We all need methods to cope with the stresses of modern life, and help us to relax. With the right relaxation techniques, you’ll relieve anxiety, improve your focus and sleep better and possibly manage some of the ramifications of too much stress in our bodies. Stress is responsible for many health conditions which is why it is so important to find ways to calm down and feel at peace. To help you create the perfect relaxation routine, try using these twelve ideas.
1 . Write In A Journal
When you need a little relaxation, writing in a journal can be hugely beneficial. A journal is a good space to write down your thoughts, release negativity, and help you to calm down. You can choose a regular pen and paper journal, or try a digital app if you prefer. A few of the leading journaling apps include Reflectly and Journey. Both offer a range of different features:
Reflectly: This app uses cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology and mindfulness, to help you improve your wellbeing. The app gives you reminders and personalized prompts, so if you’re not sure what to write about- no worries! It’s a space to vent when you need to get things off your chest, and a way to feel calmer when you need to relax.
Journey: With the help of the Journey application you can become calmer, more grateful, and happier. Journey is a place to ‘pour out your feelings when you are stressed’. Whether you’re looking to reduce anxiety and depression or track your achievements, this app is the perfect tool.
2. A Regular Yoga Practice
With regular yoga practice, you can help your body and mind to relax and unwind. According to the US National Library Of Medicine, ‘Yoga is recognized as a form of mind-body medicine to improve aspects of health, particularly stress-related illnesses.’
Besides stress-reduction, yoga has plenty of other health benefits. By practicing yoga you can improve flexibility, posture, and strength, as well as improving cardiovascular and respiratory function. Yoga is also a useful practice to improve sleep. There are many different styles of yoga from slow and restful Yin Yoga to dynamic Ashtanga yoga. If you’re just starting out your practice, check out some yoga tips for beginners. Hatha is probably the best yoga style for beginners.
Meditation has long been associated with stress reduction and relaxation. According to HealthLine, ‘ In an 8-week study, a meditation style called mindfulness meditation reduced the inflammation response caused by stress’. Research has indicated that meditation is useful to reduce the symptoms of several stress-related conditions such as fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
With a regular meditation practice, you can relax your mind and body, challenge negative thought patterns, clear the mind and work on difficult emotions. For some, meditation is a spiritual practice, for others, it’s a technique to unwind and feel peaceful.
Mindfulness is about ensuring that your mind is fully focused on what is happening, without allowing your thoughts to drift into the past or the future. Worrying about the future or the past can lead to anxiety, meaning that we miss out on ‘living in the moment’. Mindfulness often sounds simple, but it’s not as easy as some people think. To help you to focus on the present, and appreciate the positive things in life, there are a few mindfulness apps that can help. Try downloading apps like Calm, Balance, or Ten Percent Happier.
Aromatherapy is a kind of holistic healing technique, it’s based on the idea of using plants, particularly plant aromas, to improve health and wellbeing. With the right essential oils, we can help our bodies and minds to feel more calm and relaxed. Aromatherapy involves inhaling plant oils or rubbing these essential oils into your skin. There are several different products you can use including clay masks, oils, body creams, diffusers, and inhalers. Each oil has its own health properties. A few of the best oils for relaxation include peppermint, vanilla, lavender, jasmine, and eucalyptus.
6. Natural Herbs
There are plenty of natural herbs for relaxation, for example, cannabidiol, or CBD, has gained much popularity over the last few years. CBD is extracted from the marijuana plant yet it is not a substance that causes any kind of intoxicating effect. Cannabidiol is helpful to reduce anxiety and depression and promote sleep. Research has indicated that it’s also an effective form of pain relief. Other effective herbs for stress relief include St John’s Wort and Valerian Root.
7. Breathing Exercises
When you need to relax and reduce stress, there are several breathing exercises that you can try.
Equal Breathing: This breathing technique is often used during yoga classes, yoga teachers may refer to it by the Sanskrit name which is ‘sama vritti’. The idea is to ensure that you exhale and inhale for the same amount of time. Aim to inhale for about 4 counts, and then exhale for 4 counts.
Sitali breath: Another breathing technique that’s used in yoga, this technique can help you to relax and reduce your body temperature. To practice Sitali breath you have to stick your tongue out, and then curl in your tongue, so that the outer edges meet. If you’re struggling to do this, purse the lips instead. You should inhale through the mouth and exhale through the nose.
8. Get Amongst Nature
According to PubMed, ‘A growing number of studies have shown that visiting green spaces and being exposed to natural environments can reduce psychological stress.’
When you need to relax, the best thing you can do is to get outside and experience the natural world. Find a beautiful hiking spot, try some freshwater swimming, or relax on the beach. Being in a natural environment is a fantastic way to boost endorphin levels and chill out.
9. Listen To Calming Music
One really simple way to relax is to listen to some calming music. Open up your YouTube app and search for ‘music for relaxation, or ‘soothing meditation music. There are plenty of calming tracks that you can listen to, whether you’re relaxing on the sofa, or drifting off to sleep.
Garden is a therapeutic hobby that is brilliant for relaxation. Taking up gardening can boost your wellbeing, help you to learn about nutrition, and raise your endorphin levels. Whether you’re growing a vegetable garden or planting some new flowers, there are plenty of ways that you can make the most of your garden. To make a start with your gardening, first, you’ll need compost, to nourish the soil. Making your own compost at home is a great way to recycle your food waste and become more sustainable.
Studies have shown that practicing creative activities can help us to relax and improve our mood. Whether it’s painting, making music, or even baking, creating something can give you a nice project, to take your mind off your problems. If you’re not sure where to start, try a simple craft project whether it’s cross-stitch or decorating pottery. Once you’ve got into the swing of things, you’ll gain some new skills that you can be proud of.
When you need a bit of relaxation and pampering, treat yourself to a massage. Having a massage reduces cortisol levels and norepinephrine, which are stress hormones. Massage therapy offers several other benefits including increased mobility, soothing muscle tension, and improving circulation.
All of these relaxation techniques can help you to boost your wellbeing, even if you’re not feeling stressed out. Creating a good self-care regime is the best way to stay on top of your mental and physical health. This includes regular practicing of these tactics (and more!) If you would like information about starting a new Yoga practice, be sure to email us or check out our website for the latest in our class schedule. You don’t have to worry if you don’t live nearby because we also offer online classes!