Easy Mental Relaxation Techniques For Stress Relief
The majority of us have probably been told we need to relax at some point in our lives. As annoying as it may be to hear it, technically it's not wrong. The list of reasons why relaxation is important for both our physical and mental health is practically endless.
When we relax our heart rate slows, and our blood pressure reduces. This helps us to ease stress and calm the mind. We're telling our bodies that it is okay to save energy. Relaxation also helps to digest essential nutrients more effectively, which in turn aids in fighting off any possible infection or disease.
So in conclusion, just relax. But okay... easier said than done, right?
Below are some quick and easy practices to help you mentally relax. And before you continue reading on, we'd like to remind you that good things take time. Stress and anxiety don't usually disappear over night, but add these techniques to your daily self-care regime and watch your mind, body and soul transform into a more relaxed you.
Take A Break
Wether it's a 5 minute break, an entire day off, or a much needed vacation, breaks are essential in helping us reset. Now, stepping away from daily stresses to do other things like check emails, run errands, or fall down the social media rabbit hole aren't the type of breaks we're referring to.
Find a quiet space to just be with yourself if only for a moment. Here are a few ideas to try for your next break:
- Draw yourself a bath
- Read a few pages of a book
- Journal your thoughts and feelings
- Try a new recipe
- Watch your favorite movie
- Listen to relaxing music
- Sit outside, or open windows to feel the breeze.
- Roll your shoulders, unclench your jaw, and stretch.
You may be thinking we're going to tell you to join a yoga class in this next bit. True, but we understand yoga isn't everyone's cup of tea.
It's important to know that relaxing doesn't necessarily mean "sitting still". Any type of exercise or physical activity can help us relax, too! Go for a walk, run, or find a workout class you and a friend can check out. Even brief bouts will help, such as a few jumping jacks or mini dance session. Moving your body more throughout the day will absolutely benefit your body and mind.
Cut The Caffeine
Many of us can arguably say that caffeine is essential in getting us through the entire day in one piece. We'd be hypocrites if we told you to cut it completely. However, consuming too much caffeine can lead to more anxiety, less sleep, triggered migraines and headaches, and even high blood pressure. All of this being on the complete opposite end of the relaxation spectrum. So here are a few things you may consider trying:
- Ditch the sugary energy drinks
- Switch to tea, such as matcha
- Eat a more nutrient rich diet
- Limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee
- Give chicory coffee a try
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
One of the ways our body responds to anxiety and stress is with muscle tension. You can help alleviate that tension by trying the progressive muscle relaxation method. To do this, start all the way down at your feet and work your way up. Tense each group of muscles as you breathe in, and then relax the muscles as you breathe out (i.e. squeezing your toes for a few seconds, and then releasing). Practicing this will help your body feel physically relaxed, and in time relieve stress.
It's no secret that aromatherapy is widely used to enhance both physical and emotional health. It can also help boost feelings of relaxation. At On The Daily, we've even created a few essential aromatherapy products to help you on your self-care journey. But, what is it? Sometimes referred to as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Here are some simple ways you can add aromatherapy to your daily routine:
- Essential oils & sprays (check out ours here)
- Bubble baths
- Massage oils
- Candles (check out ours here)
- Humidifiers & Diffusers
Become grateful for the present moment. Meditation has so many benefits, including mental, emotional, and physical ones. Regular meditation practices will help train your mind and body to better handle anxious thoughts if and when they arrive. Therefore, resulting in a more relaxed you. The internet provides thousands of short guided meditations that we find to be very helpful, especially for beginners. Check them out on Youtube! Or, you can meditate by simply sitting/lying comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Observe any wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. If you begin to notice any feelings of anxiety, bring your attention back to your breathing. If you can dedicate at least 5 minutes to this every morning or before bed at night, you'll begin to notice a change in no time.
So while daily stresses may be inevitable, they don't have to take over your entire life or well-being. Take charge by practicing these simple relaxation techniques. Even on days when you don't feel as stressed, they can still be very beneficial.
And lastly, never be afraid to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. It's never a bad idea to simply share your thoughts and feelings with someone who understands and can offer support. Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below! And thank you for reading.