Human beings are creatures of habit, and most mornings, my routine goes something like this: I listen to a podcast while I stroll to work, drop my bag off at my desk when I arrive, and walk over to the office espresso bar to brew a cup of coffee. My phone almost always accompanies me on this last step — while I wait for the caffeine to fill my mug, I scroll through Twitter, catch up on Instagram, and read through emails. 

Come to think of it, my phone is present during most of the breaks I take during the day. And my eyes are glued to the screen even while I’m working: As a multimedia reporter, I spend much of my day writing on my laptop. By nighttime, my head often hurts and my brain feels foggy. 

This week, I challenged myself to leave my phone at my desk during my breaks — and the test didn’t stop there. When I stepped away, I treated my eyes to various calming and pleasurable visuals, like greenery (both indoors and outdoors) and paintings throughout the office — both of which can have positive effects on energy, mood, and productivity. To see how these Microsteps affected my day, watch the full video. 

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.


  • Alexandra Hayes

    Content Director, Product & Brand, at Thrive

    Alexandra Hayes is a Content Director, Product & Brand, at Thrive. Prior to joining Thrive, she was a middle school reading teacher in Canarsie, Brooklyn.