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Katy Winship

30 Aug 2016

Use Your Senses To Stay Alert!

Smell

Feeling weary? Take a big sniff of something- the stronger the smell the better! You've heard of the expression "wake up and smell the coffee" right? It doesn't just mean realising the reality of a situation- or does it?? Regardless, aromatherapists suggest essential oils in order to stimulate the senses and awaken yourself.

Scents such as Coffee, Eucalyptus, grapefruit, Jasmine, peppermint and lemon all are proven to make you feel refreshed. Burning essential oils in the office is more than likely against health and safety regulations so perhaps keep some scented lotion in your drawer for those emergency situations!

Sight

If you're feeling sleepy expose yourself to bright light, the brighter the better, but preferably sunlight. Beware that dim lighting in your office could be detrimental to your productivity- this can lead to head aches and eye strain. If you are positioned in a part of the office which has minimal exposure to daylight, away from a window perhaps, then why not try ActiVita lamps - they mimic daylight, which stops the brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel tired and lethargic.

Try the following eye exercise to rejuvenate your eyes- Do this a few times in order to feel the benefit.

Touch

Splash your face with the coldest water you can stand - your body will have to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which will keep you alert.

Taste

Be careful what you put inside you, although high-in-sugar items will give you an initial high, the slump after will be detrimental to your energy levels, instead healthy foods such as fruits and grains should be consumed. The best thing to do when feeling sluggish is drink. Forget your fizzy drinks and coffee- hydrate yourself with plenty of water.

Movement

The more you exercise the more energy you will have so take walking breaks, utilise the stairs rather than the lift, stretch as often as you can and do more intense workouts if possible. If it's not possible to move from your desk too often try exercising your feet by wiggling them, scrunching up your toes and bouncing your knees.

If keeping still is not for you then why not consider working standing up- ACS have a great range of solutions including standing desks, stools and risers.

Sound

Listening to music you like can make you feel better, more alert and make repetitive tasks less tedious. Studies have proven that listening with headphones can lead to increased productivity. If you have a lull of an afternoon listen to music that is energising to you- if you want to dance and sing-along then it's more likely to be more effective.

In a noisy workplace, music is an escape and often an indication of someone wearing headphones is that they don't wish to be disturbed.

There are particular genres that are said to most effective.

Bad music for concentration: Music that has clear vocals such as Pop, Rap and Country music are bad for productivity, they require more concentration as hearing human speech interferes with the language processing part of the brain, which is needed for study.

Good music for concentration: Classical Music is proven to increase concentration.

Studies have proven that listening to Jazz music after a stroke improves the memory, focus and mood.

As well as increased concentration and nurtured creativity, Hip hop is said to be good for overcoming depression. The positive psychotherapeutic effects of rap music's "positive visual imagery" i.e the rags-to-riches story lines is measurable to the way that athletes visualise success in winning competitions. Concentration on the positive or where you want to be can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Listen to our productivity playlists on Spotify here

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