LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC. YOU’LL:
1. Be more ‘switched on’. Music engages areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating memory.
2. Bump up your pain threshold. Music activates pathways in the brain that compete with the ones that process pain.
3. Feel fitter. You’ll be able to exercise for 15 per cent longer when you work out with a soundtrack.
HAVE A MASSAGE. YOU’LL:
1. Protect yourself from colds. A 45-minute Swedish massage creates positive changes in the blood cells and lymphocytes that help your immune system fight bugs.
2. Lower your blood pressure. It drops temporarily by 22 per cent post massage, but get two massages a week for six weeks and it’ll be 11 per cent lower permanently.
3. Ease your back pain. After 10 weekly massages, one in three people with lower back pain said the pain had improved significantly compared to just one in 25 people taking over-the-counter pain medications.
BREATHE DEEPLY. YOU’LL:
1. Lower your stress levels. Make deep breathing a habit and your cortisol levels, which indicate how stressed you are, start to balance out.
2. Sleep better. Daily deep breathing sessions are effective at combating insomnia, say researchers.
3. Calm your nerves. Do 30 minutes of deep breathing before a big presentation or performance and you’ll be more likely to nail it, minus the jitters, say Australian scientists.