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  • Carol Aranos

Take 5 to Thrive

Have you ever wondered if five simple minutes could save your life? It can not only save your life but help you thrive.

We’ve all heard about the flight or fight response (acute stress response) when faced with an attack by something mentally or physically terrifying. In the caveman days, it was the difference between life and death. This automatic response causes our body to releases adrenaline enabling us to either cope or run away. You know the feeling - heart racing, palms sweating, body system shutting down – all designed to help our bodies prioritize and survive.

While we may not be running from the lions in the 21st Century, the acute stress response is being triggered by the pressures of life – work, family, finances, relationships, and health. Unfortunately, the human body is not designed to remain in the physical state of flight and the result is chronic sickness and may include:

chest and pains

  • Gastrointestinal complaints

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Difficulty sleep

  • Anxiety

  • Muscle tension

  • Frequent illnesses

Can you relate?

Our body needs opportunities to relax and reset – this is where you can take 5 to thrive.

Woman meditating in the morning by Essential Joy Wellness Carol Fastrich Aranos Camp Hill PA


It takes a very short time to gain the profound benefits of meditation. The emotional benefits of meditation can include building skills to manage your stress, increasing self-awareness, reducing negative emotions, increasing imagination and creativity, increasing patience and tolerance.

The best part is that you can do it anywhere anytime. I like to start my day with a quick meditation before I get out of bed. It gets my day started on the right foot.

Perhaps you need a wind down at the end of your busy day. Try sitting in your driveway for a few minutes before transitioning from work to your busy family obligations.

If you are new to meditation, here is a five-minute guided meditation to get you started.

Cup of Coffee with Thanks note of gratitude by Carol at Essential Joy Wellness in Harrisburg PA


Taking 5 to practice gratitude can result in a quick mental reset or building emotional resilience and more optimistic attitude over the long run. Forbes recently published an article on the scientifically proven benefits of gratitude.

Being grateful is easier than you think. If you are a glass half-empty person, cultivating gratitude might take some work but practice makes perfect. Over the next week, try these ideas for practicing gratitude.

When you end your busy work day, ask yourself “what good thing happened today.”

  • Tell a colleague or your partner thank you for something they have done.

  • Grab a tablet and write down five things you are grateful for each night before going to sleep.

You’ll quickly see that your glass is not only half full, but overflowing.

Dropping essential oil into hands for aromatherapy by Essential Joy Wellness Essential Oils  PA


Take 5 to inhale an essential oil. Essential oils are plant extracts that have a therapeutic effect on body and mind when used aromatically. Molecules of the essential oil trigger the olfactory nerve and send a signal to our brain for the desired result. Similar to when an oral surgeon uses gas to put us to sleep for surgery. Our brain responds within 30 seconds to the aromatic stimulus creating a calming or uplifting effect.

In this article, doTERRA discusses the 10 essential oils for emotional health. Pick your favorite and take 5 minutes to grab your favorite oil, close your eyes, inhale deeply three or four times and soak up the amazing scent. You won’t be sorry.

Journaling to expand creativity and reduce stress by Carol Aranos Health Coach


The thought of journaling might bring you back to your teenage diary days but journaling can change the trajectory of your life – like it did mine. I wrote about Morning Pages in a previous blog and how this exercise helped me clearly define my passions and dreams.

While it may not be five minutes, Positive Psychology discusses the benefits of journaling beyond the obvious and gives you tips on how to get started.

Start with five minutes of thoughts, reflections, frustrations, dreams, or hopes. You will see a boost in your mood and overall well-being. Soon enough, you might even be participating in Morning Pages like me.

Step Away and lay your phone down by Essential Joy Wellness Health coaching Harrisburg PA

Step Away

This seems pretty simple and yet it might be the hardest take 5 of them all. Stepping away means leaving your phone on the table, desk, or dresser. Go for a walk, stand up and stretch, spend focused time with your family or friends.

We may think that laying it down is enough but a recent study showed that we are increasingly addicted to our phones, leading to potential complications, including poor sleep, depression, and anxiety, and cognitive depletion.

The pressures of life are real and putting down the phone actively sends a signal to your brain that says, it is time to rest. Start by resisting the urge to look at your phone while you are in the grocery line, waiting room of the doctor’s office, taking a work break and soak up the atmosphere around you. Try leaving it in the car or on your desk while you go about your daily life. You’ll feel better and so will your brain.

Arther Burt said that “Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change.” If stress is causing you mental, emotional or physical pain, be courageous, select one of the ideas above and take 5 to thrive.

Contact me if you would like to discuss customized solutions for thriving in today's busy world.



What Happens to Your Body During the Fight or Flight Response? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Meditation: Take a stress-reduction break wherever you are - Mayo Clinic