Approaching life in a relaxed frame of mind can be hugely beneficial to your health, success, and overall wellbeing. Relaxed people handle conflicts and challenges better; they make better decisions and are more optimistic, which improves their mental health.
It’s easy for chronic stress to pile on because the truth is that we face stressful circumstances every day. Learn how to incorporate these actions into your daily life to keep your stress levels low.
Mindful breathing helps release pent-up anxiety, nervous energy, and stress, and you can do it anywhere. Experts recommend at least 15 minutes of mindful breathing accumulated daily, although you can make them longer as you practice more.
In mindful breathing, you attempt to clear your mind by only focusing on your breathing. Slow your breathing by taking deep breaths (count three seconds on inhaling and exhaling and hold for 1-3 seconds).
In the beginning, it’s natural for your thoughts to drift back to whatever you were thinking of. When you notice you have drifted, simply bring your mind back to the moment by concentrating on how the air fills and leaves your lungs and belly. Guided breathing audios, videos, and apps are available online to help you get started.
Meditation has been around in Asia for thousands of years, but it has only just become popular in the West for stress management.
Meditation is not difficult, but it requires some practice before one can be masterful at it. Most mindful breathing resources can also guide you through meditation. As you get into meditation, you will be able to handle old and new stressors in healthier ways and maintain your state of peace and relaxation.
For example, you can try body scan meditation, which focuses your attention on various parts of your body. Simply lie down on your back with your legs uncrossed and arms relaxed at your side. Your eyes may be open or closed, and you can use CBD drops to soothe your feelings and relax your body.
Focus on the toes of your right foot as you breathe deeply for about 3-5 seconds. Move to your ankle, calf, knee, thigh, then hip, and then repeat for the next leg, spending 1-2 minutes focusing on each body part. Move up your torso, lower back, abdomen, chest, and shoulders, paying attention to areas that feel discomfort or pain.
When finished, lie in complete stillness and silence, noting how your entire body feels. Open your eyes and stretch if you need to.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation, PMR, is a useful tool for making your body relax within a short time. In summary, this technique involves tensing and relaxing your muscles systematically, starting from your head to your toes. You can go through the whole body within a few minutes and achieve relaxation, and you can do it at any time.
PMR can help you to reduce reactivity to stressors, reduce physical and psychological tension, and decrease chronic stress. With a little practice, you can use PMR to achieve relaxation quickly and easily, even within seconds.
To perform this technique, you need about 15 minutes and find a comfortable place, where you will not be disturbed. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, although it’s better to lie down. Be sure that your arms are relaxed and legs uncrossed to allow free circulation and complete relaxation.
Start by tensing all the muscles in your face and scalp by making a tight grimace and clenching your jaw. Inhale for eight counts and then exhale and relax completely. Repeat until your face feels completely relaxed. Repeat the process while working down all the way to your toes. The whole process is explained in this article.
Improve Your Interactions
Life is a journey that was meant to be traveled with companions, and so it’s vital to put around yourself a strong support system. The easiest way to do this is to make time to check in on your friends and family. You don’t have to visit or hang out every day, but talking to them and letting them know that you’re around allows them to reciprocate.
When dealing with colleagues at work, bosses, strangers, or acquaintances, play your part to ensure your interactions flow smoothly. Set your boundaries gently but firmly, so that they understand what you can and cannot tolerate. Similarly, respect their boundaries, including your children or subordinates.
Be aware of anyone or anything that threatens your sense of calm and peace, and find ways to let go of the feeling. This may mean expressing yourself respectfully or removing yourself from the situation. If you cannot, it may mean changing your attitude or expectations or venting with a therapist or treasured companion.
Maintaining a relaxed state isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially with stressors everywhere around us. With a little practice, however, you can be more aware of yourself, your inner wellbeing, and how environmental or external factors change your internal state.
With regular meditation, PMR, or mindful breathing, you can recenter yourself throughout the day. By improving your interactions with others, you can reduce the causes of conflict and internal stress that threaten your sense of peace and relaxation.