The Rubix Cube 

A few years ago stress balls became the rage and everyone got one in the mistaken belief that this would help their stress levels. I suppose that if taking your frustration out on a piece of rubber instead of someone's face is the aim, then I guess it could work! But a stress ball doesn't help you to manage your stress levels because all the time you are squeezing the ball your mind is playing over why you are annoyed or upset, what the person said or done etc, in fact, probably raising your stress levels rather than lowering them. However, something that can give your mind a bit of a break from thinking about your current situation and the stresses and strains of the day is useful - enter the Rubix Cube! 
You see, when trying to solve a rubix cube, it is almost impossible to think about anything else. You only have to watch the video above. You have to believe me, I can normally solve the cube in under two minutes quite comfortably, but you will see in the video that I am finding it very hard to string my words together, I am very distracted and in the end I completely lose track and give up with the cube to carry on talking. The caveat is not to get frustrated by your inability to solve it and enjoy the process. Here is the cool thing - you can find YouTube videos on how to solve the cube and although this would seem to be a cheat, in fact it just makes it more enjoyable to solve. Even if you know all the moves necessary, you still have to concentrate like mad to work out which move to use and where to do it. Even with practice it is not easy. Also, once you can solve it, you can go onto to find other moves which help you to solve it quicker - the current world record is 4.22 seconds! Here is a video of the young lad doing it.. 
Now, I would never get to that speed and to be honest, I more than happy with a sub 2 minute solve. I just enjoy the process and it gives me couple of minutes where I'm not thinking about anything else except solving the cube. It is a great way to practice mindfulness, being completely in the moment with no extraneous thoughts and this is great for stress management. 
So, grab a cube (get a decent one and not one so cheap that all the pieces fall off as you try to turn it) and start twisting! 
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