Relaxation is the ultimate cure for stress. Relaxation helps us prevent stress before it has a chance to negatively impact our wellbeing. Prioritizing relaxation, in whatever form you prefer, is a vital tool to help reduce your stress, improve your mental health and increase your wellbeing. Below are some tips to help you find more balance and relaxation in your life.
Affirmations are a powerful way to rewire the brain and relieve unnecessary worry. Affirmations are short, positive statements that describe something you like about yourself, or something that you would like to be, do or have in your life. To begin practicing daily affirmations, follow the steps below:
- Put your daily affirmations in a place you will see everyday, such as your bathroom mirror, refrigerator or office.
- Recite your affirmations daily, either in the morning or evening.
- Make sure your affirmations are positive and empowering.
Deep Relaxation Methods
Deep relaxation includes a variety of tools and techniques to help you achieve optimal relaxation and reduce stress. Try out the method that works best for you and incorporate these practices into your daily routine. To try one of the methods below:
- Breathing: Inhale and exhale slowly, counting down from 20 to zero, then remain in the peaceful state for several minutes.
- Meditation: Find a quiet area and sit quietly with your eyes closed, then focus on quieting your mind or repeating a meaningful mantra for 10-20 minutes.
- Yoga: To begin practicing yoga, make sure to do each position properly, breathe deeply throughout and focus on the movement to calm your mind.
Exercise for Stress Relief
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and help keep our bodies and minds healthy. Choose exercises that you enjoy, raise your heart rate and can be sustained for at least 30 minutes. Follow these tips to start your exercise routine:
- Pick the best exercise regimen for your age and fitness level.
- Choose exercises that you will be able enjoy, conveniently do and have social support.
- Choose two to three exercises and do them regularly to reduce stress.
Music has the power to influence us and reduce stress. Classical and new age music have been found to be especially effective at restoring balance and improving our relaxation abilities. Use these tips to start using music to relax:
- Create an “Unwind” playlist filled with classical and new age music.
- Play your playlist as background music throughout the day, or during times of stress.
- If you have trouble falling asleep, try playing your playlist while lying in bed to help you unwind and sleep easier.
Naps are great for both eliminating stress and improving our overall health. The ideal length for a nap is 10-15 minutes. This is the optimum time to recharge, briefly unwind and prepare ourselves for the rest of the day. Try these tips for power napping to help you relax:
- Incorporate short naps into your regular schedule.
- Try taking a power nap whenever you feel highly stressed or overwhelmed.
- Take note of when you feel overly moody and irritated. Often, a short nap will reduce those feelings and energize you.
Progressive relaxation is designed to release the tension in chronically contracted muscles. Progressive relaxation involves consciously tensing and then untensing your muscles to allow them to revert back to a relaxed state. To try progressive relaxation, follow these tips:
- Begin by consciously tightening all the muscles in your feet, hold for about 15 seconds, then slowly release the muscles for about 20 seconds.
- Move to the next set of muscles and follow the same sequence.
- Continue until you have followed the process for each group of muscle, then take several deep breaths before returning to normal activities.