8 CHILL WAYS TO RELAX
8 Chill Ways to Relax – Stress creeps into our lives from all directions. Whether we stress out about work or are anxious about the children, stress will always be a part of our lives. And while some stress is worse than others, we know that managing it is the key to keeping from controlling our lives. Sometimes that can be a challenge. However, we found 8 Chill Ways to Relax that are simple and easy to incorporate into our daily lives.
With several types of meditation available, picking one that’s right for you isn’t all that difficult.
Through guided meditation, you receive gentle verbal prompts that, over time, you can practice on your own. Guided mediation can be provided in a private session, or you can download a guided mediation session.
The practice of yoga is also meditative. A session of yoga focuses on our breathing and each area of our body. At the end of a session, we settle into the corpse or relaxation pose.
Many self-guided mediations focus on breathing and clearing our minds. They may also focus on an object or a thought that serves as an anchor.
Prayer also offers a meditative experience. In daily practice, prayer has shown to relieve stress and bring internal peace.
Explore your options for mediation and begin incorporating it into daily practice.
2. Progressive muscle relaxation
A regime called Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety. The technique involves tensing and then relaxing one muscle group at a time in a specific and progressive order. It also includes concentrating on our breathing.
Whether you begin at your toes or your head, continue in the same direction after each muscle group. As you tense, inhale. Hold the tension for 5-10 seconds, then exhale and release the tension quickly.
Relax for 10-20 seconds between muscle groups. Mentally focus on the muscles and imagine the stress and tension leaving your body.
Daily practice for only 10-15 minutes may help with blood pressure, insomnia, and pain.
3. Get physical
Exercise is well-documented as an excellent stress-reliever. Part of the reason is that it releases several hormones, including ones that are known as “happy hormones.” Now, have you ever met a stressed, happy person? Exactly. Getting our heart rate up and circulating more oxygen to our brain also improves our health and helps to clear our heads. Whether we go for a walk, swim or rake the yard, getting a physical workout will help lower stress levels.
4. Take a Hot Bath
One of the best benefits of taking a hot bath is pain relief. Pain causes us to set limits on ourselves. We become anxious about the things we can’t do. It also impacts our relationships, limiting our freedom to participate in activities we once enjoyed. Pain saps our energy and motivation, too.
If a hot bath can alleviate a fraction of our pain, imagine the stress that comes with it falling away, too.
Some of the other ways a hot bath helps to relieve stress are by improving our circulation and relaxing tense muscles.
Stretching those achy muscles does more than help prevent future injuries. When we’re stressed, we tend to hold tension in the same muscle groups. By stretching these areas, we help to release that tension and also improve blood flow throughout the body. It can also help decrease pain, and as we already mentioned, pain leads to stress.
6. Talk to yourself
No, it’s not a sign that you’re losing your mind. Talking to yourself, especially when stressed, can help us to relax in multiple ways.
When we’re angry, worried or overwhelmed, talking to ourselves offers us a way to manage those emotions. In a sense, we’re talking ourselves down from what might feel like a disastrous ledge. It helps us to organize our thoughts and provides an opportunity to express our feelings without being judged for them. We can even compose the words we really want to say when the time comes.
Talking to ourselves can also provide us with a much-needed pep-talk. If we’re nervous, we can infuse positive thoughts and encouragement into our day. However, if you catch yourself saying negative things about yourself, that’s no way to relax. Rechannel those words in a positive direction.
7. Make a list
Making lists does many things. It can organize our thoughts or keep us from forgetting something important. Lists also give us a plan. And as much as we enjoy winging life, a list can even help us do that a little better. The types of lists we make may also make the difference. For example, if you love camping, keeping a list of the things we need to take or replenish allows you to more freely take off for a relaxing weekend without worrying that you forgot something. That is, if you remember to check the list.
To-do lists keep us organized. We can more easily prioritize our day and our tasks. It can also be satisfying to mark off the ones we’ve completed.
A list of medications in our wallet comes in handy when we’re visiting a new doctor. It can be stressful trying to remember some of those complicated names, especially when we aren’t feeling well.
So make a list and let the relaxation begin.
8. Ask for a hug
When we have an especially stressful day, sometimes a hug makes all the difference. Believe it or not, hugs also release hormones, good hormones. Oxytocin helps to calm us, brings about pain relief, and reduces anxiety.
Ask for a hug from your spouse or children. They will benefit, too. Even roommates can share a hug to show they care.
And while hugs are few and far between when a contagious illness is around, it’s still possible to receive the benefits of a hug. Since hugs apply gentle pressure, using a weighted blanket can serve as a substitute when hugs just aren’t possible. Just a few minutes a day wrapped in the comfort of a weighted blanket can reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
You can also hug a pet. While they may not hug you back, snuggling with a pet offers many of the same benefits of a hug.
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