Do you do THIS to relax?
If only it were that easy, no?
With all the stress in the world – and in our own corners of it – there’s a lot to be stressed about.
But we can’t live our lives redlining every day. Because eventually, you burn out.
If you’re having trouble relaxing, or it takes you a while to wind down from your day, there are a lot of options for you.
And while the temptation may be to pour yourself some wine at the end of the day (and in moderation, that can be healthy), there are other ways to ease your mind and body that really do work.
One of the easiest and most impactful is by simply focusing on your breathing.
You do it all day and you don’t even think about it. But if you slow down, be still, and give it some attention, it can really wipe the slate clean.
Sit or lie down in a quiet place. Take a deep inhale through your nose, and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Experts suggest a “4-7-8” approach to this.
Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 (if you can). And then exhale slowly for 8 seconds.
Just as food is medicine, breathing is too. And you can harness this readily available “prescription” at any time… for FREE!
Another technique is called progressive muscle relaxation.
Which sounds complicated, but it’s really not.
This time, instead of focusing on your breathing, you focus on slowly tightening and relaxing different sets of muscles. You can even do it along with breathing exercises if you like.
Again, sit or lie down. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, but this time, be sure to expand your stomach as you breathe, and contract it as you exhale.
Whether you start next with your head or toes is up to you. But the idea is to focus on each muscle group, tense and hold for 3-5 seconds, then relax for 20-30 seconds. Then repeat, and work your way up (or down) your body.
I find this is a great exercise to do while getting ready for bed. Sometimes I don’t make it all the way from head to toes before I drift off, it works so well.
Of course, I always recommend exercise as a way to blow off steam. I find my best workouts come when I’m tense or mad about something. And usually when I’m done, I feel better.
So guy who cut me off in traffic… thanks for the great workout.
Massage is also an excellent stress relieving option. There are many at-home, high quality pieces of equipment that can really wipe away tension and pain.
Or you could go the old-fashioned route…
And hit up your partner or a friend for a neck or foot rub. Bliss!