9 Simple Ways to Relax

Relax! Take a moment to just be...
Relax! Take a moment to just be... | Source

I'm always looking for new ways to relax. Sometimes I am so desperate that if you tell me that eating a whole raw garlic head will help me relax, chances are I will eat two.

Life can be so stressing at times that we all need to find out ways to vent and to let everything out, and even though relaxation should come to us naturally, sometimes we don't know what to do in order to achieve a calm, relaxed state.

What not to do to relax

If you have been blessed with some free time and you need to relax, here's a list of things you should NOT do:

  • Watch TV - it will only leave you feeling tired and groggy.
  • Surf the internet - it will have the same effect as television.
  • Play videogames (or any other game in an electronic device) - videogames don't help you relax. Even though they entertain you, they will not make you feel relaxed.
  • Get drunk - even though alcohol can make you feel relaxed at first, the after effect is anything but relaxing.
  • Read something boring - some say that reading something boring is a sure way of sending you to sleep, thus relaxing you. But it doesn't. When you're reading something boring or complex, your brain will inevitably try to make sense of what you're reading, thus causing more stress and having the opposite effect.

Now that we went over a few "don't's", let's look at a few do's.

Simple ways to relax

The relaxing technique you choose will vary depending on how much time you have available. I love quick relaxing techniques, but I have noticed that the more time I devote to relaxing, the better I feel afterward and the longer the effect will last. Ideally, we should all strive for 30 minutes a day devoted merely to relaxation. This would make a great vaccine against stress, anxiety and all the bad boys that come as a result of a racing mind.

Let's look at a few quick ways to relax

Warm liquids have a way to make you feel relaxed  and even friendly.
Warm liquids have a way to make you feel relaxed and even friendly. | Source

How do you know if you're breathing in a relaxed way?

A simple way to know if you're breathing in a relaxed way is by placing your hand on your abdomen. If your hand ascends and descends with every breath, you're doing it right.

If, however, your chest is the one ascending and descending, you might be stressed and tense.

A simple to relax is to "belly breathe", or breathing using your diaphragm into your abdomen.

Warm water

The body pairs how you feel physically to how you feel mentally, which is the reason why your body can take the lead in changing your emotional and mental state.

Studies have shown that just holding a cup of warm liquid can make you feel warm, cozy and even friendlier toward others.

If you want to relax, you may choose to:

  • Hold a cup of warm water
  • Drink something warm
  • take a long, hot shower
  • take a long, warm bath
  • Soak your feet in warm water for 15 minutes before bedtime

Hold on to your thumb

Completely wrap one of your thumbs with the opposite hand. Hold it and massage it for 3 to 5 minutes, then change hands and repeat the process. Concentrate on the feeling you get every time you massage your thumb and pay attention to every movement.
Closing your eyes during this process will make it a more delightful
experience.

I'm not entirely sure why this help, but it does. It's like a quick,
relaxing, cozy, self-massage. Give it a try to find for yourself!

Physical contact reduces blood pressure and cortisol levels. It's a great way to relax.
Physical contact reduces blood pressure and cortisol levels. It's a great way to relax. | Source

Don't count when you breathe

Counting can distract you from actually feeling your breath and listening to your body.

You can count for the first few times you try breathing as a relaxing technique to get a sense of how long you should inhale and exhale for, but after you have it down, just start feeling every breath and concentrate your mind on how the breath feels and how your belly moves every time you breathe.

Breathe

We have become to accustomed to breathing that we do it without even thinking or even noticing it. However, if we want to relax we must take LeAnn Rimes' advice in her "I hope you dance" song: "never take one single breath for granted."

Did you know that When we become tense or hurried we tend to keep more air in and our breathing becomes shallow?

To counteract the body's stress response, and to activite the relaxing abilities, we must slow down our breathing and become conscious of it.

Here's what you can do:

  • Place your hand on you abdomen
  • Inhale for about 5 seconds and feel your hand move upward
  • Hold your breath for about 3-5 seconds
  • Exhale for about 7 seconds and feel how your hand descends

*The longer the exhale, the more relaxed you'll feel. Also, the exhaling
time should always be longer than the inhaled time.

Stop Multitasking

This is a quick and easy method to relax. The best part is that you can do it anywhere and anytime, even while you're at the office.

Multitasking makes life more complicated and makes us more prone to mistakes, which in turn causes our brain to feel more stressed. When you feel more stressed, you tend to make even more mistakes, and everything just turns into a downward, vicious circle.

Source

Dress Right

Your clothes can pretty much determine how you will feel for the rest of the day. Wear something that will make you feel comfortable, and stay away from tight clothing.

If you wear anything that makes you feel self-conscious, you are just running away from relax city! In fact, you're running in the opposite direction: straight to Stressed-and-ready-to-kill-myself metropolis.

