August 15 is “National Relaxation Day” and what better way to celebrate than with ways to relax. With a little help from http://www.psychcnetral.com here are 20 ways to relax and unwind.
The simplest and often most forgot thing to do. Breathe. When life gets hectic or stressful take a few seconds to take 5 to 10 deep breathes to help you relax.
2. Release Jaw Tension.
You may not even realize it is happening, but some people carry their tension in their jaw. Here is an easy way to release it – for about a half a minute or so open your mouth wide and breath naturally through your nose. When you feel like you have stretched your jaw long enough, let your mouth close gently.
3. Care for Yourself.
This is caring for yourself with intention like taking a relaxing bath, going for leisurely walk or reading a book. When you take time to take care of yourself you are bringing calm and order to your life and lessening stress and tension. It is important to care for yourself to keep balance.
Remember when you were young and you kept a diary or a journal, a place to write down your thoughts and feelings. If you do than this may be something for you to start again. Take time for yourself to write down a little or a lot, whatever will help relax from the day, just don’t make it a to-do list item.
5. List the Days Triumphs.
When we get stressed we can tend to dwell on the bad things versus the good things. Another way to help relax from the daily stress is to write down the positives of the day. Aim for the three top positives. This will help you pause and think about the good and not stress about the rest.
6. Clear Plans.
Everyone has a lot to do every day, and if this makes your mind race and no chance for calm than take the time to make a to-do list. Here is the deal though, write down a realistic list of what can be done in the day and in the order to complete them and let the other things go for another day. If you end up still thinking of all the “other” things, write them down too but on the “get to” list.
There are many things we can control, and there are many things we can’t. When you are focused on something that is causing you stress you need to take the time to decide if it is something you can or can’t control. If you can control it than do what you need to so you can move on. If you can’t, then forget about it and release it to the powers that be, I know easier said than done sometimes. Gaining insight to what you can and can’t control will help you relax in the long run.
8. Bedtime Ritual.
A ritual can bring renewed balance, energy, empowerment and comfort. As adults we get caught up in the digital world that is around us which can keep us from turning off and relaxing. As it goes with children and bedtime routines, it is something we should remember as adults. Get in a habit of turning off the television and mobile devices before bed and unwinding with a book, a bath or deep breathing and stretching exercises. It will allow you to release the tension of the day and get in a relaxing state allowing you to sleep peacefully.
This sounds easy enough, but how many of us do this? The idea behind this is to do anything that is pleasurable and has no concrete purpose. Like what you ask? Take the time to swing on a swing, dig in the dirt, finger-paint, pretty much act like the kid you used to be.
What many of us probably don’t realize is that the brain cannot distinguish between reality and imagination, so visualization can be a powerful tool to help you relax. Take the time to visualize your favorite place and then take it a step further. Visualize every detail from the exact location, to the sounds, smells and people around you.
11. Gentle Movement.
When it comes to relaxing many people think that being sedentary will help you unwind and destress, when in reality doing something active will release any tension and stress. For instance, going for a leisurely walk will do more for you than sitting on the couch, even some simple stretches will do more for you than doing nothing at all.
12. Morning Routine.
Commonly people start their day by washing their face and brushing their teeth. Try doing the same thing when you need to relax, as it will signal your brain that you are starting fresh like you do at the beginning of every day.
13. Give Support.
Sometimes it helps to relax by focusing on someone other than ourselves. Call or meet up with a friend and ask them how they are doing and then listen intently to what they say. It will take your thoughts to them, instead of yourself.
Take time to sit outside and engage in all of your senses. Smell the air, look around you, listen to the sounds of nature. Engaging your senses can be a powerful way to relax.
15. Focus on the Present.
You can engage your senses at all of times of the day, not just in nature. Take time to focus on what is around you, such as the sounds inside your home, the inside of a building you walk by every day. Be present and you will naturally relax.
Do you have 20 minutes to relax? If you said yes than take this time to take a small nap. Anything over 30 minutes puts you in a deep sleep, but a 20-minute catnap will revive and refresh you.
Engage your sense of smell in the everyday moments. Using scents to shower with, wash your hands with, in your lotion or burning in a candle can help you relax. Certain scents, like lavender or peppermint, can help relax just by the smell of it.
18. Treat Yourself.
Think of something you would do for a loved one to relax and do it for yourself. It can be anything from going out to lunch to getting a massage. When you treat yourself well, you in turn will be better for everyone else.
19. Bathroom Break.
Feeling stressed at work or out in public? Take a quick bathroom break. Step into a stall, close your eyes and breathe (breathe in for a count of 3, breathe out for a count of 3, repeat). This easy step will allow you to relax and get back to what you need to do.
20. Works for You.
Figure out what works for you to relax and do that. This may take time and it may be more than one thing, but allow yourself to find what it is. Everyone is different, so don’t get discouraged if something that works for one person, doesn’t work for you.
Life is too short to be tense and stressed all the time. Take these tips, try them out, and enjoy the life you have and RELAX!