There’s little doubt that today’s modern lifestyle is stressful with everything that has been thrown at us recently, and it can be almost impossible to make time for yourself. But it’s essential to find the time as the benefits are significant.
Learning to relax will keep you healthy, both your body and mind will benefit, giving you the tools to recover from the stress that life throws at you. Luckily it’s relatively simple to learn how to create time for chilling out with the side effect that you will be able to train your brain to calm down.
When it comes to relaxation strategies, the simpler, the better, we say! Find a few minutes in your day for yourself, and with our help, you can easily slip in a quick relaxation strategy. Here are some tips on ways to help relax:
Learn To Breathe Properly
Breathing exercises are one of the most straightforward relaxation strategies, and can effectively calm your stressed-out body and mind anywhere at any time. According to stress.org.uk, by breathing deeply, we can elicit a relaxation response in our brains that includes:
- Lowering your metabolism rate
- Slowing your heartbeat and causing your muscles to relax
- Slower breathing causing your blood pressure to decrease
- Your levels of nitric oxide increase making you feel at ease
- Increasing levels of oxygen in the blood
Find a quiet place such as on your bed or the floor in your home and lay down. Put one of your hands on your stomach and breathe in slowly for a count of three. Concentrate on your belly as it rises and falls as you breathe in and out.
Repeat six times, or as long as you need to feel the difference. Once you have mastered the technique, it’s a good idea to ramp up your strategy with the use of essential oils in a vaporiser. By doing this, you can add benefit to the method without prolonging the exercise.
Write Down Your Thoughts
When you’re feeling stressed, you will often suffer from a busy mind or erratic clouded thought patterns. So by writing your thoughts down, you empty your brain, and this action will help you relax.
Take time to write down some notes about how you’re feeling or about how your day is going. You might do this in a notebook or a notes app on your smartphone. Don’t worry what it looks like; just focus on expressing yourself to help release some of your stress.
Surprisingly, psychologytoday.com says list-making can be therapeutic. After all, by simply writing down our to-do list we can visualise a plan of action and take steps to achieve our goals because we separate the minutia from what matters and this is good for identity as well as achievement.
Visualise Your Calm
Your brain is a muscle, and you can train it, develop it just like any other muscle to react in a certain way by visualising your “happy place” you can train your brain to relax. Here’s how.
- Sit in a quiet and safe place in your home and begin to think about a place in the world where you feel most calm.
- Close your eyes and visualise all the details linked to that place: the sights, sounds, smells, and the tastes. Imagine you’re at the beach by listening to sounds of waves coming into the shore.
- Consider burning a candle or vaporising an essential oil mix that reminds you of happy times.
Be At One With Nature
Spending some time outside in nature when you feel stressed may help you relax. When you’re feeling stressed, step out and go for a short walk, or simply sit in the park. Combine your walk with a sunny day, and you will get the benefit of increased vitamin D.
Vitamin D is created in our body when we expose the naked skin to sunlight. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun penetrate the cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for synthesis to occur. According to nhs.uk vitamin D has other significant side effects, including stress relief and even weight loss.
Another crucial vitamin is Vitamin C. You can opt for a high strength liposomal vitamin c for quick and better absorption.
If you’re lucky enough to own a garden, spend ten minutes a day sweeping up leaves or planting bulbs ready for the spring. Just think about how lovely it will be to look out and see a pot of daffodils or hyacinths signalling the arrival of a new era.
No garden? A window box with fresh herbs will have the same effect, and the bonus is a crop of parsley, sage or thyme to add to your cooking. It’s a win-win situation.
You don’t need to be out in nature to feel its stress-reducing effects. Researchers at nationalgeographic.co.uk have found that merely looking at images of greenery and nature for five minutes can help calm you down.
Take a Yoga Class
Gentle exercise can help us to relax, in a study carried out by the NHS, the best way to combat stress is through a combination of strategies. Still, the conclusion was that exercise, namely yoga, created a stress relief mechanism that stayed with the practitioner longer than a regular exercise class.
The following are forms of yoga that promote a sense of well being:
- Hatha yoga is the right choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners like its slower pace and more effortless movements.
- Restorative yoga focuses on four or five simple poses for an extended period.
- Taoist yoga is quiet, meditative and passive and is designed for reflection and promotes the feeling of well-being.
Whatever style of yoga you wish to try, many advocates offer free classes on Youtube. To go even further on your quest for relaxation consider contacting The British Wheel of Yoga or bwy.org.uk to find a tutor or join a class and engage in a growing movement of people who are taking positive steps towards getting a calmer life.