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Calming The Mind In This Modern World



Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is mental health awareness week and the focus this year is on anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of unease or dread ranging from mild to severe, (Source NHS). Although it is natural to feel anxious occasionally, if it starts to consume you and affects your daily life that’s when you need to do something about it.


Although there is so much information out there about anxiety and treatments sometimes this can be overwhelming to trawl through and adds to anxious feelings. But fear, not I have come up with a list of seven practical things you can do with zero cost to you that will help elevate anxiety.

Think green

No, I don’t mean by doing things for the environment, although that is a great way to boost your wellbeing, by volunteering at a beach clean. I am referring to the actual colour green.

Did you know it’s the easiest colour for the eye to process?

Well now you do, but it’s so much more than that.

Now for the mini-science part. The reason is that there are three colour-sensitive cells called cones, which all process different wavelengths of light within the eye. The cones that react to green are medium wavelength cones, which are highly sensitive and abundant in the retina. So that’s why the colour is the easiest to process.

From an evolutionary perspective, the color green was in abundance so our visual system adapted to suit this. Green also has a higher contrast compared with other colours allowing the eye to perceive green objects more clearly. It’s also a less strenuous colour for the eye to view.

So why not get your gardening gloves on and do some gardening?

Or take a walk in a green space, even better if that area has trees. This is because being around trees reduces stress and helps restore cognitive abilities like improving focus and increasing productivity. Another reason being the areas around trees have better air quality, therefore, increasing oxygen levels in the body.

Just breathe
Just breathe


We all do it automatically and unconsciously, but bringing the breath under conscious awareness through breathwork can help to consciously alter the breath. This calms the nervous system and reduces stress levels. Conscious breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system and this boosts mental clarity and alertness. The art of breathwork trains your mind to stay present leading to reduced feelings of anxiety.

One popular technique is the 4-7-8 breath, to do this just sit comfortably and inhale through the nose for a count of four, retain the breath for a count of seven, and exhale through the mouth for a count of eight. This exercise is a great way to calm negative thoughts or anxiety.


Exercise is one of the most underutilised medicines there is—consider it a "vitamin free" treatment. Physical activity, especially when done outdoors, can significantly reduce anxiety. Going for a walk in nature not only provides opportunities for social interactions and improved cardiovascular health but also allows you to immerse yourself in a calming environment. The act of walking can help clear your mind and release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.

If outdoor activities are not feasible, there are plenty of options for exercising at home. Numerous YouTube channels offer free workout videos tailored to all fitness levels and preferences, ranging from yoga and pilates to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Engaging in regular physical activity helps regulate stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline while promoting the release of endorphins and serotonin, which are associated with improved mood and reduced anxiety.

Incorporating movement into your daily routine doesn’t have to be strenuous. Even gentle exercises such as stretching, tai chi, or a leisurely bike ride can make a significant difference. The key is to find an activity you enjoy and can stick with consistently. Making time for regular exercise not only benefits your physical health but also supports your mental well-being by providing a sense of accomplishment and control.

Moving During the Day

In addition to regular exercise, incorporating more movement throughout your day can help reduce anxiety. Simple activities like stretching or walking around the building can break up long periods of sitting, which is often linked to increased feelings of anxiety and stress.

  • Stretching: Take short breaks to stretch your muscles. Simple stretches like reaching for the sky, touching your toes, or doing a few gentle yoga poses can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. Stretching also improves blood circulation, which can enhance your energy levels and overall mood.

  • Walking: If you work in an office or spend long hours at a desk, make it a habit to get up and walk around the building. Aim for a short walk every hour. This not only gives your body a chance to move but also provides a mental break, allowing you to return to your tasks with renewed focus and less stress.

Incorporating these small movements can make a big difference in how you feel throughout the day. It’s about creating a balance and ensuring that you’re not sedentary for too long.


Mindfulness- The art of just being more consciously aware. By anchoring our minds to the present moment, we become aware of our bodies and any sensations. Therefore we are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. Mindfulness allows you to be aware of thoughts and allow them to come and go. The benefits of this are a reduction in stress and anxiety and a greater sense of clarity.

Mindfulness is simply being present and anyone can do it. You can practice mindfulness at any time. One way to do so is when you’re eating. All too often, we rush our food and our thoughts are on the next task or worrying about something, we never actually taste our food. So at your next meal, switch off any mobile devices or the tv and taste every mouthful, spend longer chewing your food, and notice the textures as you chew.

Try incorporating mindfulness exercises in other situations like when you are out and about, and start to notice the sights, sounds, and sensations. This will help you become more consciously aware, and you’ll learn so much more about yourself and the area you live in by paying attention.


If you are looking to have a positive influence on wellbeing in your workplace, NEBOSH Working with Wellbeing is a great choice for you. It’s particularly relevant to HR specialists, Health and Safety professionals, and those with people management responsibilities.

Investing in good wellbeing will bring benefits to your business as well as your workforce.

Research has shown that good wellbeing can:

1. Reduce staff turnover

2. Reduce sickness absence

3. Reduce accidents and injuries

4. Increase employee satisfaction and engagement

5. Increase productivity

Who is it for?

NEBOSH Working with Wellbeing is relevant to HR specialists, health and safety professionals, and those with people management responsibilities.

This one-day qualification introduces the concept of the NEBOSH ‘wellbeing tree’, which considers six key areas of wellbeing - Interaction, Exercise, Mindfulness, Nutrition, Kindness, and Learning.

Contact us on 02922 800 000 or enquiries@ligtas.co.uk to book, or on our website www.ligtas.co.uk

Be kind

All too often we put ourselves last and overload ourselves with never-ending to-do lists. We eat quick convenience food and rush around from one place to another never really stopping to take time to be kind to ourselves. So think of this as your permission to just take 15 mins to do something kind for yourself. That could be going shopping for ingredients for your favourite meal to cook later or just taking time out of your day to get yourself a little treat, do something you enjoy, or listen to your favourite music.


Music has the power to heal, it can stimulate cognitive processes and positively enhance mood. Actively listening can divert attention away from negative thoughts and feelings. Music especially relaxing music can reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation. It does this by bringing about a sense of tranquility which slows heart rate and breathing. It also lowers blood pressure, and therefore feelings of anxiety, by temporarily breaking the cycle of anxious thinking. Music has the power to evoke and express a range of emotions and can be cathartic especially when you feel alone in your thoughts.

Your not alone

Even though sometimes you may feel like nobody understands what it’s like to have anxiety, you may be surprised to know that more than 8 million people in the UK experience anxiety at any one point, (Source Anxiety UK). Anxiety affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men (Source Anxiety UK). So even though you may feel alone, you are not. The best thing we can all do is keep the conversation going around anxiety and poor mental health.

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said? asked the boy.

‘Help,’ said the horse.

‘Asking for help isn’t giving up,’ said the horse. ‘It’s refusing to give up.

― Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Where do you want to go today?