Are you stressed? Who isn’t?
In today’s fast-paced society stress has reached major proportions. Relax, say the experts, but who has time to relax for any length of time?
Believe it or not, you can relax a little bit at a time. Just do these brief exercises at intervals during a day.
First, pay attention to your breathing. Check your breathing when you are driving, sitting in a meeting, working at your desk, planning family activities, studying for an exam, or even putting on makeup.
Although breathing is involuntary, you may find yourself breathing shallowly or almost holding your breath.
If your breathing is shallow, here’s what to do to relax. Consciously take two or three deep breaths, feeling the air going way down through your body.
Breathe in through the nose and exhale gently and slowly through the mouth. Do two or three deep breaths frequently throughout the day.
As this becomes a habit you will find you are more relaxed. As you relax, you’ll find better solutions to problems, new ideas will come easily, and you’ll enjoy life more.
Now it’s time to relax your body.
Many people say they can’t really tell if they are tense, but there’s an easy way to find out.
First you tighten muscle groups to consciously experience what tension feels like, and then relax the muscle group and experience the difference.
Do these exercises any time you feel tension, and repeat them two or three times if needed.
Begin with your toes. Curl them under for a moment and then relax them. Move up to your calves and tighten them, then relax.
Continue up your legs, then progress to your back, shoulders, neck, hands and arms. Finally, move to your face and forehead. Tighten up all your face muscles in a “scrunch” and then relax them. You can do the forehead with the face or separately.
Feel better? You’ll shed lots of tension as you do this exercise.
Give your brain a rest to help creative ideas flow more easily. Researchers find that when you are wide awake your brain waves show a pattern of high excitability. Your brain waves slow when you close our eyes for a few minutes.
Here’s how to benefit from this research.
Close your eyes for a few minutes. Take two or three deep breaths and then focus on your natural breathing pattern. Enjoy relaxing and think only of your breathing. Let go of the internal chatter of your thoughts for these few minutes to truly experience the relaxation.
These exercises will help you treat your body with gentleness and respect. We ask a lot from our bodies, and stress and tension deplete our physical energies and compress our genuine enjoyment of life.