Tips to relax

The modern world is a fast world. Everyone is chasing deadlines or deals or worried about illness or lack of money or there is just too much work to do. Too many things demand our attention and it is difficult to relax body and mind and sometimes this can interfere with relationships or lead to inability to sleep. Unfortunately lack of sleep leads to stress which can have undesired consequences. It is therefore very important to learn how to relax body and mind. Below we share some of the tips that you can adopt to relax.

1. Sip on green tea

Green tea is an herbal tonic that provides the benefits of L-Theanine, a natural compound that helps to lower the body’s stress response. Another advantage of green tea is that staring at its earthy color helps to calm down the mind.

2. Eat mango

Take a few minutes break and eat mango which contains linalool, the main active ingredient in lavender essential oil. It will reduce your stress and anxiety and relax the mind.

3. Meditate

Your mind needs a break from constant thinking and worrying. Meditate for up to 5 minutes during tea and lunch break, and longer in the evening before going to bed. Use visualization techniques to create a tropical paradise in your head and enjoy being there. This will relax both body and mind.

4. Lower your head below the heart

Stand up and bend, hanging your head and arm towards your toes. Lowering your head below the heart has soothing effects on the automatic nervous system. The effect is to reduce your body’s fight-or-flight response.

5. Breathe deep

When you are worried or under stress you will find that you tend to hold your breath or to hyperventilate or take shallow breath generally. To relieve tension, take time first thing in the morning and during the day to take slow deep breaths. Deep breathing will calm you down generally and is particularly useful if you are nervous about a meeting or job interview.

6. Whole body muscle relaxation

Start from your head and move your scalp muscles a few times. Next, tense and release your facial muscles a few times. Do the same for the neck. Next, focus on your shoulders. Can you feel the tension in them, and the pain? Now tense and relax them many times because you probably hold a lot of tension there. Continue with each muscle group till you get to the toes. Finally tense the whole body and release. This exercise is particularly good in the evening to relax the whole body. It is known as progressive relaxation.

You can then move on to meditation to calm the mind. You just might fall asleep if you are lying down.

If you are at work, there is no time for the whole body so just your head, face, neck, shoulders and arms will do.

7. Say the ABC backward

Worried about an upcoming performance or a date or a job interview? You need to sleep well so that you can be at your best. If you find that your mind can’t stop working, even when you are at home trying to relax, play a trick on your brain. Reciting the alphabet backwards will shift your focus because you are forced to remember which letter is next. You might struggle to finish the reverse alphabet as you feel sleepy.

8. Develop the habit of creative visualization

If you take time to review why you worry, you will find that a lot has to do with work or finances or business. But, do you know that you can be the master of your destiny and create the life that you want? What do you want? A house? A new car? Marriage? A life free from financial worries?

Jot down on a piece of paper what this will look like. Then every evening before you go to bed relax your body and mind and then visualize what the house, car, married life with kids or being rich will look like in detail. See yourself having it. You are creating what you want and the universe will shift and make it happen. That is the greatest prayer of all.

9. Try acupressure

Try acupressure on yourself. It is a version of acupuncture which does not involve needles. Acupressure stimulates the body’s natural healing processes and it helps to relieve anxiety according to a recent study. Here is how you do it: as you sit at your desk or couch, use your fingers to find the two depressions where your neck muscles link to the skull. Press firmly for 15 seconds to relieve the tension in the neck.

10. Get active

Are you worried, anxious, depressed or under tension about something? Don’t bother drowning your sorrows at the bar. Hit the gym for at least 30 minutes. Exercise brings great benefits for the mind. It reduces stress, and releases endorphins, the happy hormones into the bloodstream which creates a feeling of happiness and euphoria. It can even relieve depression as has been confirmed by studies and even be as effective as antidepressants in treating depression.

So, get active! In the process you will benefit by improving heart health and you just might like the firming up of the muscles.

11. Enjoy the great outdoors

If you love the outdoors, you can take your exercise outside. If you have been a couch potato you might want to start taking walks in the park or just in your neighborhood. Gradually increase the pace and the duration of your walks and when you are fit enough, start jogging. Alternatively, leave the car at home and cycle to work. You save on fuel and you get the benefit of exercise at the same time.

If you love nature, why not go rock-climbing or hiking or canoeing (just rent a canoe) with friends during the weekend? Being outdoors also benefits you in terms of the essential vitamin D. It will do wonders for your fitness and it will lift body tension and calm down the mind. Even depression will lift as you focus on the activity and release the happy hormones.

12. Go on holiday

Once a year, go on holiday. While you are at it, why not improve your health and wellness by staying at a healthy hotel?