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Chapter Three

Indulge, Liz WildeWhether your route to work involves sitting in traffic or being sandwiched on a train, recent research says commuters can experience more stress than a fighter pilot going into battle. One way of lifting yourself out of the mayhem is to close your eyes and visualise yourself somewhere far more pleasurable. The trick is to really imagine the scene in detail. How it looked, how it sounded and especially how it felt. Breathe deeply as you relive the reality and chances are you’ll start to relive those warm, fuzzy feelings too. Or stay calm by packing a destress essential oil like chamomile, lavender or bergamot in your bag and sniffing straight from the bottle, or take six drops of Bach Flower Remedy Empatiens on your tongue. Stuck on a bus with no imagination or help in your bag? Press firmly on the acupressure point located between the two tendons on your inner arm two to three finger-widths up from where your hand meets your wrist. Known as P6 on the pericardium meridian, it’s the do-anywhere antidote to stress.

Your office needn’t be a fun-free zone. Choose a scent you love but don’t use at home so it starts reminding you of work and creates positive vibes the minute you step through the door. If your office smells good, everyone who visits will also feel good which means you’re far more likely to bring out the best in your colleagues too. Choose light, fresh citrus or spicy essential oils like peppermint (uplifting) or rosemary (great for concentration). But avoid anything relaxing - you don’t want to be asleep by lunchtime. It’s not only smell that can make 9-5 a happier time. If you spend the majority of your day sitting at a desk, cheer it up with bright stationary (even if you have to buy it yourself), and a coloured screen saver (or better still, a holiday photo). No one enjoys looking at a grey desk all day.

Holiday afternoon siestas are the ultimate indulgence, so why save them for holidays when you can take a power nap at home too? Research says that just two hours less sleep than the required eight lowers our IQ by two points, but a mere 15-20 minutes nap can reboot your brain, not to mention restore body and soul. Soothe yourself to sleep by consciously slowing down your breathing (the sound in your ears is calming in itself), which is enough to put you into a light meditative state. Even if you don’t drop off, this will still feel wonderfully relaxing.


1 Take very good care of yourself every single day. It's much easier to be positive about life when you’re treating yourself well.

2. Stress doesn’t seem so bad when you remind yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good stuff will make a huge difference to your mood.

3 Physical contact with friends, loved ones and even pets is an instant pick-me-up. Need proof? Waitresses get higher tips from customers if they touch them on the arm as they hand over their bill!

4 Talk to at least one good friend a day. Connection is good for the soul as it gives us a sense of belonging.

5 Everyone gets a good feeling from helping someone else, whether it’s a work colleague who’s stuck or a lady struggling up the stairs with a pushchair. The more positive energy you put out, the more you’ll get in return.

6 Ditch the rock music. A recent study found that adults who listen regularly to mood music felt less fatigue and depression after just six weeks, plus the effect lasted a full seven weeks afterwards.

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