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5 Simple and Easy Relaxation Tips

5 Simple and Easy Relaxation Tips

Everyone experiences times throughout the day where you just wish you could relax for even a few minutes.  Sometimes I feel that I could really spend the day relaxing. We already know that relaxation helps your body re-energize, but sometimes you’re so busy and caught up in the moment that you just don’t have the time to unwind.  Well, fortunately there are simple ways to relax, even during your busiest days, that don’t require a lot of time or equipment.

So often, we think that we can’t afford to take an hour or two out of our busy day, we feel as if we would get further behind.  But relaxation doesn’t need to take that long, 5-10 minutes can be enough to get us going again and help us make it to the end of the day.

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 5 Simple Relaxation Tips:

 Lined up: Instead of stressing out because there aren’t enough cashiers and every line has 5 people with heaping carts of groceries, or when traffic is so bad that it is taking you 30 minutes to move 1 mile, use that time to relax your body by taking some deep breaths.

  • Deep breathing helps increase the oxygen in your blood. Your blood then circulates that extra oxygen throughout your body, helping your inner systems recharge.
  • Taking five slow deep breaths will do the trick. The proper technique is to inhale and exhale deeply through your nose and out your mouth.  I like to use a 5 count, count to 5 as you breath in, hold count to 5 and then breath out count to 5.
  • Not only will deep breathing help you relax, it’ll help to clear your mind, reduce brain fog, and you’ll feel much more alert and ready to tackle the next project on your plate.
  • Deep breathing can be done anywhere when you’re feeling stressed or just want to clear your mind.

Workplace Relaxing: It’s often hard to find time to relax at work. You might even get in trouble if you’re caught “relaxing.” Oh the horror! However, there are some techniques you can do while you’re at work to help create a sense of calm that aren’t so obvious to others.

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  • If your job requires you to sit at a computer all day, make sure you get up and move around for a few minutes every hour. This helps circulate the blood throughout your body. Just moving the blood flow will make you feel more alert and focused.  Take the stairs up to the next floor to use the washroom, a break and get your bold pumping at the same time.
  • While sitting at your desk, roll your head around, from side to side and from front to back with your eyes closed. This technique helps to relieve neck tension, increasing blood flow to your brain, which is a natural and easy way to relax. My chiropractor has recommended specific neck stretches for me, check with your doctor for some techniques specific to you.
  • During a break or lunchtime, go for a walk. Walking is a great way to clear your mind and your body will benefit from the extra exercise as well. If you take a look around your city, you might even be able to find a yoga class during the lunch period, this would be a great way to come back to work ready and productive.

Feeling the Rush: Take just a few moments to daydream and escape the busyness of reality.

  • Daydreaming lets your imagination flow, causing instant relief from the stress of the real world.
  • Think of a place or experience that makes you feel happy or calm. Imagine how it smells, how the air feels, and who’s around.  A past vacation or a future vacation a great way to vision your next year.
  • After five minutes of a calming daydream you’ll feel relaxed, reenergized and ready to face the real world again.

Smile: Smiling is proven to help relax and rejuvenate your body.

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  • When you’re out and about, smile at others around you. Have you noticed when you are walking down the street or at the mall, when you smile at someone passing you by…. you can see their whole face lights up with a big smile as well.  So you are creating a great experience for you as well as for others.
  • When you’re at work, smile at your co-workers. Not only will it help you relax, it’ll help relax them as well.  

Laugh it up: Laughter’s proven to be an instant stress reliever. Now I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to be seen as a nut case, so laughing out loud when you’re in line at the store or sitting at your desk may not be the best time. When you can, get someone involved in your laughter with you.

  • Tell a funny joke or story to a co-worker (at an appropriate time, of course).
  • Play a fun game or sing a silly song with your kids as you’re driving.
  • Watch funny videos on YouTube or TV.  I love watching cartoons… with or without my kids!  And my kids are hysterical, you just let them tell you a story and you will be rolling on the floor laughing.

Engaging in these simple, everyday relaxation techniques will help to sustain and strengthen you throughout your day. Most of these ideas really only take 5-10 minutes are most to make a huge impact.  Just think about what would happen if you spent 30-60 minutes, you would be changing your world for you and the people around you. Your friends, co-workers, and family will all appreciate the new, relaxed you!

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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