Life happens. Working full time, going to school, and staying active can all burden the mind and body. That’s why it’s important to find time to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re someone who doesn’t know how to relax, this guide is here to help. Here are 10 relaxation techniques you should try at home. Whether it’s mindful meditation, talking to a loved one, or giving yourself a much-needed self-massage, these tips will help reduce stress, anxiety, and physical discomfort where you need it.
A common way to relax at home is through focused breathing. Focused breathing is a technique in which you inhale slow, deep breaths while opening up your body and muscles. Then, relax and exhale. Many people find focused breathing to be a calming activity. It helps to time your breaths, so consider a four-second interval as you breathe. To do so, inhale for four seconds and open up your body. Hold your breath and your position for an additional four seconds. Then, take four seconds to exhale. You’ll find that slower breathing techniques help reduce your heart rate and help you relax.
Visualization, also known as guided imagery, is another common technique. It involves sitting or reclining in a tranquil environment and using your mind to visualize positive outlooks in life. For example, many people like to visualize what makes them happy. This can be friends, family, pets, personal accomplishments, and so on. Since intrusive thoughts can hinder the practice, make sure to focus on positive outlooks. This will help calm you down and allow you to focus on achieving more accomplishments in life.
Meditation is similar to visualization. However, visualization is the constructive act of focusing on thoughts whereas meditation is the act of letting your mind wander. You may have heard the phrase “let go of your thoughts” before. Mindful meditation is remarkably similar to that concept. Put some relaxing instrumental music or other comforting white noise on in the background. Then, sit still and allow your mind to wander. The goal of mindful meditation is to reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. A 15- to 20-minute session of mindful meditation is a productive way to start the day and reduce these symptoms.
Engaging in some light exercise can also help you relax. Walking, jogging, and lifting weights are all relaxing activities. While lifting weights may seem like more of a physically taxing activity, many people enjoy the physical exertion on their muscles. Any physical activity is going to release dopamine and serotonin, the two hormones responsible for happiness and well-being. In addition, exercise helps strengthen your immune system and can reduce anxiety and depression.
Many people need a massage to help them calm down. Fortunately, you don’t need to pay a massage therapist to do it for you. Self-massages reduce pain, stress, and muscle tension. You don’t even need to be an expert. Just a few minutes spent massaging sore spots, muscle knots, and pressure points can alleviate discomfort. Use massage oils, lotion, or essential oils to enhance the experience. If your hands aren’t enough, there are many types of personal massagers for your feet, neck, or back that can help.
Similarly, yoga helps improve flexibility. Yoga helps tie exercise and meditation into one activity. Used throughout centuries, yoga helps with mental focus and balance. It’s also beneficial for those with limited mobility or who have health conditions. Before performing any yoga position, do some research. There are plenty of videos and tutorials for beginners to learn simple yoga moves that will have just as many mental and physical benefits as more complex ones.
Positivity is key for self-awareness and positive self-esteem. Therefore, repeating positive mantras in front of a mirror is one of the best relaxation techniques you should try at home. It’s quite simple: stand in front of a mirror and repeat positive attributes about yourself. This could be something like “I did a good deed today” or “I am my best motivator.” Those are just some examples, but the principal factor is that these mantras are self-improving. Positive recognition, even from yourself, helps clear the mind of intrusive, self-deprecating thoughts.
Eat a Comfort Meal
Some people claim that food is the best medicine. In some cases, they’re right. Certain foods, like comfort foods, release serotonin and dopamine into the brain. These feel-good hormones help reduce anxiety and stress. Healthy foods, like lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, are some notable examples. Even so, unhealthy foods—in moderation—can also help you feel better in tough times.
Similarly, don’t be afraid of passive rest. The point of relaxation is to calm the mind and body. There’s nothing wrong with laying on the couch and binging your favorite show. For some, this is a calming activity. If TV isn’t your go-to, read a book or listen to your favorite podcast. Sit outside and enjoy the environment around you. If you truly need to move, active rest, like taking a walk around the neighborhood, will help too. Of course, what you do during your rest time is entirely up to you.
Talk to Someone
Last but not least, talk to someone. Humans are social creatures. Even if you’re not the most extroverted person, sometimes, talking to someone about personal troubles helps more than you realize. Active listening is crucial for establishing social bonds. Reach out to a friend, family member, partner, or someone you trust. They may offer good advice to help you overcome your issue. Even if they sit and actively listen, they’re still there to be a helping hand and shoulder to lean on.
When you’ve tried all else, or as part of your self-massage, sometimes, the best thing to help you relax is a shiatsu massager. Zarifa USA has the best selection of back, neck, and eye massagers on the market. If you have chronic pain, lingering muscle tension, or need something to help alleviate stress, these massagers do the trick. They’re also HSA and FSA complaint. Contact us today to learn more.