At Freddie’s, we love nothing more than bringing moments of mindfulness with our wonderful seasonal flowers. We believe that taking a few minutes out of your week to arrange your stems is a welcome break from all those day-to-day pressures. Our friends over at This Works understand the need for mindfulness better any anyone – and they’re always on hand to help you unwind. So, we asked them for their relaxation tips.
1. What is This Works’ reason for being? What gets you all to work in the morning?
We seek to provide accessible wellness solutions that are proven to work and in keeping with our natural body clock (the circadian rhythm). Our award-winning products, supported by neuroscience backed tips and techniques (shared on our social channels and dedicated wellness hub) aim to support wellbeing, overall skin health and improve sleep quality.
2. What are your top tips for wellness and relaxation?
Our number one tip is getting a good night’s sleep! Here at This Works, we know that everything is better with a good night’s sleep and regardless of whatever or whoever’s to blame for keeping you up, the way you sleep – or rather don’t sleep – at night dictates your ability to function and manage emotions the next day. Supporting neuroscientific research proves that REM sleep, which accounts for around 25% of your total sleep time, is integral to emotional and hormonal regulation in your waking hours. Tried, tested and award-winning, our deep sleep pillow spray and sleep plus pillow spray have been formulated to encourage a better quality of sleep over the course of the night and via Polysomnography study, we also proved that sleep plus pillow spray had a significant impact on REM sleep, increasing total sleep time and reducing restless periods in the night when REM is harder to achieve.
For ongoing mental clarity, we’d recommend light in the morning and midafternoon. Getting outside in sunlight for just 10-30 minutes every day (as soon after waking as possible) is not only an uplifting way to start your day, but it triggers the release of dopamine and cortisol levels to peak early in the day. Thought cortisol was related to stress? It is, but it also signals to the body that it is time to wake up, helps boost the immune system and increases our ability to focus, setting us up for whatever the day has in store. Golden afternoon light is not just the perfect backdrop for photographs – it helps us nod off more easily, too. To counteract the negative effects digital devices and strong overhead lighting has on us during the day, get back outside in the late afternoon to soak up another 10-30 minutes of low-level sunlight. Exposing the receptor pigments in the eye to this lower angle of light helps to anchor the body clock and trigger the release of melatonin which helps us fall asleep smoothly.
For quick stress relief in the moment, why not try some stress relieving breathwork, as we know simple breathing techniques can improve our overall health and well-being. One such method is called a physiological sigh and its function is to help to re-open the alveoli in the lungs, which collapse over time. This reduces the lung’s carbon dioxide levels and triggers a reduction in cortisol, while lowering the heart rate – two of the body’s key routes to stress reduction. Studies have shown that viewing small screens such as laptops or mobile phones reduces the number of natural physiological sighs. Without this emphasised exhalation of carbon dioxide, the ratio of carbon dioxide to oxygen in the blood is shifted and our cortisol levels rise, causing increased feelings of stress. By mindfully sighing a few times you can actively reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in seconds when you feel them rising. When practising mindfully sighing, it’s best to find a quiet spot in which you feel comfortable, and turn off the screens so you can really tune in.
3. Can being in nature help reduce stress and encourage emotional relaxation?
Yes! By getting outdoors into nature and exposing the skin on our bodies to natural daylight our hormones experience a shift that is triggered by the skin. The skin has a direct link to the Hippocampus (the part of the brain that controls hormone function) and when exposed to daylight (UVB rays) it can signal to the brain to produce increased levels of Serotonin and other stress response hormones, helping you feel calm and focused, as well as stimulating the synthesises of Vitamin D.
4. We find that flower arranging can provide a moment of mindfulness. How important is taking a moment to yourself for enhancing mental wellbeing?
Finding moments of calm, especially in the lead up to bedtime, helps to ground our nervous system. Modern life can often have us running around in a constant state of “on-the-go”. Taking a few moments for yourself at the end of the day can help regulate your nervous system and reduce stress response neurotransmitters and hormones in the body. The creative process brings us back into the present and settles the mind. We embrace creative activities as part of our brand culture such as flower arranging, because it provides an escape from technology and allows us to play with colour, texture and aromas.
5. Which of your products would you recommend to help unwind? Which ingredient is the most effective when it comes to relaxation?
Our deep sleep pillow spray. Our clinically-tested Functional Fragrance with Lavender, Camomile and Vetivert essential oils not only helps you fall asleep faster but 95% said they felt less anxious about falling asleep + and 84% less stressed in the daytime*.
+ In a study of 100 ex prescription users compared to placebo. Individual results may vary.
*In a study of 100 subjects and 100 ex-prescription users compared to no product.
There you have it! Sleep, sunlight and maybe even some flower arranging will help you on your way to a wellness wonderland. Pop back next week for our final chat in this series, as Garden Trading help us to enjoy the last of the summer sun.