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  • Written by Diana Smith


Every single person in the world knows the importance of relaxation and rest, but not everyone knows how to relax. It might seem obvious—you just sit don’t, turn off your brain and chill—but since so many things can get in the way of relaxation, you will need some smart strategies to help you on your path to Zen. Here’s how to manage your stress and achieve body and mind relaxation.

Practice breathing

One of the simplest and most effective relaxation strategies is to practice breathing exercises. No matter where you are (at home, at work, in a meeting, at a bar, etc.) you can sit down, put one hand on your belly, breathe in while counting to three and breathe out while counting to three. Make sure to concentrate on how your belly rises and falls and how your lungs expand and your body fills with oxygen. Repeat this exercise until you feel more relaxed.

Mindfully meditate

When you’re stressed, it’s easy to sink into your head and get trapped there. Well, you can leave that toxic space with mindful meditation. The goal of this exercise is to focus your attention on things happening around you. There are different ways to do this, for instance, try to list all the things you can hear—traffic, office machines, people outside, music, birds, wind, etc. Don’t try to change anything, just be content with the things that are taking place.

Go out with friends

One of the best ways to relax is to socialize with the people you love. It might be tricky to go out right now, but if you have the chance, make sure to go out, grab a drink with friends and just unwind. If you tend to avoid evenings outside because you indulge in bad habits like drinking and smoking, you can always find alternatives to these vices. For instance, you can limit your alcohol consumption to two cocktails and switch to water. Or you can ditch tobacco and replace it with something less harmful like vaping. Today you can easily get a hold of the best disposable vape pen that will give you the same experience as smoking, but without any unpleasant smells and extreme health consequences. You can still have fun without wrecking your health!

Have a laugh

Laughter is great medicine for many issues, stress included. Laughing can help you release tension and get you in a better place mentally. When you feel super stressed, you can play a fully TV show, look at memes and play a podcast full of humor to welcome laugher into your life.

Release physical tension

Mental stress goes hand in hand with physical stress, so you need to find a way to relax your body as well. Releasing physical tension can draw all the stress away from your body. Try this exercise: lay down flat on the ground, tense up one part of your body (starting from feet or head and working your way through the muscles) and slowly relax. As you tense and relax, your body sensations will change and you will feel instantly relaxed.

Go outside

Nature has a very relaxing effect on the human body and mind, so if you feel particularly stressed, go on a short walk outside or just find a bench in the park and enjoy the positive vibes. You can’t take a break from work and go out? Don’t worry. According to research, simply looking at pictures of nature on your phone or computer, especially those with a lot of greenery, can help with relaxation as well. If you’re struggling with sleep, you can also rely on nature by playing nature sounds.

Make a list

When we’re under a lot of stress, we tend to only see negative things in life and totally ignore the positive things. So making a list of all the things you’re grateful for can help you focus on good things in your life allowing you to relax. For instance, when you feel stressed, try to think of at least three positive things that happened to you that day, write them down and turn to them whenever you start to spiral again. And those nice events can be really small like eating a tasty breakfast to finding convenient parking or meeting a friend on your commute.

Getting rid of stress is a skill you need to nurture, so practice these stress-relief exercises for a life filled with relaxation and happiness.

 

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