How to relax, doesn’t sound like something you would need to read about, but in all actuality the average human has a hard time getting into a relaxed state. I am one of those people, I have always been a high stressed, highly anxious person. Tense is my name and worrying is my game. I realized how much I sucked at relaxing after getting a massage when I started getting horrible neck pain. The massage took me to a state that I had no idea my body could get to. I wasn’t tense and I felt at ease. I then realized as time went on that while resting in bed, I had to force my body to feel relaxed and it took a lot of concentration. It couldn’t be normal to be that tense, there was no way it’s healthy to walk around all day, even laying in bed, with a tensed up body. To my surprise though, it’s an issue a lot of people deal with- and most of them like me had no idea. So I began to think of ways to truly relax and began trying them out. Check out these tips and try them for yourself, see if you notice any changes in your body- for the better!
1.) YOGA- My #1 go to. Nothing relaxes me quite like Yoga does. I could do it every hour on the hour if I had my way. The good thing about Yoga is that you don’t already have to be in some sort of excellent shape. Anyone can do yoga, no matter how much you weigh, no matter how flexible you are, no matter how many times a week you work out. There is a level for every person and yoga is very customizable. There are ways to modify each pose to fit your level and needs and you can go as slow as you’d like. I sat out the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy and my body started to get stiff, my blood pressure was rising because of how sensitive my hormones have made me, and I wasn’t sleeping well anymore. And of course, my neck pain was back. Now when I get stressed, I kind of crave yoga in a way. And as soon as I finish my routine, I feel 99% less stressed that I was when I started out. You can look up poses online and find out what works for you OR you can look up routines online. I have really come to love Yoga with Adriene. I suggest trying her 30 day’s of Yoga. I am going to try and find some more of her workouts that are pregnancy friendly for me! 🙂
2.) Music: Sometimes switching it on in the back ground can do the trick but try really focusing on it, “getting lost in it.” Did you know listening to music releases Dopamine? The feel good chemical. Turn on your favorite music or some nice soothing sounds, you can google soothing sounds on Youtube and get a great selection. This is probably my husband’s favorite way to relax. He pops on his headphones and lays in the dark forever just listening and relaxing. I like to walk around when I listen to music, so do whatever makes you comfortable when listening to music and get into it.
3.) Watching TV: Funny how I went from Yoga to watching TV but getting lost in your favorite TV show distracts you from your everyday stressors, which is good even if it’s for a bit. While you should probably learn to deal with your stressors head on- it does help to get away from it all for a bit. If TV isn’t your thing try a good book! 🙂
4.) Treat yourself: To a massage, to a coffee, milkshake, a little day trip. Do what won’t stress you out financially later but they don’t call them pick me up’s without reason. Sometimes introducing a small amount of happiness can make an ever bigger difference. Especially getting all the little stress knots out of your body with a massage (yes, they are a real thing). I get them easily and wish I could get a massage weekly.
5.) Focus on the moment: Enjoy the moment instead of looking forward for a change, don’t think about tomorrow, think of the small win you are having in the moment. This morning I woke up dreading my husband having to go to work for 10 hours, then I took a breath and cuddled up next to him telling myself to focus on the joy that I am getting from him being there in that moment. Why should we always allow the future to distract us from our present?
These are small things and some of them may work for you and you may struggle with others. The point is to be aware of your body and the state it’s in and the drive to change it if it’s not where you want it to be. We live in a high paced, high stressed society that relaxation is taken from us most of the time without notice, we can go on being tense for years and then one day realize the impact it has had on your health and our bodies. Take charge of your relaxation and make a change! You’ll thank yourself later! 🙂