Use your sense of touch

Touching others can be extremely relaxing. In fact, physical contact with others reduces blood pressure and levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), as well as strengthening your connection with the other person.

So go ahead and hug your loved ones, massage your kids or significant other, or you can even just pet your dog.

Be Mindful

Take a moment to be here. Don't live in the future (anxiety) and don't live in the past (depression). Just be here and become aware of what is going on around you: the noises, the feeling, the atmosphere.

See everything as if you were seeing it for the first time. Become aware of your breathing and of what your body is feeling. Feel your heartbeat and your breath. Just be.

Stop multitasking. One of the easiest ways to relax is to concentrate on one task at a time.
Stop multitasking. One of the easiest ways to relax is to concentrate on one task at a time. | Source

See your thoughts from a distance

Imagine yourself standing at the top of a mountain. See your thoughts passing by without judging them. Simply recognize them and label them.

For example, let's say you're feeling tense because you've gained some weight and you feel fat, or because you've lost a lot hair in the past year and you feel self-conscious. Here's what you do with that thought:

  • Stand at the point of the mountain and picture your thought passing by.
  • Label your thought. Say: "That's anxiety, and that's how anxiety feels."
  • And let it go.
  • Move on to your next thought or just concentrate on being mindful.

Take a mental trip

Close your eyes for a few minutes and imagine yourself in your favorite place, whether it be real or imaginary, and stay there until it feels right to come back.

Do whatever you need to do to relax! It's the only way we can actually live life. Happy living!

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42 comments

kfc122 profile image

kfc122 2 years ago

thank you for this Hub

its soooooo nice


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi kfc122:

Thank you for your kind words and for commenting!


thecollegeway profile image

thecollegeway 2 years ago

One of the ways I relax is by drinking matcha green tea; it is warm and relaxing, tastes amazing and has actually been proven to reduce stress levels and provide you with a temporary state of increased concentration!


rumintasari profile image

rumintasari 2 years ago from Sleman

I can only relax when I sleep.


UndercoverAgent19 profile image

UndercoverAgent19 2 years ago

These are excellent tips. Whenever I get home from work, I tend to make a beeline for my computer, thinking that surfing funny pictures on the internet will make me feel better faster. After reading this hub, I have several better ways that I can start using to relax.


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi undercoveragent19:

I'm glad you found these tips useful. Sometimes I still make the same mistake of trying relax by looking at something funny, but I always end up feeling worse. That's why I created this list, to help me relax and unwind. Thank you for commenting and reading!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi thecollegeway:

Matcha tea sounds like an awesome choice. Thanks for sharing your tip. Sounds very useful!


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

Your exercises work! I was doing them while reading your article.


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi grand old lady:

I'm glad you tried them out! Thank you for reading and commenting!


Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 2 years ago from UK

The thumb massage sounds interesting. Will keep this in mind. Many thanks for sharing.


Bk42author profile image

Bk42author 2 years ago from New York

It sounds so simple but the breathing technique works wonders. I've been taking at 5 minutes a day to do exactly that and try not to think of anything going on around me.


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 2 years ago from Oklahoma

This was fun and helpful. :) I'm glad you found some better ways than eating raw garlic! I'm an advocate of anything warm. Just a nice, hot shower. I avoid baths because I am too tempted to take a book or the phone and get "something done", which doesn't help with relaxation one bit. Voting up!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi Ebonny:

And the best part is that it's super easy to do! Thanks for commenting!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi Bk42author:

I love the breathing technique! It helps you recenter and gives your mind a break from all the craziness that always surrounds us. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hey Sharkye11:

Yeah, the garlic isn't all that great..(hee,hee) I love warm stuff to relax as well, especially clothes that just came out of the dryer. I like to jump on them like a puppy on a pile of leaves. It's just wonderful! Thanks for commenting!


SEEMA AQUA profile image

SEEMA AQUA 2 years ago

thank u so very much now i feel very RELAX!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

You're very welcome SEEMA AQUA!


Mary McShane profile image

Mary McShane 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

On 2/3/2014, This hub

http://hubpages.com/health/10-ways-to-get-rid-of-a...

and on 1/31/2014

http://hubpages.com/health/9-Simple-ways-to-relax

was copied from you and placed on a Facebook page called OHealth where the work of many other hubbers has also been copied.

This is bad for you and for us in several regards.

1) If your work is copied and appears elsewhere, readers have no reason to come to Hubpages to read your hubs.

2) If you are signed up for HP's Earnings program, this is one hub you are potentially losing revenue for, because it has been stolen by this FB page.

3) We will all lose earnings on stolen content because as long as the hubs are copied to other pages or websites, the readers will not come here to read and we will lose views = revenue.

This is the FB page address who stole your hub: go to the dates of the post (I put above with the titles of your hubs)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/OHealth/45377943466...

Please file a Facebook copyright infringement form (free).

This is the link to fill out the form:

https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/?id=20828207...

