Relaxation is very important in order to function properly, for your health and well-being. Relaxation starts during the day, actually from the moment you get up. The moment you get up, you set the tone for the day. Here are some practical tips that you can apply during the day. If you use these advice on a daily basis, you will find that you go more relaxed through life.
Your breathing is perhaps one of the simplest but most effective means of inducing the feeling of relaxation in your body. If you breathe through your stomach, your body makes optimal use of oxygen intake, it provides more energy, optimal health and relaxation. By breathing quietly (through the abdomen), a signal goes to your brain that you are relaxed and that you feel safe.
Watch your breathing during the day. Is your breath high in your chest and throat? Get your hunted breath? Try to let your breath run through your stomach, so as low as possible. Secondly, make sure you inhale and exhale longer. Practice a few times, breathe deeply a few times through your stomach and then slowly release your attention so that you return to natural breathing. If you find yourself shooting in agitated breathing, bring your attention back to your abdominal breathing. The more often you practice this, the easier it becomes. You can set a timer to remind you of this breathing exercise.
This is also a good exercise to do before you go to sleep. Focus on your breathing, breathe in 5 counts and 5 counts. Imagine that when you breathe you inflate a balloon in your stomach and that when you exhale you inflate a balloon through your lips. Breathe out quietly, without forcing. Just try to watch your breath and not get distracted by your thoughts. When your thoughts come, observe and go back to your breathing. Keep on breathing until your breath returns to natural breathing.
Taking a break
During the day it is good to take breaks regularly.
Pausing means doing nothing at all, so do not just app your phone, read a book or watch TV. Especially watching the news is not convenient and certainly not relaxing. These are all things that require you to actively pay attention.
If you are working or doing an activity, the rule of thumb is that you have to pause for at least 5 minutes every 45 minutes. Get up, walk around for a bit, get a cup of tea or coffee.
In the short breaks, you can for example get a breath of fresh air or chat with colleagues about fun, relaxing topics. Do not try to talk about work-related topics and discussing the marriage problems may also be better for a different moment.
You can also do some stretching exercises. If you really want to take your time and do not want to be distracted, you can do some stretching and stretching exercises in the toilet or in a quiet (lounge) room.
During the longer breaks, you can sit on a bench in the park, walk around a circle or cycle a bit. Enjoy the moment as much as possible, watch / gaze at the trees, the sky, listen to the birds and taste every bite you take from your sandwich.
Sports can be very relaxing. Especially yoga, Tai Chi and walking.
Active sports can be better practiced earlier in the day, for example running, muscle training, Zumba etc. The result of exercise is that you feel more energetic and other side can also be relaxing.
Author: Crissan is health psychologist, experiential expert and holistic coach i.o.