The Beginner’s Guide to Relaxation

A little stress sometimes helps me stay motivated, but I try very hard at having a good work-home balance in my life. I know too many people who have spent years of late nights at the office and now have deteriorated health because of that stress. For me, I think one of the most stressful times in my life was when I was a stay-at-home mom with two young children. Nobody is immune to stress.

Stress has been linked to a lot of health implications. Most notably are heart problems and dementia.

The good news is that relaxation is the antidote. If you want to feel well, feel more energetic, work well, deal with situations calmly, sleep

better, and enjoy better relationships with others, it is very important to put priority on relaxation time. The importance of relaxation cannot be overemphasized.

Five health benefits of relaxation:

  1. RelaxRelaxation protects the heart.
  2. Relaxation boosts the memory.
  3. Relaxation lowers stroke risk.
  4. Relaxation keeps you from depression.
  5. Relaxation helps in making better decisions.

Getting started on your path to a more relaxed life:

I understand that carving out time for relaxation can be a bit…well, stressful. So to get you started, here are few ideas you might incorporate into your life to promote relaxation.

  • Don’t worry, be happy.

Don't Worry Be HappyThis life is short, and worry doesn’t accomplish anything. Focus on fun and enjoy your life! (Read my post on The Power of Positive Thinking to help you attract more happiness.)

  • Set realistic and achievable goals

Set SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. If you have big goals, deconstruct them into chunks that are achievable.

  • Learn to say, “NO”

NO is powerful. Learn to say NO a lot so you can say YES to what matters. YES to life, YES to health, and YES to happiness.

  • Exercise Your BodyExercise the body

Exercise regulates the heart. It sets the blood pulse into the perfect cardiac rhythm. Exercise makes you confident. You can start exercising today. Start with an early morning walk, play tennis, or learn yoga using free yoga video on youtube.

  • Exercise the mind

Read anything! Read fictions, thrillers and add some non-fiction books. (Check out Amazon books for great deals.) My mother-in-law is nearly 90 years old and she has always done crossword puzzles and plays Scrabble. She is sharp as a tack, and in nearly 30 years I have only beat her once in Scrabble!

  • Practice this simple deep relaxation technique

Meditate to relaxDeep relaxation comes in different names such as meditation, mindful breathing, and Yoga Nidra. Meditation is becoming more mainstream because the immense benefits are becoming better known.

The  process is simple and you can practice deep relaxation in the office or at home. The emphasis of the relaxation technique is focused on purposeful, calm, slow breathing. To practice deep relaxation, follow these steps:

  • Choose a room where you won’t be disturbed for at least 15 minutes.
  • Sit on a comfortable chair or lie on a mat or blanket.
  • Play soothing music in the background.  if you choose.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  • Focus on your breathing. Feel it as the air enters your abdomen and as it leaves.
  • Stop when the timer sounds.

Stress affects us all. Try to incorporate some or all of the relaxation techniques discussed above to reduce the stress in your life. Please leave a comment sharing any successes you’ve had with relaxation techniques.

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3 Replies to “The Beginner’s Guide to Relaxation”

  1. So true. I don’t even realize I’m crazy stressed and I realize my jaw is throbbing! I will try to be more aware…. I would love to try yoga. I do know that stress causes an increase in the production of the hormone cortisol. This causes the body to store belly fat. Doesn’t seem fair….. stress and big belly!😲

  2. Hi Beth, taking a yoga class is something I’ve always wanted to do. Check out the above link to one of the many free yoga videos o. YouTube. Thanks for the comment!

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