ecostore New Zealand Blog

How to stress less and enrich your life
Posted On November 1st, 2015


A couple of things have caught my attention recently, specifically relating to our wellbeing. One in particular happened as my friend and I were driving to the beach to walk our dogs.  She was chatting animatedly to me about her new pattern of eating – lots of healthy food, however certain foods could only be eaten at certain times of day – no dairy, no grains, and her sugar intake was to be below a certain percentage in anything she ate.  It certainly made sense.

However, it left me thinking – we are living in an information age, yet it seems that as a result, we are becoming completely seduced with any new idea, concept, number, list or plan that will change our body, our health, or our life. And we are losing sight of what we know truly nourishes us. This endless search for the ‘right’ answer is perhaps lessening the richness of our life.

For this reason I have created something for you – let’s think of these things as reminders of what you already know and not a list of new information.

Consider these as simple, yet robust resources that are designed to help you nourish, to refresh and to experience joy:

  • Pause
    How often do you just keep on going? Not taking a break has large health implications. Simply, a moment where you turn away from your screen at work, or a 1 minute break [yes, that small] every 90 minutes during a work day to breathe, and you feel plugged back in.
    Every 90 minutes
    Set an alert and notice the benefit of a 60 second pause.
  • Develop a ‘future’ orientation.
    Humans are inherent creatures of progress.
    So whether you take just a moment to review a personal goal, or have a 3-hour brainstorm on the direction of your business, you become energised when you look forward.
    Weekly – or anytime you feel ‘on the treadmill’
    A Sunday afternoon can be a pleasant time to turn your attention to your goals.
  • Meditate
    Immunity, inflammation, brain function, memory, attention, anxiety, stress, depression are just a few factors that may be positively impacted by meditation.  If you cannot meditate initially, that is perfectly fine. Simply be still and breathe slowly, deeply and rhythmically for as long as you can.
    Each morning
    Get up a few minutes earlier than the rest of your household for some stillness.
  • Create rhythms
    Nature operates in rhythms. Think of tides, seasons, cycles of the sun and moon. Create patterns in your day and week where you can – morning rituals, gym days, date nights, sleep and wake times. Be committed.
    Plan weekly
    I recommend putting these important things into your planner first – and then letting the rest of your life flow around them.
  • Gratitude
    New neural pathways can be formed in your brain when you consistently focus on positive, uplifting, or special events, however big or small, say Berkeley University neuropsychologist and author Rick Hanson, and The Brain That Changes Itself author Norman Doidge. Consequently, this creates a shift in how your view challenges and life in general. I can’t put it more simply; gratitude is an essential health and wellbeing tool.
    Keep a journal by your bed [and a pen] so you’re always prepared to enjoy this.
  • Breathe
    The simple act of one big beautiful breath has a huge impact on your health and vitality. Your breath is a vital vehicle that oxygenates, alkalises and detoxifies your body, when you do it properly. That’s been documented in publications including the Journal of Obstetric, Gynaecologic and Neonatal Nursing (1998), A. Guz’s Brain, Breathing and Breathlessness (1997), and D. Repich’s Overcoming Concerns About Breathing. This increases your energy, reduces stress, and may help prevent inflammation and disease. Practice breathing properly, and eventually it will become natural to you.
    Most of us breathe incorrectly, so teach yourself how to breathe deeply, into your stomach – not your chest – and create a new habit.
  • Choose optimism
    Worrying depletes us emotionally. The cells of your body experience worry as a negative stimuli, which causes them to reduce and separate from one another, according to Dr Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief interview.  
    When you worry, you are less likely to find the answer to your problem, and of more concern, your health is compromised.  What are you worried about?  Be still, ask yourself what you need to do about it?  You’ll know…
    Sometimes your worry is valid, however instead, practise thinking about what a positive outcome could be instead, and your brain will begin to re-wire for optimism.
  • Rekindle your joy
    Most of us are not sure what truly brings us joy. And even if we are, we probably don’t prioritise it in our schedule.  When you are engaged in something you enjoy, the brain responds and creates attachments to that experience. According to Hanson and Doidge, if you are continually engaged in rushing, worrying, and mindlessness, those neural circuits develop differently and form patterns accordingly. A special joy may be remnant from your childhood – perhaps playing the piano or riding horses or being outside in nature. Although they needn’t be time-consuming activities; they could simply be moments spent laughing with a best friend or reading outside in the evening.  Ruminate on them.  Choose one or more for yourself. Engage in them regularly.
    This is generally the last thing we prioritise; yet it should be the first!  Decide on yours – and enjoy some richness in your life.

Sarah Laurie is an author, speaker and coach, who has a passion and practical advice for living well. Find out more on her website.

(Please note Sarah’s seminar tour was postponed and the ticket prize draw has closed).

The Stress Paradox  – a new Sarah Laurie Lifestyles event

New Zealand Tour – 24-26 November

Here’s what Sarah says about this seminar series:

How to Stress Less, now

“Has stress become part of your everyday life?  Are you racing through your day, feeling the pressure of unrealistic deadlines, losing your patience with family, and feeling as though you’re constantly wired and tired? 

I’ve searched thoroughly this year for some answers to why everything we know about stress so far isn’t working.  My search has taken me to Berkeley University in California, to work with a neuroscientist who specialises in stress.  I’ve been inside laboratories, attended lectures, and interviewed experts and other authors.  And from this I’ve joined the dots more closely than ever before.”

Sarah says the seminars will offer three key facts that will shift your view on stress and help you understand its mechanics, along with a specific plan to directly counter the effects of stress and tell you how to re-energise to enrich your lifestyle.

She also has a great offer to attend one of the seminars, which you can read about below.

And the exciting news is Sarah’s new book Stress Less will be available at the seminar.

Book this seminar for your and a friend and you could be a winner

Sarah has a great offer for anyone who wants to attend one of her four New Zealand seminars with a friend – tickets normally cost $29.99 per person but this offer is for two people to attend for $49.99.

Just use the form below to book and you’ll go into the draw to win one of our Healthy Home Packs worth $41. It has a great selection of personal care and home cleaning products inside.

Draw terms and conditions

The information you provide in the booking form will be passed on to Sarah Laurie Lifestyles for event booking, but won’t be used for any other purpose.

The person who fills out the form (person 1) will be entered in the draw for one ecostore Healthy Home Pack, containing:

  • Orange & Patchouli Body Wash 400ml
  • Lemongrass Soap 80g
  • Grapefruit & Mint Foaming Hand Wash 250ml
  • Beeswax Lip Balm 15g
  • Geranium & Orange Laundry Powder 500g
  • Orange & Thyme Multi-Purpose Cleaner 500ml
  • Lemon Dishwash Liquid 500ml

The draw is open to New Zealand residents only. Entries close on 20 November and the winner will be notified by email.

Fill out the online form to enter!


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2 responses to “How to stress less and enrich your life”

  1. Great article! Thanks very much ☺️

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