The secret body clock that says: “Don’t stress!”


Take a breakCould you be one of the millions of people stressing their minds and bodies several times a day without even knowing it? The fact is your body has an inbuilt ‘clock’ that modern life has taught most people to simply ignore. But if you want to feel more alert & energized, increase your productivity, reduce fatigue & stress, and improve your mental & physical health, read about ‘Ultradian Rhythms’ here…

The Rhythm of Life: Like most people, you probably already know that your body has a natural 24-hour rhythm… It’s called ‘The Circadian Rhythm’; it compels you to wake, eat, drink and sleep. But you may not realise that, in the same way, you’re also on a cycle that compels you – roughly every 90 to 120 minutes – to change brain states and slow right down for about 15 minutes!

So what? Well, put it another way: the optimum function of your mind and body is achieved when you accommodate this cycle, an ‘Ultradian Rhythm’. But most of us don’t know this ‘clock’ exists – and we routinely override its signals! This causes considerable stress and fatigue.

Are you receiving me? The range of signs that your body wants you to stop and rest, or change what you’re doing, includes:

  • Noticing you need to urinate
  • Getting lower back pain
  • The urge to move, stretch or take a break
  • Sudden bouts of yawning
  • Catching yourself daydreaming
  • Unexplained physical discomfort or tension
  • A sharp drop in your ability to concentrateHaving information “On the tip of your tongue”!
  • Irritating memory problems
  • The discovery that you’re doing stuff online!
  • Fatigue washing over you
  • Difficulty spelling, typing, reading or counting

That may sound like a list of things that “just happen”, but no! They’re also signals that it’s time to take a break, change activity, stretch, shift position or indulge a daydream. However, because most of us are busy, and fail to recognize the importance of these signals, we frequently override them and carry on doing what we think is more productive.

So THAT’S stressful? Yes! Think about it: your unconscious mind and physical body are telling you that they need a break. In reply, you carry on doing the very thing from which they’re saying “Take a break”! Consequently, you work less effectively, and feel worse for battling on.

As a result of this stress, you may find yourself craving artificial stimulants – alcohol, caffeine, sugar, nicotine, etc. You might also notice yourself becoming tired and sleepy at unhelpful times – such as when driving – or experiencing irritability, frustration or other emotional disorder.

Alright already – what should I do about it? First, just learn to recognize your body’s signals and accept that you’re supposed to take a little rest every 90-120 minutes. When you realise that you’re entering such a phase, stop what you’re doing…

And do whatever feels better! Stand up, stretch, pop to the loo, get a glass of water. Go for a little fresh air, chat about nothing with someone… Whatever feels right to you at that time! Many people who pay attention to Ultradian Rhythms find ways to just close their eyes and take a few deep breaths before letting their minds wander. If you do the same, don’t worry about where your thoughts go! The part of the brain that wants rest is the part responsible for logic and reasoning, so this break is usually day-dreamy by nature.

Are you alone? If you are, get into a comfortable position and do whatever feels right. If you fancy a stretch or a walk, go ahead. Have a lie down, or jump about a bit if you prefer! Some people find an ‘Ultradian break’ is the ideal time to do a couple of the ‘Officise‘ exercises.

Finally… When you feel like you’ve had enough, you probably have! Take one last deep breath in, exhale slowly, then open your eyes. Take a few seconds to re-orientate yourself before going back to whatever you were doing before you got the ‘stop’ signals! And of course, if you have any concerns about your wellbeing, please consult your health care provider. Back in Shape cannot be held responsible for the consequences of action or inaction based on the advice in this or any other article. That said, we’d love to see you in the clinic to see how we can help you feel and be your best!

SPECIAL OFFER! Start stress busting right away with our Pilates Plus Massage Offer…

Get fit, then relax with a Pilates class followed by a soothing massage to ease those cares away. Normally priced at £145, all you mums on the run can enjoy four group Pilates classes and a one hour relaxing massage at the special discount price of £120.

So there you have it! As always, we’re on hand to give you more advice on Pilates and Yoga whenever you come in to see us here at Back in Shape! You can also drop us a line via the usual addresses and numbers: [email protected] and 020 8655 1664. See you soon!