more assured of yourself.
Here are a few microsteps that can help you detox, relax and be more mindful in your day to day activities.
1. Wash your hands & Practice Gratitude
One of the easiest microsteps is practicing gratitude while washing your hands. It is relatively straightforward, but very potent. When you wash your hands, recall the list of things you are thankful for in your life. It takes only one or two minutes, but it can unleash peace in your day. When your brain is thankful and grateful, it helps you relax, get rid of anxiety and stress.
Huffington says, “Science tells us that this practice builds new neural pathways. We need that because during times like these, the default position of the brain is negative bias & anxiety.”
2. Exercise for 3 Mins
Yes, you can stretch yourself, relax and loosen up in less than 3 minutes. It is possible to exercise and work out within 3 minutes. A quick work out to get your adrenaline moving and it is effective too. You can do push ups, sit ups, rope skipping, quick jumping jacks etc.
The 3 minute work out is so powerful and triggers action. It is hard to find excuses for not finding out 3 minutes to exercise. It helps you mentally relax and make the most of your time too.
3. Writing a Journal
One simple microstep is to jot down things in your journal. It takes a couple of minutes to write down about your day or thoughts. A simple practice of writing a journal can be emotionally powerful. It can also help you develop the writing habit without even devoting a lot of time to it.
When you write, it helps you get rid of your emotions and have a balanced mind. A few minutes a day can add up to something significant in the long run.
4. Deep Breathing
Yes, we all get caught up in the daily hassles and get too busy with things. But it doesn’t take more than a minute or two of deep breathing to relax us. So, just before you have your lunch or anytime you feel stressed, you can relax with deep breathing.
When you are breathing deeply, your mind relaxes. It helps you calm your mind, destress and even become more focused on things you are doing.
5. Better Sleep
Our lives are constantly being hijacked by electronic devices. Whether it is the smartphone, mobile device or TV, people are addicted to screens. One microstep could be to turn off all devices one hour before you sleep. This will help your brain to rest and you will be able to sleep better.
Even small microsteps like this can make healthy differences in your life. A relaxed mind and healthy body can be achieved by adopting microsteps. Many companies like Walmart, Salesforce & Bank of America are already helping their employees learn about these microsteps.
6. The 2 Minute Rule
A powerful microstep is making a list of all tasks that need to be done and can be done within 2 minutes. When you make this list and do the tasks quickly, it relieves pressure off your back. It helps you accomplish more and get into action oriented mindset.
The 2 minute rule essentially comes from David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done.” This concept is also covered and popularised by James Clear in his book, “Atomic Habits.” The idea is to overcome inertia and get into action mode.
Reduce the friction it takes to get things done by doing them quickly within 2 minutes. Many tasks do not require a lot of mental energy or deep analytical thinking. These can be listed and done away with quickly.
For e.g. reading habit before every night can be developed by reading just one page. Developing a meditation habit could start with meditating for 2 minutes. Quality of work can be improved by reviewing your completed work in 2 minutes. The 2 minute rule is very strong as it lowers the resistance and helps us activate our energy to complete things.