How to reduce stress and sleep better

Tougher Minds Founder, Dr. Jon Finn, explains how – despite the current challenges – we can all finish our days well, reduce our stress and improve our sleep.

This will help our brains to function well and help us improve our mental resilience. Dr. Jon also explains how we can use a Daily TEA® Plan (Tiny, Empowering, Action) to help us with this.

You can listen to this Tougher Minds podcast on your platform of choice. Subscribe for instant access to the latest episode.

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You can also read our Blog which explains much more about the Daily TEA® Plan here.

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Podcast Transcription 

Hi, this is the Tougher Minds podcast. My name is Dr. Jon Finn. I’m just going out for an evening stroll. And I’m doing this because I made a plan to do it earlier today, I made a T.E.A plan. In fact, to do this. T is an acronym we use to help people to set a little, what we call tiny empowering  action, or tiny empowering actions.They are some little things we plan to do that make our life a little bit easier. And T.E.A plans are a central part of the new Me Power resilience planner that we released very recently. It’s absolutely free, anyone can download that just go to our website. 

And in my T.E.A plan today I had a couple of things I wanted to do. But one of the things that I was conscious of was that I’ve been working too late. I know that that then negatively impacts sleep. And that just has a negative knock on effect for trying to do anything well in the day. So today as part of my T.E.A plan I actually planned to finish work at a set time. And I managed to achieve that. And one of the other things that I’ve developed from the little habits I’ve developed over the many years of refining my Me Power skills, is that after I finished work, and actually the thing that I do to finish is I write a little reflection. But after I’ve done that, I just go for a little walk just around the block. 

I do this just to extend my de-stress process. We know that we get lots of little stresses building up during the course of the day. And that’s ultimately problematic for brain function. And one of the ways that we can unravel some of our unhelpful stuff. Some of the unhelpful chemicals, neurotransmitters that build up in our brain is we can just do some light exercise. And a way to extend that the benefits of that light exercise is to focus on our breathing. So one of the things isn’t doing, it’s gonna be hard to do and talk but let me talk you through it. So as I’m walking along, I’m just going to focus on breathing in for five seconds, 12345 and then breathing out for five seconds 12345 and then in for five seconds, again, 12345. And then out for five seconds again, 12345. 

And ideally, I’m breathing in through my nose, all the way into my tummy, feel my tummy filling up like a balloon, and then breathe out from my mouth again, and just build in a rhythm of doing that. And I can also use some what we call focus words and focus pictures. These are techniques we can use to start to control how we’re thinking, and just extend the benefits of that very deliberate breathing process, where what we’re doing here would describe as reducing our activation levels. So we know that life is difficult right now. But there are some really tiny little things we can be doing every single day just to make our life a little bit easier. 

One of the things I’ve deliberately done today is I’ve planned to help myself, finish work on time, so I can get a good night, a better night’s rest tonight, and be better able to be at my best tomorrow. And just to extend my ability to switch off and just doing a very deliberate end of day walk and end of death focus breathing. And many of the techniques I’m describing here are actually a core part of the managing stress masterclass, which is part of our Me Power resilience programme

But if you want to start creating T.E.A plans every day, you can access our Me Power, resilience planner, it’s absolutely free. Just go to our website and it will explain exactly how to do it. And just gives you a nice structure. So you can fill something in online if you want to, or you can print something out or you can just use the Finder as a framework and fill in your own notebook or diary. It’s really really powerful. So I just Want to share that with you. And like all these podcasts, I hope it’s helpful. And we just ultimately have to understand that there are lots of things that we can control. So all we can focus on is doing our best to be at our best and taking responsibility for that. The T.E.A. plan is a great way to do that. 

There will be lots more podcasts coming up guys, to make sure that you don’t miss out on them. Just subscribe, and then you’ll be made aware, as soon as we publish a new podcast, which we’re doing very regular at the moment. So I hope that helps. Hope it’s useful. If it is, tell other people about it, because that’s a great way for you to not only benefit from these insights yourself, but also to help other people. And by telling someone else you’d be more likely to do it yourself as well. It’s called activating social influence.

So thank you very much, guys. Looking forward to the next podcast. And remember, if you want to get access to the free Me Power resilience planner, just go onto our website. And you can download it there. Speak to you soon. Goodbye. 


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