Practicing how to relax should be part of everyone’s everyday routine, however for some, it’s not so easy. A busy job or lively family life, can result in even 10 minutes to yourself being something which is hard to come by. We understand that finding time to relax and switch off is something that everyone would love to prioritise therefore we wanted to share some tips on what the benefits are and what it truly means to relax.
Now, you may be thinking, of course I know how to relax (when I get a chance!), I watch tv, I go for walks, I read my book, I cook etc. All of these hobbies are great and should be enjoyed as much as possible however there are other ways you can switch off, reset and calm your mind.
For those who may suffer with anxiety or stress or any other similar issues, practicing relaxation can help reduce those symptoms allowing your mind and body to be still. We investigated the topic of relaxation on the Mind.Org website and recommend you use the Mind website for further reading, it’s super useful!
So when should you practice relaxation?
This may seem like a silly question, as most people, as we said earlier would like to do it as often as possible however this can be something you engage with daily, weekly or as often as you can.
Try not to treat it like a task but use it as a tool to exercise your mind, just like you go to the gym for your physical health, practicing relaxation can be your mental gym!
It’s important to be in the right space, situating yourself in a room with a comfortable temperature and enough space with no interruptions so you can feel fully calm.
The Mind org website recommends:
- Lie down or sit with your back straight and your feet on the floor. Close your eyes or focus on a spot in the distance.
- Start by clenching your toes as much as you can for a few seconds then releasing them. Notice the difference between the two feelings.
- Match this to your breathing. Tense your muscle as you take a deep breath in, and relax as you breathe out.
- Move up your body to your thighs, your stomach and all the way to your shoulders and hands, clenching and relaxing each muscle in turn. Take time to notice any parts of your body that feel tense, tight or tired. You can repeat if you still feel tense.
- Take a moment to relax, then slowly and gently begin to move. When you feel ready, you can stand up slowly.
Other exercises the Mind website recommends to practice relaxation are drawing circles and being mindful in nature. You can find more information on these techniques here.
We hope this exercise aids your efforts and gives you a few minutes out of your day to reset, recharge and be grounded.
We’d love to hear how you relax, share with the community and the team at [email protected]
If you have any personal development topics you would like the team to dive into, please also email us: [email protected]
Syft’s Community Team