We all have moments in our life where we need to relax. The daily routine for most people is very stressful, work, driving, and so much more can cause you to lose it. Thankfully there are a lot of ways to relax, and most of which don’t take much time or effort.
Remember to breathe
Don’t forget to take time out of your day to take a breather. 5-10 minutes of stopping what you are doing, and just focus your breathing. This really helps to calm you down, and lets your body relax. Take a minute, now if you like, to close your eyes. Take slow breaths in, and out. Don’t think about the stress of the day, just focus on breathing. The best way to do this is to sit straight, and place a hand on your belly, with your eyes closed. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. This next part may seem silly to some, but imagine your breath as you take it in, letting it travel through your abdomen, then making its way back to your head. This helps to fight off stress and will also lower your blood pressure.
Stop trying to do more than you can in a day. We all do it, we overload ourselves and we rush through everyday trying to do more than necessary. Take a moment and just look around you. Look at the trees, the waters, and all of the beauty of the world. How often do you give yourself a chance to really look at it? I’m sure you can admit to forgetting to take some time to look at your scenery. Take a few extra minutes to eat that meal, so you can really enjoy its texture and taste. Doing this can help you feel less tense as you are “loosening up”.
Listen to Your Body
When you start to feel stressed, stop and think about how that actually feels to your body. Pay attention to the effects it causes as you stress. Then move around, paying attention to how each movement affected your body as you moved. Then try this again when you feel relaxed. The tightness or loose feeling you are feeling in either situation, it helps you get to know your body better and know it’s sensations. Practice your breathing that we talked about earlier, while paying attention to how your body is feeling while doing so.
You don’t have to go all out, just do your breathing exercises while stating a positive feeling, such as, “I feel relaxed.” Or “I am at peace.” There has been research to suggest that doing simple activities like this help make your bodies stress out less often. If you feel distracted by a thought imagine it disappearing or passing through you. This will help to keep you focused.
Take the Time to Laugh
Laughing is a great way to relax. It not only helps your mental focus, it helps to lower your body’s cortisol, which is known as your body’s stress hormone. It also boosts chemicals in the brain, known as endorphins that help improve your mood. Watch television, or read a book that makes you laugh. Or call a friend that you know can make you let out a good belly laugh. Relax. This may seem like a silly point in a stress reducing list, as it is exactly what you are trying to do. What I mean by this is take a relaxing bath, try using a lavender scented bubble bath or bath soak, if you want, use both! Take 10 minutes and place a warm wrap on your neck and shoulders. Close your eyes and just relax your muscles, then remove the wrap. You can add an additional step here, take a ball or roller and gently roll away tension in your neck and shoulders. Cathy Benninger, a professor and nurse practitioner was once quoted saying, “Place the ball between your back and the wall. Lean into the ball, and hold gentle pressure for up to 15 seconds. Then move the ball to another spot, and apply pressure.”
Listen to Your Favorite Music
There have been a lot of studies that have shown that music can help to lower your blood pressure, anxiety, and even your heart rate. Relaxation music, such as nature sounds, birds, ocean sounds, and other similar things that help make you feel relaxed. My favorite has always been ocean sounds; you can try out different sounds until you find one that fits for you, or several. Focus on the music and let your stressful thoughts fade into the background. Music can also be a great way to get rid of anger or frustration, listening to your favorite style, and rock out, or sing as loud as you can.
It is a fact that taking time to exercise, in some fashion will help to reduce feelings of stress and depression in most. It does this by releasing a chemical that helps your body feel good, relaxed. You can exercise however you feel comfortable doing so. There is no right or wrong thing to do here. You can walk, put in a Fitness DVD, or do yoga. Be sure to stretch before starting any exercises, so you don’t tense up.
Remember You Have Friends
Friends are one of the best assets you have in dealing with your stress. Don’t forget to talk with them, it’s best to do so in person, but you can do so in other ways. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Share your feelings with others and let those feelings out.
Experiment with a few of these techniques and see if you do not feel more relaxed.