Life can be stressful and anxiety-provoking. From juggling work and kids to dealing with financial concerns, the coronavirus pandemic, or chronic health issues, our modern lifestyles can cause stress. Learning to relax is key for a healthy mind and body.
Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine to reduce the effects of stress. While some may require a professional like massage or acupuncture, many can be done at home. For example, meditation and mindfulness practices are effective stress-relief tools, which you can try by simply sitting in quiet or taking a quick walk. Other techniques include yoga, tai chi, and qigong, which combine rhythmic breathing with movement, and deep stretching that can help with flexibility and balance. Incorporating probiotics and fatty fish into your diet can also reduce the risk of anxiety, as well as drinking less caffeinated beverages.
Another way to relax is by focusing on your senses, such as the sound of birds chirping, the smell of freshly cut flowers, or the feel of a cool breeze against your face. Visualizing these things can relax the muscles and clear the mind. For a deeper level of relaxation, go to your “happy place”—an imagined calm and soothing setting that can ease the mind and lower blood pressure. Creating something with your hands can be a form of self-care, too; whether it’s knitting or coloring, getting so focused on the activity that your worries melt away can be calming.