We live in an increasingly stressful world. Long work hours, heavy traffic, disconnection from nature and too much screen time all contribute to our collective stress levels rising.
To relax our minds is no easy task in today’s world. Here are five of the best ways to relax, de-stress and reconnect with your body:
1. Get a massage – Massage is a great way to relax the body and mind. The link between the two is much stronger that most people realise. We hold stress in the body, a physical release is just as much a mental release.
2. Walk in nature – We should be connected to the world around us. Living in cities, especially in apartments and surrounded by artificial, well, everything; we lose that connection with nature.
Go out and hear the sounds, breathe the fresh air, take in the sights and just be in the moment. You will soon lose yourself in the experience and problems will wash away out of your mind.
3. Breathe deep – Many of us have lost the skill of correct breathing. When we are stressed, when we do not exercise or when we have bad posture; we start breathing through our chest instead of our stomach.
This leaves us using only half of our lung capacity, and brings with it a whole host of problems, not least high stress levels.
Practicing deep breathing techniques, even just for a couple of minutes per day, can lift a huge weight off your shoulders.
4. Yoga – A great way to ‘get out of your head’ is to get into your body.
Yoga is a very therapeutic, healing form of exercise. Focus on the postures, on stretching the body and breathing deeply. It is a great way to relieve stress, stay healthy and strong all at the same time.
If you’ve never tried it before, have a go at a beginner’s yoga class.
5. Meditate – The final suggestion is meditation. For thousands of years people have used meditation as a way to relax, relieve stress and control our thoughts.
Check out a meditation app, set aside 10 minutes where you can sit quietly and not be disturbed and give it a go.
If you’ve never done it before, you will probably find it difficult to start with. That’s normal. Stick with it for a few days and you will soon get the hang of it. The benefits are worth it.