Sensible Relaxation Techniques
Just relax! Sometimes, it’s easier said than done — but it’s actually an important part of your health. Relaxation techniques can be used to manage stress, reduce anxiety, improve sleep and even treat pain. Practice techniques that engage each of your senses and discover what works best for you. Our five senses often hold the key to quick stress relief.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down at least one thing that makes you thankful. If you document positive aspects of your life, it makes them more tangible and easy to remember.
- Practice mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment — not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Find a comfortable spot in your house and try to breathe deeply while concentrating on the images and colors surrounding you. You can also shut your eyes and try to visualize something specific that brings you calmness and peace.
Certain aromas can ease your mind and trigger feelings of comfort. Try candles or essential oils that include:
- Ylang ylang
- Invite nature inside your home. Sounds from nature can be very relaxing: ocean waves, rainstorms, chirping birds or even crickets. Try using a sound machine or download a sound app for your mobile device!
- Turn off the TV, close your eyes and listen to calming music. Each person connects differently with music, so experiment with different genres and songs until you discover what’s best for you.
- Get a massage or simply take a hot bath. When you physically relax by loosening your muscles, it also becomes easier to mentally relax.
- Pet your pet. The simple act of petting an animal can reduce stress and actually lower blood pressure. Plus, it will also help Fido relax!
- Drink green tea or black tea. They contain an amino acid called theanine that can relax the mind without causing drowsiness.
- Eat dark chocolate. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid used by the body to create serotonin and relax the brain. Look for chocolate with a high cocoa content and, of course, consume in moderation.