So, you’ve made the smart decision to relax more and boost your health. Now what? Acknowledging the importance of relaxation is an important first step to a healthier and more rested you, but how do you plan to achieve some peace when relaxing hasn’t been your go-to health move?
Thankfully, there are a wide range of ways to relax. Some physical, some mental, and all of them are beneficial. Since you are unique, what you consider relaxing may vary from someone else. That’s why it’s important to try different techniques until you land on a handful that do the trick.
Before you start, consider what your top stressors are
If you are a white-collar worker, your stress may include traffic, deadlines, dealing with difficult people, etc… A primary care giver may face stress dealing with children, overwhelming amounts of laundry and endless sticky countertops. If you work with your hands, your stress may include sore muscles, long hours, and fatigue. Whatever you do, there’s specific stress involved.
Determining what the top stressors are can help you identify what type of relaxation has the most benefit. You may intuitively know ways you’d like to relax and unwind, or you may need to explore options until you land on ones that work best.
Standard relaxation techniques include:
- Breath exercises
- Yoga or Tai Chi
- Listening to music
You may enjoy all, some, or none of these ideas or you may have something else entirely that helps you relax.
There’s no rules to relaxation…except this one
Relaxation is a state of being free from tension or worries. Whatever puts you into that state is relaxing; however, some things seem relaxing but they contribute to stress. Be mindful that whatever activities you are engaging in are truly relaxing and stress free.
If you enjoy gaming but find you are wound up like a top trying to beat the next level or compete online with others, it may not be as relaxing as you think. If you enjoy sports, but find you get worked up being too competitive, it may not be your best form of relaxation. If listening to true crime podcasts excites you and triggers anxieties, you may need an additional relaxation technique.
Whatever relaxation activity you choose should help you decompress your mind, body, and spirit, and allow your mind to ease from worries and your body ease from stress. If the activity doesn’t promote this sense of wellbeing, it may not be truly relaxing.
Explore any and all activities that seem to be relaxing and see what you think. Also, don’t get bored doing the same thing all the time. Find new, fun ways to relax to keep yourself interested, engaged, and entertained while you relax.