The lost Art of Relaxation…
I decided to create this Blog after reflecting on how busy people’s lives have become.
How taking time out to Relax has become a source of guilt, rather than a pleasurable experience, how taking time in silence and slowing down, doing nothing as we may see it, is something to be avoided when it is actually what we really need to be doing much more of.
By taking time out for ourselves and settling our energies, calming our mind & re-charging our batteries we create an abundant source of energy, a calmer mind, a healthier body, better sleep, more confidence, we feel happier and more content, our digestive systems function better, we reduce the need for prescription drugs to get us through the day, and night!!
We are constantly stimulated by busy lives, mobile phones, computers, TV, online shopping, constantly chasing the next thing, the next personality figure, a thinner body, prettier face, the perfect, job, car, partner. Competition is rife between families and people.
Our children are under extreme pressure to succeed in school and with outer school activities more available than ever, we are teaching our kids to be busy too. Kids actually need to be bored sometimes for their own growth and development.
I would love to see Relaxation taught in Schools, in the Work place, and in homes, I would love to see it prescribed by Doctors instead of anti-depressants and sleeping pills.
Within the science of Yoga & Meditation there are so many tools to help support us. In my own experience I have practiced, and found great benefits of taking time out to Relax.
For me Relaxation is not only beneficial, it is CRUCIAL for a happy and healthy life.
So here are my 10 top tips you can easily put into place to help you take time out to Relax.
Check in with you.
Learn to get out of your head and into your body.
Take a few moments throughout the day to close your eyes and check in, do a body scan and start to recognise when you are stressed, your signs and symptoms, (anger, lashing out at people, feeling trapped, feeling low and depressed, feeling weepy and emotional, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, tight shoulders, digestive issues are just a few) where do you hold that stress in your body, and use a few of the techniques to counter that stress before it becomes a problem.
Time in Nature.
Our bodies love to move. Give yourself time out in Nature, a walk in green, if you can, a daily walk is recommended, but anytime overwhelm or stress or tension start to get the better of you go outside. Visualising or actually having your bare feet on the Earth is so very beneficial, when we feel anxious it is often because our awareness is in our head, bringing awareness to our feet helps to settle us.
Dance, some gentle movement is great to release stress and tension, a gentle Yoga practice and some lovely stretches can be a daily practice to release tension, also to give you chance to check in with how you are feeling each day.
Life has become so serious, it’s so good for our immune system to laugh. Watch a funny film, go into the park and play on a swing, dance like no-ones watching.
Be kind to yourself, give yourself permission to laugh, spend quality time with your loved ones and friends and have fun.
Make sure you are eating at regular intervals through the day, and hydrate yourself, going without food can result in feeling ungrounded and light headed, natural food is so important to keep us feeling calm. Stay away from caffeine and sugar as both can leave us feeling jittery and anxious.
If sleep is an issue for you, creating a good bedtime routine can be a huge help. Try to switch off computers, phones and TV’s by 10pm. These activities stimulate the brain and eyes into action.
Better to have a lovely relaxing bath, a few drops of lavender oil is very helpful. Cammomile tea is also great for relaxing and getting us off to sleep. Add in a tense and relax relaxation technique just before sleep and you should head off into a lovely deep slumber.
If you get into bed with a stimulated mind, or wake up in the night thinking and planning, I find this little trick very helpful. Lay on your right side, block off your right nostril and breathe in and out though the left nostril, this will switch you onto your calming side brain and get you back off to sleep in no time.
Living in the moment. We spend 40% of our time worrying over the past 40% of our time worrying about the future and only 20% of the time being actually here and now when this moment is all we actually have. We worry over things we can do nothing to change (past) and over things that will probably never happen (future) by enjoying our lives moment to moment, we save ourselves so much stress and anxiety. Take a conscious breath.Just by closing your eyes and taking 1 conscious breath can help to let tension dissipate, if panic and anxiety attacks are a problem for you, cover your nose and mouth with cupped hands, and breathe in and out a few times through your nose to re balance the blood chemicals and you feel more settled.
Holding a hand Mudra can be very beneficial and instantly calming. The Mudra of inner security. Sit comfortably. Clasp all the fingers together. Bring your focus to your breath, breathe out you may like to Affirm. I am OK. All is well.
We have all the tools within us to feel completely safe and secure. Our breath can be a great indicator as to where we are. If our breath is shallow, this will send a signal to the brain that we are being threatened. By deepening and lengthening the breath we send a signal to the brain that all is well. We can also affirm this while holding the Gesture of Inner Security.
Relaxation & Meditation.
The key to everything. Take time out of your busy day to consciously Relax.
Lying down or sitting. Take your awareness around your body. Starting with your feet and legs, tighten them and on your next exhale let the legs release, repeat as you move through your body, finishing with your face. Rest in stillness for a few moments.
A few minutes each day in quiet Meditation can unfold a whole new world of health benefits, a calmer mind, more inspiration and creativity, a happy and more positive outlook on life. Sitting comfortably, with your spine upright, scan your body consciously relaxing each part in turn, let your focus rest on the breath. Stay here for a few moments resting in stillness.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Many times we worry about things that very rarely happen.
If you find yourself worrying, write down your worries and look at solutions to them. If this was the worst thing that could happen, what would be the solution? Write it down and then give yourself permission to forget about it.
Everything will change, life is all about change, and in the grand scheme of things, how important will this be in 1 month from now? 1 Year from now?
Take the higher perspective, let go of controlling everything and let life unfold. There is usually something much better waiting for us just around the corner anyway.
We waste so much time worrying and trying to control outcomes, and people and so little time really living our lives.
Begin a daily Relaxation practice and I can guarantee your life will change, you will not sweat the small stuff, or the big stuff ever again.