We all have issues and problems in our lives and sometimes they can be overwhelming. It is always important to be able to relax and switch off to allow you to recharge your batteries. There are lots of different ways to relax, some work best for the mind others for the body. Some techniques will have a positive effect on both the mind and the body.
Try some out from the list below to see what works best for you.
Never underestimate the power of breath. Take a deep breath, hold it for a moment and then exhale. Feeling more relaxed? Breathing exercises are one way to relax.
Relaxing the Mind
• Take slow, deep breaths. Or try other breathing exercises for relaxation.
• Soak in a warm bath, or focus on the feeling of the warm shower water on your neck, back and shoulders.
• Listen to enjoyable and soothing music.
• Practice mindful meditation. The goal of mindful meditation is to focus your attention on things that are happening right now, in the present moment. For example, listen to your body.
• Write. Some people feel more relaxed after they write about their feelings. One way is to keep a journal or even keep a gratitude log to write about all the things you are thankful for.
• Use guided imagery. With guided imagery, you imagine yourself in a certain setting (such as a country park or the seaside) that helps you feel calm and relaxed.
• There are many apps available to help you relax, such as calm or headspace, some are even free of charge, but do check over reviews!
Relaxing the Body
• Practicing yoga (even basic yoga). You can get books and YouTube videos to do at home or try a yoga app.
• Try progressive muscle relaxation. This process involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group. Progressive muscle relaxation can reduce anxiety and muscle tension. If you have trouble falling asleep, this method may also help with your sleep problems. When you relax your muscles, your body gets the signal that it is okay to fall asleep.
• Take a walk or do some form other activity physical activity. Making time to do things you enjoy can also help you relax, so think about your hobbies.
• Get creative, art, music, gardening, textiles, something you enjoy.
• Have a warm drink that doesn't have alcohol or caffeine in it, such as herbal tea or milk.
Take a Mindful Moment in Nature
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment. In addition, spending time in green spaces, (ecotherapy), has been found to help us relax, reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Follow these steps for a new way to experience your surroundings. If you're able to walk this can also be an opportunity to get some gentle exercise, but you can do this exercise whatever your mobility.
Just yourself and a green space – try a local park, woodland, nature reserve or just your garden:
• Find a green space. When you get there, stop for a moment and take a deep breath.
• Start exploring slowly, try not to focus on getting somewhere in particular. Really focus on any movement you make. If you're walking, notice which part of your foot touches the ground first and feel the transfer of weight through your foot.
• Notice the ground underneath you. Is it grass or earth? Does the ground feel soft? What colours can you see?
• Think about the rest of your body, how are you holding your arms? Does the air on your face feel cold or warm?
• Listen to the sounds around you, can you hear birdsong, or wind rustling through the leaves?
If you can’t go to a green space, you can try opening your window and noticing what’s around you. Notice any clouds in the sky, or trees and plants you can see. Can you feel rain, wind or sun on your skin?
You could try looking after a plant. Spend time focusing on its scent, shape and texture. You could try touching some of the leaves or soil and focusing on how it feels.
For Further Support
For further mental wellbeing support, or if you want to know more about relaxation techniques please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Darlington Mind also has a variety of other services which may be of interest to you and to assist with your need, please contact us via the following options: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01325 283169 Mobile: 07572 888084 – see our services and support