Six Simple Things-Ways to Relax
As a massage therapist I often hear people say, “I know, I know, I have to learn to relax”, to which I often respond what are you doing to teach yourself to relax? Like ALL things in life we have to learn this, it’s not about treating yourself, it’s about staying healthy-SO here’s 6 simple ways to TEACH yourself to relax
1 Breathing– seems silly, because if you are reading this you are breathing & too simple (hint this a blog about simple things), but right now take a deep inhale, no equipment needed, no complicated plan, slow deep inhale through your nose & slow exhale out your mouth. This is a proven way to start the de-stressing process, having proper oxygen has many benefits, but simply taking a deep breath begins to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest & digest part of your body’s nervous system control center, a few simple deep breaths begin neutralize stress and elicit a calming feeling. Show your body & mind the way to there.
2 Meditation-So this seems to be the buzz word everywhere! Everyone successful seems to be doing this, right? I always hear “I can’t shut my mind off” well I suppose you are lucky, pray your mind doesn’t ever completely shut off! However give it a break on occasion-there are many ways to begin this practice find one that works for you! All things benefit from being shut down once in awhile, most especially you!
3 Coloring– this seems to all the rage these days, I loved coloring as a kid, anyone else? Well if not & you can’t wrap your head around this one, consider it a moving meditation with lots of color. Focusing on coloring allows you shut off other things, studies reveal this can lower your heart rate & change your brain waves as tasks with predictable results can be calming, again “teaching” your body that IT can relax.
4 Stretch Standing up for a quick stretch can relieve muscle tension and help us relax during a stressful workday. Why not try a shoulder roll-out or a chest-opening stretch from where you are right now! If you did, you actually have increased your circulation, allowing your muscles to relax, clearing stress hormones, adding fresh blood & the nutrients it brings to the tissues. Carving out a little bit of time in your day, from where you are to stretch will relieve tension and assist you to reduce stress in your life. Don’t think you can do this on your own? Consider a guided session of stretching, tai chi or yoga.
5 Write it down Dear Diary: Today I feel STRESSED.” Just putting our emotions paper, in an online journal or random notebook can make them seem less intimidating. Try journaling before a big meeting. Sometimes getting your thoughts & emotions outside your brain makes your brain seems less loaded, compartmentalizing them for sorting later.
6 Get a massage– I know seems like a sales pitch due to my business connection, but really, schedule a session for no other reason than to just disconnect, it was awhile ago when I had my 1st massage, but I do remember being able to call up the memory of how relaxed I felt in those moments as an aid to calm me, now I need only think of my last session and an instant calm comes over me. Sometimes when I am driving to massage appointment I worry about how relaxed I am while driving! Just kidding, really though I have learned how to let go, by getting massages, it is a learned skill many of us were never taught. Many of my clients have learned how to let go, if even for a little while, remember everything benefits from being shutdown every once in awhile, you do it to your phone to make it work better, don’t you deserve this too?
Hopefully one of these will help teach you!
Cheers to your best Self!