There are many methods we look to during high stress situations to find our calm, our inner peace, our relaxation. There is no right or wrong way to relax. Here are four of the basic methods for you to consider and utilize in your daily life.
Sounds simple right? Breathing is automatic but when you take the time to concentrate on it, what a difference it makes! Take one deep breath in and one long exhale out. Repeat this until you feel the difference that clearing your lungs and getting good old oxygen to your brain makes. Deep breathing helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Simply stated, this is the polar opposite of your body’s fight or flight response. A few deep breaths and your anxiety will start to recede.
Sometimes it is an impossibility to be alone. You are at work or you have a large family at home. When you can’t get away, let your mind do the traveling. Close your eyes for five minutes. Give yourself enough time to clear your mind. Block out the world, concentrate on your breathing, and set your mind adrift. Think back to your favorite guided meditation, or think of a fun new one. Visualize yourself attending a star studded event or being treated to everything you’ve always wanted.
Go outside and take a walk. A change in your environment can prove to be a good stress reliever. Physical activity releases neurotransmitters and endorphins, all those good chemicals in your brain that make you feel better. It is a natural way to lower your blood pressure and ease symptoms of depression. Whether it is a walk, a run, a swim, yoga or any other form of activity, you really cannot go wrong with utilizing exercise as a form of relaxation.
Be creative or just write down everything that is stressing you out at the moment. Say what you would love to say to the world out loud but put it down on paper. Don’t bottle those feelings up. You need to express yourself but you also don’t need to burn every bridge. Putting it down on paper will make your emotions feel less overwhelming. Keep a journal or write it down and throw it away. Destroying the paper is symbolic of letting go of your stresses allowing you room to relax.
These are just four methods of relaxation practices. You have to find what works for you. What have you found really works for you when you want to relax?
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Until next week – keep smiling!