In a growing landscape of increasing pressures and stressors, it’s never been more important to relax.
Easier said than done, right?
When someone tells you that you need to relax, you often tense up at the idea because it doesn’t seem so simple. You can’t draw yourself a big bubble bath at work or pour yourself a drink during a meeting.
So, what are 5 easy ways to relax that you can do almost anywhere, anytime?
There’s a good reason people tell us to breathe when we’re stressed out or in a panic. When we’re stressed, we tend to take more frequent and shallow breaths, or sometimes even hold our breath without realising which can trigger physical reactions such as raising your blood pressure and heart rate.
Deep breathing sends signals to your brain telling you to relax. By slowing your breathing patterns to big, deep breaths, you can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and the levels of carbon dioxide in the brain, helping you to relax your body and mind.
2. Go to a quiet space
Most of us live busy lives with a constant stream of external stimuli, an endless list of tasks, a thousand pulsing thoughts in overdrive and millions of things going on in our environment. Our minds work best when they aren’t crazy busy, so removing ourselves from a busy environment can have an immediately positive effect.
Finding a quiet space to remove distractions so you can focus on you can be an easy path to relaxation. You can use this space to help you breathe, be physically still and relax your muscles, and deal with one thing at a time.
3. Listen to music
The link between music and our emotions has long been proven. Music helps us eliminate other things demanding our attention in our environment and focus on our emotional state.
Our musical preferences differ from person to person and situation to situation, but there are scientifically proven types of music such as soft classical pieces that have been known to reduce blood pressure and the heart rate and decreasing levels of stress hormones.
4. Get back to nature
You may not be able to drop everything and go camping to relieve your stress, but even simply taking a walk through a park can have an immediate effect on your stress levels. Science shows that by increasing levels of natural light and vitamin D absorption promotes better mental health through improved blood flow and blood vessel relaxation as well as melatonin production (sleep hormone). Being in natural light naturally relaxes you!
You don’t have to run a marathon for the positive effects of exercise to start working. There is an undeniable link between exercise and relaxation by pumping your body’s endorphins (your feel-good transmitters), distracting you from everyday life stressors, and reducing levels of anxiety and stress. Go for a walk, a run, kick a ball around, or go for a swim – just get that body moving!