When the stresses of daily life events begin to take its toll, it’s time to renew our mind, body and spirit. If going on a vacation is not possible, try these time-tested ways to relax that are proven to rejuvenate from the inside out.
1. Breathe the right way
When we are too stressed, our breathing becomes fast and sharp. The right way to breath is to inhale and exhale deeply and slowly without any jerks. When you inhale, inflate your stomach as you fill in your lungs with oxygen. Deflate your stomach as you slowly exhale out.
Meditating calms and revitalizes the mind and makes you think clearly. If you are pressed for time, try this 10 minute-powerful meditation that will make your brain as refreshed as you feel when you wake up from deep sleep.
Om chanting meditation: Choose a quiet place and sit on the floor or a rug in cross-legged position also called Half-Lotus pose. Keep your face, neck and back aligned in a straight line. Place your hands comfortably on your knees with palms facing up, and close your eyes. Breath in and out normally three times. Now inhale deeply and slowly and observe your breath as it fills in. As you slowly exhale chant ‘OOOOMM’ in a sweet voice until the breath is totally out. As you chant, feel the vibration of ‘O’ traveling up from the navel to the chest then throat and ‘M’ reverberating in your head. Pause for 30 seconds then repeat. Do this a total of three times.
Whereas you can chant any other word such as ‘peace,’ it’s been scientifically proven that the vibrations caused by the three sounds in OM (AUM) invigorates the mind and body.
3. Do Yoga
Yoga attempts to balance mind, body and soul by lowering stress levels in the mind, relaxing and toning the body and promoting emotional well-being. Poses such as Downward Dog and Seated Forward Bends rush blood to the brain and revitalize it by providing it with oxygen. The Corpse Pose is the ultimate relaxation exercise.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a great destresser as it helps to introspect and make sense of the situation. However, next time add something you are grateful for that will dispel negativity from within.
5. Bathe in warm water with music and visualization therapy
Light lavender scented candles or ocean scents if possible and play soothing music, preferably sounds of ocean waves as you prepare to soak. Lie down comfortably and close your eyes. Now imagine yourself on a beach, lounging in a beach chaise that is partially immersed in the ocean. Picture the blue-green horizon merging with the blue skies, splash of the waves and the cool breeze caressing your face. As you listen to the waves recede, imagine your fatigue and stress leaving with them. Feel your body relax and your breath slow down. Enjoy the happy feeling until you feel fully relaxed.
6. Body Massage
A full body massage relaxes the tension in your muscles and promotes blood circulation. If a visit to the spa is not possible then here is a quick way to achieve the same result on your own. Before you hit the bed take a non-sticky oil such as almond oil and massage your legs starting from your toes moving upwards to your calves. Next massage your hands starting from your fingers moving up to your elbows. You will experience a restful deep sleep.
Laughing out loud slows down the production of stress hormone, cortisol, in your body and in turn secretes endorphins into your brain thus making you feel good. This helps coping with stress much better. Read jokes, share funny anecdotes with friends and family or watch a funny sitcom. Just laugh, let go and relax.
Featured photo credit: ES.mond via flickr.com