With all the hassles that we have to deal with today, it’s really not surprising that many people find it really hard to unwind and relax at the end of a day. You get stressed out all day long at work, the nightmare of a commute home just makes things worse, and then, when you try to chill out, your mind is still racing so fast that you just can’t relax. The trick to being able to relax is to find ways to block out all the troubling thoughts and learn how to forget your problems, just for a while. Easier said than done, you might be thinking, but here are ten tips that can help to teach you how to relax.
1. Give someone a hug
Give your partner, or your kids, a big hug when you can home and that will help to calm you down. When you hug someone that you care about, your body releases hormones that counteract the stress hormones in your body. If you live alone, or you’ve fallen out with the wife, then hug your pet, because that will have exactly the same effect.
2. Talk about your problems
If you’ve had a really bad day; then talk to someone about it and vent some of your anger and frustration. Talking about problems lets you get it off your chest, it helps you to get a better grip on things, and you might even get some useful advice too.
3. Have a shower and brush your teeth
This one is a way that you can psychologically trick your brain into thinking that you are putting your day behind you and starting afresh. Doing what you would normally do first thing in the morning, like showering, brushing your teeth, and putting on a clean set of clothes, will make it feel like a new day again, so you will find it easier to relax.
4. Hide from all the stress
Take an hour to be totally by yourself if you need to. Shut the door, draw the curtains and switch off your phone. Your world won’t come to an end if no one can get you for an hour and it will give you a chance to unwind a bit and gather your thoughts.
5. Focus on the present
You might think that this sounds a bit too ‘new age’, but a lot of people use mediation to relax and calm their minds. You don’t need to go the whole hog and start chanting a mantra to do this, just focus on your breathing, take in what is around you right now, and block out your thoughts of the past, or of the future.
6. Enjoy some music therapy
There have been loads of studies that have proven the positive effect that music can have on the mind and that’s why dentists have taken to playing music in their surgeries. Surprisingly, it doesn’t need to be gentle soothing music, it has been shown that your favourites will be the best thing to take your mind off things and calm you down.
7. Breathe deeply
When you are feeling stressed, your pulse rate increases and you start to take shallower breaths. I know it sounds a bit of a cliché, but, just like your mum taught you, taking deep breaths and counting to ten really does work! Breathing deeply increases the oxygen supply to your brain and that will help to calm you down.
8. Eat the foods that will relax you
Some foods such as; nuts, cheese and chicken, contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which the body metabolises into the mood boosting hormone, serotonin. There are a number of ways that your diet can affect your mood, so check out this post, which will give you the low-down on mood boosting foods.
9. Make Lists
List making can be very therapeutic too. Start by making a list of all your achievements today and then make a second list, of what you will do tomorrow. If you write down a to-do list for the next day, it will get everything off your mind, you will feel more in control, and you will be able to relax and sleep better.
10. Have a laugh
It’s another oldie, but laughter really can be the best medicine. Laughter relaxes you and reduces your stress levels, so put on a DVD of your favourite comedy show and, by the end of the first episode, things should a look a lot a hell of a lot better and you will be able to settle down and relax.
You may also be interested in: