These days, I think that most of us are just too tense. It can be hard to relax properly with all of the hustle and bustle of modern society, and there always seems to be so much to think about that it’s hard to really let go and de-stress. I believe firmly in the importance of relaxation techniques for a better quality of life. Sometimes, we all just need to calm down and take some time out for ourselves to take stock and to chill out.
Here are some of my top relaxation technique tips to help get you started.
The first thing to do when relaxing is to orient yourself intentionally to where you are. Visually and mentally, you need to recognize exactly where you are in time and space. While this sounds ridiculous, it helps to ground you in the moment. If you’re angry, anxious and tense, you won’t be paying attention to your surroundings, instead of paying attention only to your feelings and thoughts. Orienting yourself helps you to start the relaxation process.
Pay attention to what you can sense. Notice how you’re connected to your environment. Are you standing? If so, feel the sensation of your feet on the floor. If you’re sitting, think about how your back connects to the seat. Think about the way your clothes feel on your body.
Focus on the things that are happening in your body. Concentrate on your heart rate and your breathing and start to control it. Sit down comfortably, put your feet down firmly on the floor, close your eyes and breathe through your nose while you count in for four, hold for seven and then exhale for 8. Then repeat. This will help your heart rate to slow down.
Give yourself calm, reassuring and positive messages to quieten down the anxious, angry and tense thoughts. Think “everything’s OK”, “I can do this”.
When you’ve completed all of these steps, you need to re-enter the world once again, more calmly and more focused than you were before. Don’t just stop what you’ve been doing and jump straight back in. Focus on returning to your tasks with the same inner peace and calm as you would have just woken from a restful sleep, keeping your body and mind in a positive and relaxed state.
Follow these steps, and you should find that you can calm yourself down in any situation, even when you are at your most agitated and stressed. Practice these relaxation techniques on a daily basis, even when you aren’t feeling tense so that it will soon become second nature for a greater and faster impact. If you find it isn’t working for you, make sure you’re following the steps properly and in the right order, and keep practicing. You could always add in other steps that work well for you, such as practicing your mindfulness relaxation while taking a hot shower or bath. The warm water will help to promote the feelings of calm and peace.