The old adage “take a breath” is a good clue to the fact that a pause, a breath and a moment of silence can make a huge difference to our perception of something.

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Achieving harmony can start with the body or the mind.

Mental health advice usually involves strategies like regular exercise and eating well.

In the Middle Ages, for example, people believed that physical and mental problems were a punishment from God.

This belief gradually gave way to empiricism — believing in what can be seen — and scientific understandings.

Is mindfulness just a sticking plaster when what we need is trauma counselling to deal with the savagery of life, from the playground to corporate life?

Perhaps the answer to that question is yes — but nonetheless mindfulness works and it doesn’t need to be complicated.

Likewise, many short interventions can be highly effective ways to achieve harmony, health and wellbeing.

While I am a yoga junkie and I love tai chi and qi gong, here are some of the shorter interventions that I have found useful for myself and when working with others. The harmful effects of prolonged sitting have been equated to those from smoking.

An evidence base exists to back up the efficacy of such practices. Lee Holden’s 10-minute practice is a good place to start.

This simple little technique I learned from the Brahma Kumis yogis is to take a moment to reconnect with your core self.

You read that most of us are marginally dehydrated one day and the next you are bombarded by the perils of over-drinking.