Filing copyright infringement forms is the only way we will be able to get our articles taken off this page and any other website who steals our work.

We need to take a stand against websites who steal our work and put it on their pages. We do not write on HP for our work to be stolen. We write because we enjoy it and because we want to make a few dollars and we can only do that if readers come here to read our work. We get nothing if they read our work elsewhere.

I wrote about it in this forum, hoping you would see it to know your work was stolen.

http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/120244#post2546588

Thank you,

Mary


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi Mary McShane:

I had no idea! Thank you sooo much for your research. I will definitely look into it.


Purpose Embraced profile image

Purpose Embraced 2 years ago from Jamaica

Thanks for the great relaxation tips Silver Q. I love the one where you massage your thumb, which is new to me.

Sorry, that your hubs have been stolen, and I hope something will be done about the situation.


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi Purpose Embraced:

Thank you so much for commenting and reading! I hope something will be done about those stolen hubs as well... :(


Highvoltagewriter profile image

Highvoltagewriter 2 years ago from Savannah GA.

I like the way you write in fact...I find it relaxing! :)


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi Highvoltagewriter:

Thank you very much for those super kind words! I'm glad you found them relaxing... :)


Senoritaa profile image

Senoritaa 2 years ago

This is a great article. A couple of items that I would add from my own experience are:

1. Exercise: Regular exercise (be it of any form and any length of time) can drastically reduce your stress level not only for that period of time but for the entire day.

2. Meditation: This one comes with practice, but once you get there, it is a sure shot way of keeping negative feelings (stress, anxiety, depression) at bay.

Thank you for the article. Even I, like you, keep looking for new ways to relax, and this is going to help me a lot.


Harishprasad profile image

Harishprasad 2 years ago from India

Silver Q, first of all congrats on HOTD . The nine steps suggested by you for having a relaxed mind are really magical and can do wonders. I have noticed that listening to music especially slow and melodious one also soothes the mind to a great extent. a very useful hub. Voted up & shared.


Inggaanimallover 2 years ago

It's a very helpful way to relaxand i think it would be really good after exhibition to relax


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Congratulations on your well-deserved HOTD accolade. Your relaxing tips are so practical and easy. Thank you very much.


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

Thank you for writing this valuable hub because it is so useful to so any people---especially me. I will be using these suggestions in my future that is for sure.

You have a great 2014.

Bobbi Purvis


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Great ways to learn to relax.


Aneegma profile image

Aneegma 2 years ago

I really should be relaxing rather than getting stuck here on hubpages! Well done and congrats on HOTD x


DowntroddenInDC profile image

DowntroddenInDC 2 years ago from Houston, TX

I take St. John's wort each day to help keep my anxiety level down. Additionally, if I need to relax to go to bed at night, I'll avoid electronics. Further, if I need to relax even more I'll take a magnesium tablet which acts as a natural muscle relaxer. Lastly, I'll take a melatonin which works to have me asleep within 25 minutes.

I try to time my sleep so that I get at least eight hours each night. Which helps keep my focus during the day and has me less stressed out. I also try to keep a set pattern and routine to keep things predictable and avoid undue stress. All of these helps keep my stress level down and help me to relax!


Dbro profile image

Dbro 2 years ago from Texas, USA

A very interesting and thought provoking hub, SilverQ. I've heard of some of these techniques before, but it's good to have them reiterated and explained again. I think we all need help finding relaxation in our modern, plugged-in, 24-7 world.

Congratulations on Hub of the Day.


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

HI Senoritaa:

Thank you for those great tips! And for reading and commenting!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hello Harishprasad:

I enjoy music as well. I noticed that it soothes me and makes me feel a lot better. Thank you for the tip!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi PurvisBobbi44:

I'm glad you found it useful! I think we should give relaxation a try. Thank you for reading and commenting!


Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi DowntroddenInDC:

Those are all great tips. I have never tried the St. John's Wort but I've heard it has worked wonders for many people. I like the idea of the patterns and routine. Thank you for sharing these ideas!


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Ver-r-r-y interesting. No really, it was intriguing as I read this. I have heard of some of these (like deep breathing) but not all. I will remember them. I voted this up and shared it.

Kevin


Hankscita profile image

Hankscita 2 years ago from Florida

Really great Hub, and excellent advise. Thank you.


goodnews11 profile image

goodnews11 2 years ago from CHENNAI

Really a useful hub!! Thank you..


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Great tips and ideas on how to help us all relax. Too many people are just too uptight these days so this hub should help lots of people. Well worth the HOTD, congrats. Voted up, useful an shared.


Crissylite profile image

Crissylite 2 years ago

Great article! Just reading it was relaxing. I am pinning this one.


Naveed 2 years ago

Hi, thank you for the hob. Actually it was very useful. After this I will not fell buried for along time, and I will be relax most of the time.

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