Stress is a normal part of life but being stressed all the time can cause health problems. Having some good relaxing habits can help you feel calm and reduce the stress of everyday life.
Relaxation practices like meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can all help you de-stress. But there is no one size fits all approach – it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. If you are worried about the impact of a relaxation practice on your health, talk to your doctor.
Some of the best relaxing tips are simple, free and easy to do. For example, taking a 20 minute cat nap can have the same benefits as a full on sleep cycle but won’t make you groggy when you wake up. Listening to music can also relax you, as well as reading a good book or watching TV. Exercise can relax you too – try a gentle walk, dancing or yoga. Laughing out loud can make you feel happier and reduce stress. Talking through your problems with a friend can lift your mood, as can getting a hug.
Then there’s visualisation – it sounds a bit hippy but it’s used by Olympic athletes to win medals so it must be good! Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a beautiful beach or somewhere else that feels relaxing to you. Add in the sights, smells and sound of your happy place to really make it feel real.