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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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