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Anxiety is a common mental disorder characterized by excessive stress and fear. Anxiety can manifest in mental and physical symptoms such as stress,...
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Anxious thoughts, worries about the future, regrets about the past. Tension and stress have a unique way of infiltrating our minds and overwhelming us. Managing stress and modern life stressors can be challenging.
Fortunately, there are relaxation techniques and practices you can introduce into your daily life to help calm your mind and find peace, event in the time of struggle.
While we cannot eradicate all stress from our lives, we can learn to manage it better. First, begin with an awareness of stress response and the number of stressors you expose yourself to daily. What does keep your mind on constant alertness? What does bring you the most worry?
After identifying issues, you can look for treatment. The possibilities are endless, from physical movement to nutrition, sleep, meditation, and breathwork.
We outlined four relaxation exercises that will relax the mind and are beginner-friendly.
Meditation benefits are manifold and can be felt both physically and mentally. Many studies conducted that meditation has fantastic effects on stress relief, mental health, and even blood pressure control.
There are numerous ways to use meditation to reduce stress and anxiety, feel calmer and even address depression symptoms. But while meditation comes in many forms, at its core, it is the practice of training your awareness and honing your attention.
Visualization meditation is an excellent place to start if you’re new. Just as famous athletes practice visualization before the big game to play to the best of their abilities, you can practice calming visualization meditation to help you stay relaxed or relieve anxiety.
Follow these steps to engage in basic visualization practice:
Continue like this every time you experience an extraneous thought until your alarm sounds. Then, slowly release the picture you’ve visualized. Before you get up, take just a few minutes to exit the meditative state.
Getting into a meditative state will be a swift and easy process for you with regular practice. You will feel less physical tension in your body as you dive deeper into the practice.
Mindfulness is another great practice for promoting peace and relaxation. It is pretty close to meditation, but it is unique in that you can practice mindfulness anywhere, anytime. The goal of mindfulness is to stay present – simple as that.
Here is a basic mindfulness practice you can try while doing a chore activity, such as washing the dishes in your kitchen sink:
Don't rush. Continue washing your dishes in this manner until you finish. Now, take a clean cup and pour yourself herbal tea. For more mindfulness exercises, check out mindfulness meditation here.
Yoga is another excellent way to find peace and calm when you feel your mind racing.
The mind-body connection with yoga is phenomenal. The theory behind the mind-body connection is that what goes on in mind — thoughts, emotions, and feelings — affects what goes on in your body, affecting how you feel physically. At the same time, how you feel physically and how healthy and fit your body is will affect your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Yoga is a practice that considers the mind-body connection and aims to benefit all aspects of your being. While it may seem that asanas only affect the physical side, your mental state changes as you practice. Each pose can strengthen and improve flexibility in your body while stimulating the organs and working on circulation. Every pose is also meant to stimulate the brain, reducing brain fog and inducing focus and peacefulness.
Try taking a yoga class or doing a lesson at home to take advantage of this practice's many benefits. You will leave the mat with less muscle tension, stress, and focus.
Most of us take our breath for granted and underestimate the importance of breath in our life. We believe that because our lungs function all the time, without us having to tell them what to do, they must be doing what they're supposed to and require no improvement. However, this is not exactly true. There are right and wrong ways to breathe.
Did you know that most people breathe far too shallowly?
Many people breathe only the air that resides at the top of their lungs. This causes short, weak breaths that tire you out, and it causes “stale” air to remain in the bottom of your lungs.
Place one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your chest to check yourself. Breathe normally. Do you feel the hand on your belly rise as you inhale, or do you sense the hand on your chest rise? You're a shallow breather if you feel the hand on your chest grade as you exhale.
Ideally, you should take your breaths much further down, gathering up all of the air from your lungs. As you inhale, you should feel the hand on your stomach rising, and the hand on your chest should hardly move.
Breathing exercises are often one of the most valuable techniques for calming the mind and restoring correct breathing patterns. Here’s one to get you started:
Repeat this exercise for five to ten minutes or for as long as possible.
Imagine you’re about to go on stage for a big performance, and your mind is racing a mile a minute. Try this mindful relaxation tip to regain some peace and tame racing thoughts.
Start by going somewhere quiet to center yourself – another room in your house, the break room at work, outdoors, or even the restroom.
If you can, find a chair where you can sit with your back supported. Ideally, you will be able to put your feet flat on the floor. Now, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
This exercise is called square breathing. You might also hear it called box breathing, four-part breathing, or 4x4 breathing. To do the square breathing, follow the steps below:
Repeat this exercise at least four times to relax and relieve stress.
Whether at work or home, we sometimes simply need to step aside and find ways to relax and engage our minds in relaxing things to do. How we unwind is different from person to person. We all have our ways to chill. For some, this could mean stepping out for a few minutes and taking a pleasant walk. For others, it could be playing some type of sport, instrument, doing meditation, yoga, or breathwork. Some just learn how to chill out by watching their favorite TV show or corking up a bottle of wine.
The important part is that we all find the ways that work for us and allow us to calm down, unwind and enjoy wellness and self care moments. Falling back onto relaxing things to do will help us learn how to relax.
To stop overthinking so much, practice mindfulness meditation regularly. Ten minutes of meditation practice each day can make a difference in your focus and concentration, allowing you to shift your attention when you begin thinking about things you don't want to ruminate on.
In some cases, distractions can be helpful as well. Just be sure to choose healthy distractions, and don’t rely on them to keep you from thinking about anything serious. Distractions can be helpful in specific situations when you simply can’t get yourself to stop obsessing about something.
If, for example, you find that it’s difficult to stop thinking about a recent breakup, try distracting your thoughts by spending time with friends, volunteering, exercising, engaging in favorite hobbies, or developing new hobbies.
Sleep disorder is a common health issue affecting millions of people worldwide. The truth is that anxiety and stress often come hand in hand with sleeplessness. Whether bad sleep is caused by anxiety and stress or vice versa is up for debate and may vary from person to person.
Still, one thing is for sure: Calming the mind can significantly benefit your sleep if you typically experience sleep issues. To prolong a deeper state of sleep, try these mind relaxation tips:
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this. Different things cause everyone’s anxiety, and as a result, what gets rid of one person’s anxiety may not do something for the next person.
The best solution is to use some combination of the above suggestions to cultivate a more relaxed mind. Likewise, you might try the following to improve your overall health and wellbeing and reduce daily stress:
When the stress of life gets to you and nothing seems to be going right, it can feel like a storm is raging in your mind. At these times, having at least a few dependable mind relaxation tips in your back pocket is beneficial.
Use the techniques, tips, and tricks mentioned in this article to enjoy a more relaxed mind, particularly in challenging stress and struggle, improve your mental health and reduce stress.
The contents of this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any health-related changes or if you have any questions or concerns about your health. Anahana is not liable for any errors, omissions, or consequences that may occur from using the information provided.