Ways to Relax
- Get an extra massage. When you relax with massage, you let go of muscle tension, worry, and mental confusion. If you slow down and relax, you can more easily tune into your feelings and encourage your body and mind to let go of stress and tension.
- Practice focused relaxation. Sit comfortably or lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Support your neck with a pillow if you prefer. Scan your body, noticing where you feel tension or discomfort. Breathe slowly into these areas. Imagine relaxation flooding into the areas of discomfort. Begin by practicing ten minutes once a day. Try some relaxation music.
- Meditate. Try this technique: Silently repeat a word that has little emotional meaning for you, such as "one." Give it your full attention. When other thoughts or images come into your mind, ignore them and return your focus to the unspoken word. Donít strain or try too hard. Simply let your mind keep coming back to your chosen word again and again as thoughts pass through your mind.
- Practice abdominal breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose. Exhale completely, squeezing the belly tight. Begin by practicing for 5 minutes at a time. Try it when you feel anxious or canít sleep.
- Soak in a hot bath. Add several drops of essential oils like lavender or ylang-ylang for relaxation. Or just soak your feet. Add Epsom salts to a bathtub or basin of warm water and enjoy!
- Try biofeedback. A professional biofeedback practitioner can help you develop self-regulation over the mental and physical processes that are associated with stress-related disorders.
- Take a nap, even if itís only for ten minutes.
- Take a warm shower. As the water rushes around your neck, drop your neck forward and stretch it from side to side. Then circle your shoulders slowly under the hot water.
- Try autosuggestion. Frequently repeat a suggestion to yourself such as "Shoulders free" or "Neck relaxed." Repeat the suggestion, but donít strain or do anything at all except say the phrase. This plants an idea that may gently support muscle relaxation.
- Take a yoga class. Many people find yoga increases relaxation and helps with stress management.
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