Is it possible to get in touch with Webster’s to suggest giving a definition a refresher? Seems unlikely, but I would absolutely propose an updated definition for the word relax.
This was a tough one for me personally for a long, long time. I used to be (and still am, depending on the situation) a perpetual ball of anxiousness, nervousness, and worry. In order words, I can find myself stressed the F out and it manifests itself in many different forms. I can become a nervous chatterbox, a recluse, a procrastinator, or a short-fused stick of dynamite. None of which help the situation – like, at all.
We are all emotional creatures, so it’s easy for situations to unravel on us due to stress – it happens. If you find yourself in a situation where your brain is struggling to make sense of what’s going on, your heart begins racing, and you just wonder why the h-e-double hockey sticks you even bothered to get out of bed today, you’re not alone. Stress and anxiety suck.
Living in western civilization doesn’t help. We live in a go, go, go world, where we’re constantly connected, and often struggle to keep any semblance of balance in our lives. Life comes with stress for all of us, and it’s also unique to each of us. It’s important to our well-being to learn how to chill out and relax – body and mind.
Relax your body.
Here, you’ve gotta make like Taylor Swift and shake it off because it’s going to be difficult to get your mind to sink into a state of calm if your body feels like it’s all tied up in knots. Why? “When you live a life full of demands, your body regularly releases adrenaline and cortisol, increasing energy expenditure that can result in muscle tension,” says Gregory Fricchione, MD, director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Here are a few ways to get your body to relax:
- Progressive muscle relaxation. Sounds difficult, but it’s not. Tense the muscles in your toes for at least five seconds, relax for 30, and repeat, working your way through the muscle groups up to your neck and head.
- Take a walk.
- Here are 8 drinks that calm.
- Wearing a hoodie can even be good for your stress and anxiety.
You can never have enough hoodies. Want one that’s super soft and supports a good cause? The perfect hoodie to help you R-E-L-A-X.
Relax your mind.
- Take slow, deep breaths, or try other breathing exercises.
- Here Is a link for a free 10-minute guided meditation.
- Talk to a friend. Your social network is a great tool for handling stress. Talk to others — preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share what’s going on. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong.
- Cut down on social media. The more often people check social media accounts, texts, and email, the higher their level of stress, revealed the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Stress in America report.
- Pick up a pen and paper and write. Some people feel more relaxed after they write about their feelings. One way is to keep a journal.
Life can and will find an endless number of ways to stress you out. It’s important to find ways to help yourself relax.