If you find that you have a hard time relaxing, it’s crucial first to accept that it’s perfectly okay for you to relax, that you deserve to relax, and that relaxation is part of a happy, full life. Now that you have permission to relax let’s look at some tactics that you can use every day to improve your relaxation.
1. Breathe – Anytime you feel as if you cannot relax, try some different breathing techniques. One that works very well is to simply breathe in slowly through your nose and out your mouth by counting to four. Count, one, two, three, four, to breathe in, count one, two, three, four to hold the breath in, then count one, two, three, four to blow it out of your mouth.
2. Release Tension – One way to relax is to release the physical tension in your body by tightening up and releasing all your muscles. Start at your toes and move all the way up to your head or vice versa, depending on your preference. Tighten the muscles, then release them, one at a time.
3. Get Moving – Some people have extra tension in their bodies due to a lack of physical activity. Anyone who has anxiety or who cannot sleep at night should first try moving more to see how that works. Everyone should shoot for a minimum of 150 minutes of intentional moderately difficult movement, such as fast walking per week.
4. Get into Nature – Humans need nature. Even if you have allergies to nature, going outside to walk with your feet in the dirt or grass is a great way to encourage your body to relax. If you’re shut in for some reason, try looking at nature pictures online while moving.
5. Eat Right – Eating a healthy diet at least 80 percent of the time is an essential component of being able to relax because you need the vitamins and minerals in the food. If you have any deficiencies, it can show up as sleeplessness and anxiety.
6. Stay Hydrated – Most people are walking around slightly dehydrated. Humans need approximately 64 ounces of water every day unless you live in a dry climate, then you’ll need more. When you note the inability to relax, ask yourself if you’ve had enough filtered tap water today or not before you do something else.
7. Clean Up and Organize Your Environment – Studies show that living in a cluttered environment adds to stress and makes it harder to relax. Try working on one room at a time, starting with your bedroom and workspace. You’ll start feeling more relaxed as you get rid of the clutter.
8. Put Worries into Perspective – If you are concerned about something even if it’s severe, putting worries into their true perspective can aid you in lessening some of your fears. At the very least, help you develop a timeline when you can overcome it. Asking what is the worse thing that can happen and then visualizing that along with what is most likely to happen can help a lot.
9. Journal Away Your Worries – Using your journal to get worries out of your mind is a great way to use journaling. It also sets a time limit to giving thought and attention to the negativity that can get in the way of your relaxation.
10. Visualize Yourself Calmer – If you’re worried about finishing a project, picture it done. If you’re concerned you can’t complete the marathon, picture yourself done. If you’re just worried for no reason find a calming visualization like being at the beach or holding an infant to help you calm yourself.
Being relaxed about your life is an important way that you can reduce stress, get more done, and be generally healthier. People who regularly relax and recharge tend to get more done than those who try to burn the candle at both ends. If your goal is to be productive, focus on adding daily relaxation to your schedule for best results.