Tips to Relax Your Mind and Body
As a child you used to be able to calm yourself simply by watching your favorite movie or by playing with your toys. But now as an adult with real problems and anxieties, you find yourself tense … all of the time.
Thankfully, there are exercises designed to allow your mind to become quiet and relieved. They’re easy, fast, and can be practiced in almost any setting.
Are ready to learn how to alleviate stress in your life and allow your mind and body to relax? Here are the two beginning techniques to self-soothing (Mckay, Fanning, and Zurita, 2015):
One of the easiest ways to self-soothe involves simply focusing on your breath. When you begin to feel anxious, your breathing will become faster, shallow, and more labored. If you take a slow deep breath, you’re signaling to your body that it’s okay to calm down. You’re okay. To begin this exercise, find a place that will be undisturbed for at least five minutes. Sit down with your back straight and place one hand on your stomach. Close your eyes and take a slow deep breath in through your nose.
Notice how your stomach pushes out against your hand as you breathe. Next, exhale slowly out through your mouth. Once again, be aware that your hand moves inward as you exhale. Continue this exercise by focusing on your breath and the movement of your hand as you breathe. It’ll help clear your mind right away. If you are having any trouble focusing, you can even count to four as you inhale and as you exhale.
You cannot feel tense or nervous if your muscles are in a state of relaxation. You can use that fact to help you relax. Start by lying down on your back, legs uncrossed, with your hands at your side. Close your eyes and focus all your attention on your feet. How do they feel? Do they have any tension in them? Become aware of any tension in your feet and say slowly to yourself, “Relax” or “Calm.” Choose one word you feel the most comfortable with and imagine the tension draining out of your feet.
As soon as your feet feel relaxed, slowly move up your body. You’ll want to concentrate on every body part including your calves, shins, thighs, stomach, shoulders as your work up to your head. You want to scan your entire body.
Through this exercise, you’ll not only be relaxing your entire body, you’re looking for places in which you carry the most tension. Soon you’ll be more aware of the spots that carry the most strain and you’ll know which body parts need to be relaxed. Feel free to do this exercise one to two times weekly.
© 2016 Helena