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Seven Relaxation Techniques when You Are Stressed Out

Seven Relaxation Techniques when You Are Stressed Out

Adulthood can be very stressful, and we would all avoid the rigors of adulthood if we could. Thinking about paying bills, keeping in touch with family and friends, meeting deadlines at work, and simply keeping on top of everything can quickly wear a person out. But the truth is, we don’t have a choice but to grow up and be responsible; the best we can hope to do is to keep all aspects of our lives as balanced as possible.

From a fellow stressed out adult, here are seven ways to kick back and not feel guilty about it.

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1. Do yoga

Have you ever seen a stressed out yogi? Probably not. They all look calm with glowing, well-hydrated skin and few worries. You could be like that too. You may not be a fan of spiritual mumbo jumbo and muttering “ohm” in a class full of people may not sound appealing to you, but it does keep you sane. Take an hour off your weekend routine of binge watching bad tv and drag a friend along to a nearby yoga class. Yoga will keep you relaxed,[1] fit and beautiful. Stretching out is good fun too. And if you are a young misanthrope, put YouTube to good use and learn yoga by yourself. If you want to be adventurous, stock up on incense sticks, scented candles, potpourri, scented oils, and herbs. Sort out the feng shui in your home by rearranging everything in a way that perfectly suits you. Install some mood lights and saturate yourself in sweet scented paradise as you stretch.

2. Take a walk

This may seem like pretty basic advice and a one-size-fits-all answer to any health-related question, but it works. Walking has significant benefits[2] that even you, a dedicated elevator person, can’t knock. Gather your thoughts as you walk through your favorite park and take in the scenery. If walking alone is boring, then listen to music if you like, stop and talk to strangers and learn their stories. Walking is easy, does not require any special fitness gear and will leave you feeling refreshed. Doesn’t hurt that you get to knock off a few calories too.

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3. Take a bath

You’ve seen it on TV. Overworked woman lights candles, pours a glass of wine, pulls her hair back and slides into a welcoming bubble bath. But relaxing baths[3] aren’t just for beautiful women in movies, give those sore muscles a much-needed break and soak in a nicely scented bath. Throw in some bath bombs for added oomph! Don’t forget your candles and wine!

4. Meditate

Sitting cross-legged and taking a breather is honestly the easiest way to feel relaxed and one of the best too. You don’t even have to sit cross-legged; you can meditate in just about any position that’s comfortable for you. Recently, there have been a lot of studies on brain activity during meditation.

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I won’t bore you with the specifics, but meditating has way too many advantages to ignore. It does not just relieve stress; it helps you focus—reduces your heart rate, lowers blood pressure,[4] helps you get rid of negative thoughts and helps you sleep fitfully. And that’s just a few of the benefits you get by meditating. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but you’ll get used to it and be a guru in no time at all. So set aside at least 20 minutes out of your incredibly busy day, Just stay still and let your mind be at peace.

5. Slow down

Work emails keep piling up, and your kids have to visit the dentist. You’ve had way too many sleepless nights thinking about your presentation, and you have that meeting with an investor that you can’t afford to miss. Yes, you have a lot on your plate, but you can’t handle them if you’re laying in a hospital bed somewhere so SLOW DOWN and if you have the guts, tell your boss to chill on the emails.

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6. Get a hobby

This may seem counterintuitive, especially if you see it as getting more work on top of the work you already have piled up. But a hobby is a different kind of work. One you enjoy doing. Without an employer breathing down your neck. It doesn’t have to be anything serious. Gardening, sewing, and reading are great options. If you are the athletic type, try joining your local swim, basketball or football team. If not, try knitting and interior decor. Hobbies are great and a productive[5] way to escape from real life struggles.

7. Just chill

Chill is not just a word potheads use when other people act up around them. It should be the number one word in your vocabulary and a mantra for you.

No matter what you have to do to satisfy other people, remember to make yourself a priority and set aside some time to relax. Hire a masseuse/masseur, go to the spa, take a Zumba class, pig out, turn off your alarm and sleep for as long as you want. Just live.

Reference

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Amber McNaught

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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