Ever felt frozen or frustrated by a problem but decided to take a break, and the answer magically popped in your mind? Eureka! It’s like a lightbulb flashed in your mind providing exactly what you needed. This is the power of brain breaks that refresh, reset, and give you the brain boost you need to keep going. If you need a few simple brain breaks for adults to get you through your day, whether at work or home, this article has simple ideas to help!
What Are ‘Brain Breaks’?
How many times have you stared blankly at your computer screen? We all experience moments of frustration and feel like our brain is working against us rather than with us. A brain break is a short mental or physical break taken during workdays or days where you need a pick-me-up to refocus, reenergize and re-center. So, what part of your brain needs this break? Your prefrontal cortex is responsible for thinking, reasoning, and willpower and gives you the aha moments you need to keep going.
Why Are Brain Breaks Important?
Brain breaks are like little mini spa days for your tired mind. They rejuvenate the brain, reduce stress, and are essential to our long-term livelihood and sustainability. Brain breaks:
- Prevent decision fatigue. The need to make several daily decisions reduces our logical reasoning and desire to ignore impulses.
- Increase motivation. They strengthen our motivation to accomplish our goals and provide new perspectives.
- Improve production and creativity. Working non-stop leads to brain fatigue and the dreaded unproductive mid-afternoon slump. Breaks give our brains a positive reboot and enhance productivity and creativity levels.
- Improve mental well-being. Operating on overdrive leads to burnout. Squeezing in a few breaks throughout the day increases happiness, reduces stress, and boosts your mood.
- Improve physical health. A moving break circulates your blood and reduces your risk of obesity, heart disease, and depression.
How Often Should You Take Brain Breaks?
We tend to put ourselves last on the priority list. We think we can keep going and surpass all the red flags our bodies tell us. Instead of waiting until your brain is so tired that it needs weeks to recover (burnout), follow a simple rule – whenever you feel like your engagement, attention, concentration, or brainpower is lacking, take a brain break.
10 Brain Breaks for Adults
Taking a few minutes to focus your mind can significantly reduce stress. When you meditate, it helps clear any information overload or concerns, leaving you feeling refreshed. Try a free guided meditation on YouTube or repeat a calming phrase to prevent distracting thoughts from taking control.
2. Deep breathing
Feeling stressed at work with little time to take a break? Breathe the stress out with bell breathing. It’s quick and easy for regaining concentration and mental capacity to continue the day. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breathe through your nose and notice how the air rises from your abdomen. As you exhale, be mindful of your hand on your chest.
3. Mindful walking
Walking may not seem like a productivity hack but getting outside gives your brain a healthy rest. Breathing in the fresh air and moving your body lifts brain fatigue, boosts your mood, and provides cardio – a triple win.
4. Body Scan
If you’re new to meditation, try a body scan. It lets you investigate what is happening in your body and mind from a present-moment perspective. When we are overworked or overwhelmed, we may not realize our body carries physical symptoms of our stress like a tight chest, headaches, or heartburn. By refocusing your attention on how each part of your body feels, starting with your left leg and ending at the top of your head, you may find that you have more energy and are more alert.
A form of meditation, yoga encourages you to focus less on your busy day and more on the present moment through calming postures and controlled breathing exercises. Roll out your mat for a quick 10-minute brain break next time you have an overwhelming case of brain fog.
6. Unleash your inner artist
Doodling, molding clay, and painting are all activities that unleash your inner artist and give you a brain break. Doodling, in particular, is an easy mindful activity that allows you to release stress, regain focus, and even grasp new concepts – perfect for an upcoming deadline that needs your creative mind.
7. Cloud gazing
Is that a bear or a dog? This favorite childhood activity does wonders for finetuning your observation skills and empowering creativity. When you focus on visualizing shapes from clouds, you reconnect to nature, forget about work stress, and get a quick brain reboot.
8. Candle meditation
Meditation sure is trending in this article, but for many beneficial reasons. It is one of the best brain breaks for adults to improve cognitive function. Candle meditation involves lighting a candle and focusing on the flame. It provides a focal point for your attention and improves response, memory, and cognitive flexibility – all benefits our brains lovingly deserve.
9. Bounce a ball
Bouncing a ball against a wall, hard surface, or even throwing it up in the air is a great brain break. It creates a self-competitive game that refocuses your attention to make sure you never drop the ball. By repetitively bouncing and catching, you improve hand-eye coordination, regain your energy, and have fun while playing.
10. Favorite activity
What is your favorite go-to stress releaser? Maybe it’s sharing a laugh with a friend, listening to music, or playing a sport? Whatever it is, prioritize time to let yourself recharge by engaging in what makes you happy. We often spend too much time managing work and personal commitments, worrying about the future, and replaying the past. Instead of draining your mind with things you can’t control, have fun and use any of these brain breaks for adults to give yourself a little self-care.
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