“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
- Sydney Harris
In my recent posts, I have underlined the importance of relaxing more by highlighting two of my favourite ways of relaxing: meditation and yoga. Today, I am going to add to your relaxation toolbox by discussing two more of my go-to relaxation strategies that I use when I feel the need to relax in a pinch.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation:
Have you ever suddenly relaxed your facial muscles only to realize that you were frowning? This is a typical by-product of stress and can happen without us even noticing. As we hold a lot of our stress in our muscles, we become more prone to chronic muscle pain and other related issues.
Progressive muscle relaxation can help you not only combat muscle pain, but it can also help you quickly relax. This technique, which can be done either in a sitting or lying position, requires you to tense and subsequently relax different muscle groups – holding the tension for about 15 seconds and then releasing it. I find that starting at your feet and working your way up to your head is most effective. Anxietybc.com has great resources on how to fully benefit from progressive muscle relaxation.
I briefly touched upon the importance of breathing in my post on meditation. Breathing, and in particular deep breathing, can be very effective as a method of relaxation, which is why I feel the need to elaborate upon it here.
If you have ever sought professional help for anxiety, chances are they suggested deep breathing as a calming method. Deep breathing appears to be one of the most effective grounding strategies, and if done correctly, can be truly transformative.
The Calm app, which I briefly discussed in my post on meditation, offers a guided deep breathing tool. This incredibly helpful feature allows you to follow a visual to make sure that your breaths are deep, regulated and uniformed, all of which are key characteristics to successfully executing this method as a form of relaxation.
There are so many different ways to relax. I have highlighted only a few of my favourite strategies. My goal is to communicate the importance of incorporating more relaxation in your life by choosing a method that works best for you.