How to Relax
Knowing how to relax is essential to ensure your productivity and all-round wellbeing. Stress is manageable if you allocate time to relaxation and recuperation. Here are a few ideas to reduce stress and to relax.
1- Get to know yourself. Learn to recognise when stress may be taking over. Are you becoming irritable? Do you find it hard sleeping? Are you finding it difficult to concentrate? Are you exhibiting peculiar eating habits? Do you suffer from aches and pains? Once you recognise when you are becoming stressed, you can address the problem early and won’t have to spend as much time relaxing.
2- Dedicate time to relaxation. If you’re a busy person, you will undoubtedly split your life into segments of time, all of which need to be filled with an activity. Dedicate time to relaxation, although do not make it seem like a chore just because it’s written in your diary. Personal time is important to ensure productivity, so do not neglect relaxation time. Make sure that your friends, family, and colleagues know when you have dedicated time to relaxation. Ensure that they understand not to disturb you during this time.
3- Sleep. Ensure a regular sleeping pattern and daily routine. Not only will this aid sleep, but it will also allow your body to regulate and appreciate when it needs to be active, and when it can relax. Do not watch TV or play video games before bed; this cover stimulates the mind and makes sleeping difficult.
4- Ingest slow burning carbohydrates and dairy products as they are generally considered an aid for relaxation. Be it due to the presence of the mythical tryptophans, or the learned psychological connections from childhood with these types of food stuffs before bed, milk and cookies style snacks may be a decent precursor to relaxation. Avoid; large meals, drinks high in caffeine, foods high in proteins and spicy food before trying to relax. A balanced and regular diet will avoid peaks and troughs in your metabolism, making both work and relaxation more productive.
5- Exercise. Exercising is one of the best ways to combat stress. Although technically not relaxing, it is often a very useful pre-cursor to ‘quiet time’.
6- De-clutter your home or relaxation space. It is difficult to relax in a ‘busy’ environment.
7- Try to think and act with perspective. When you feel your emotions taking over, take a deep breath and try and reason the logical, rather than the emotional, best course of action.
8- Try a variety of relaxation techniques and choose which ones work best for you. Ideas include: Reading (fantasy aids creativity of thought), audio techniques such as soothing sounds or even your favourite music, tense and then relax all of your muscles talking yourself through the process as you do so (performing a physical technique whilst becoming consciously aware of every part of your body, can help align your mind with your body), consciously appreciate all of your senses and focus on them to help clear your mind off of the day’s troubles, use breathing techniques through deep breathing to the count of ten (feel the air intake into your body, and be aware of your whole body motion as you exhale), have a warm bath (drops of camomile, lime flower and lovage oil can help, and aromatherapy and other scent solutions may aid relaxation).
Watching the TV or playing video games does not qualify as relaxation as they over stimulate your mind.