Learning to relax your mind can help when you are feeling exhausted, anxious, or overwhelmed. But despite the fact that many of us know we should take the time to relax, we often don’t have a proper plan to de-stress effectively.
According to experts, the trick is to approach relaxation like you would with a health or fitness regimen. It means incorporating stress reduction techniques into your daily routine, the same way you would schedule exercise.
“To build resilience to stress and anxiety, and allow the mind to rest for improved sleep and digestion, you need to give the body 10 minutes of TLC per day,” says holistic health expert and well-being Rophin Vianney. Ready to try it? With this two-week program of breathing techniques, beginner’s yoga exercises, and simple ways to soothe yourself, you’ll learn strategies that can help you relax.
How to relax your mind – a two week plan
There is no doubt that stress levels are skyrocketing around the world. A to study by the American Psychological Association found that only 58% of adults in the United States feel they are doing enough to handle stress. And, according to to research According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of Britons felt stressed to the point of being overwhelmed.
Additionally, numerous studies have found that common health problems, such as insomnia, stomach upset, or chronic pain, can be blamed on unmanageable stress levels. So if you want to know how to deal with stress, you’ve come to the right place.
Fortunately, there are soothing techniques to help you cope when you feel the negative effects of this modern day problem. Try these simple exercises every day and after just 14 days you will feel calmer, happier, and better able to handle stressful times in life.
DAY 1. MAKE AN EQUAL BREATHING
Learning to breathe better can be beneficial in times of stress. This simple style of breathing is effective in restoring focus and calming the nervous system, and the bonus is that it can be done anywhere.
- Breathe in and out slowly and deeply through your nose.
- During inhaling and exhaling, count to make sure your breaths are of equal duration.
- Continue for at least five minutes.
DAY 2. FIND YOUR PRESSURE POINTS
Acupressure is an ancient alternative therapy that sends signals to the body to aid healing and improve well-being to help combat stress and prevent burnout.
“One of the main pressure points that will soothe and relieve anxiety when stimulated is the Yin Tang acupuncture point located between the eyebrows,” says acupuncturist Renata Nunes. “The CV17 acupuncture point located in the center of the chest, between the nipples, also works to calm the heart and deepen breathing.”
Gently apply pressure for 30 to 40 seconds at a time.
DAY 3. STRETCH YOUR NECK
We often maintain tension in our necks when we are stressed and therefore massage therapist Karen Mack recommends this technique to stretch and relax the area.
If you’ve worked too hard on digital devices, this exercise is also helpful in avoiding getting the painful condition known as technical neck.
- Stand straight with your shoulders pushed down and back.
- Lower the chin to the chest, place one hand on your chin to maintain downward pressure, and with the other placed on the back of the neck, pull the neck up.
- Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, repeating three to five times.
DAY 4. TRY THE GRATITUDE TRACKING
To anchor yourself, take five minutes to write down what you’re grateful for at the time.
There is no need to think too much. Just focus on the little moments and successes that you don’t always recognize, “says psychologist Jan P. de Jonge.” This could include an undisturbed cup of coffee or a surprisingly sunny day.
DAY 5. MAKE A LION’S BREATH
This is a popular breathing technique for stretching the muscles of the face and relieving the tension caused by frowning, grimacing, and concentrating.
- Take a deep breath through your nose and open your eyes wide.
- Open your mouth wide, bringing the tip of your tongue to your chin.
- Exhale while making a long “ha” sound.
- Repeat two / three times.
DAY 6. TAKE A WELLNESS BATH
Run a bath, turn down the lights and sprinkle magnesium flakes in the water. This “magic mineral” is known to relieve muscle tension and promote deep, restful sleep. The benefits of magnesium are well documented.
To research by Yale University found that a hot bath helped people feel better about themselves and less lonely, while another to study by the Japan Health & Research Institute concluded that bathing may be more beneficial for mental health than showering.
DAY 7. DO “LEGS UP THE WALL”
This is an easy, stress-relieving yoga pose that can regulate blood pressure, calm the nervous system, and soothe the mind, says yoga expert Hannah Barrett.
- Lie on your back with your legs resting against the wall, feet parallel to the floor, and buttocks almost against the plinth. On a hard floor, use one of the best thick yoga mats to be more comfortable.
- Keep the knees relaxed, feeling a slight stretch in the legs.
- Stay in position for 10 to 15 minutes.
DAY 8. TRY BOX BREATHING
There are several breathing techniques for anxiety that can really help alleviate the condition. This method is ideal when you are feeling overwhelmed, as it helps you forget about distracting thoughts.
- Sit in an upright position.
- Inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds and exhale for four seconds.
- Repeat this for four minutes or until you feel calmer.
DAY 9. KISS ESSENTIAL OILS
Aromatherapy essential oils have the power to restore your mood and orange oil, in particular, has been shown to be uplifting and calming: it changes our mood and boosts motivation, relaxation and clarity, says Suzy Glaskie. , health coach.
“Put a drop of orange essential oil on one palm, rub your hands together, and breathe in deeply for 60 seconds to get the benefits,” she suggests. You can also try burning one of the best aromatherapy candles to help you relax.
DAY 10. DO THE CAT / COW STRETCH
Stress can manifest as upper and lower back pain, so mobilize your entire spine to release tension and promote relaxation, says Pilates expert Korin Nolan.
You should also try this yoga pose for the posture if you also spend a lot of time sitting at a desk.
- On your hands and knees, start with your spine in a neutral position.
- Inhale, and as you exhale, tuck your butt under and let your head drop, lengthening your lower back.
- Inhale and, on the exhale, reverse the stretch by lifting the buttocks and chin towards the ceiling.
- Repeat five to ten times.
DAY 11. TRYING TO BREATHE 4-7-8
If you want to know how to fall asleep quickly, this common breathing technique can be used at night to reduce rising stress levels quickly.
- Stand with your back straight, allowing the lungs to expand.
- With your mouth closed, gently press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, slowly inhale through your nose for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale audibly “woosh” for eight seconds, keeping your tongue pressed into the roof of your mouth.
- Repeat for four cycles.
DAY 12. GO ON A SOUND WALK
You might already like to walk to lose weight and enjoy the associated benefits, but a daily walk is also a fantastic exercise to calm your mind.
“A ‘sound walk’ is a walking meditation, when the sounds you hear while you are outside are as important as the sights you see,” says wellness author Tania Ahsan. “This mindful approach helps you become aware of the sounds you hear every day and allows you to remember to feel attentive, relaxed, and aware every time you hear that sound.”
To try it out, listen to birdsong, the wind in the trees, or even the hum of traffic the next time you take a walk.
DAY 13. MASSAGE YOUR FEET
If you love an at-home pedicure, take it a step further with this DIY foot massage routine from reflexologist Malini Sarkel – it will calm you down and promote a feeling of well-being.
- Lightly apply a moisturizing cream or oil to your feet.
- Gently rub the sides of the feet using up and down circular motions. Repeat three times.
- Hold the big toes one at a time and gently press down on the middle part of your big toe. When you press, breathe in deeply, and when you release, breathe out deeply. Repeat three times.
- Place your thumb at the base of your middle toe and slide your thumb down in a straight line to the heel while applying pressure. Repeat three times.
- Squeeze one foot at a time with both hands, as if you were hugging the feet with your hands, slowly moving from the top of the toes to the heels. Repeat three times.
DAY 14. RELAX IN CHILD LAYER
Getting into a child’s pose allows for a moment of respite from a busy day and relieves tension in the neck, back and shoulders, says Vianney. It is also an effective yoga nidra pose to help you relax before bed.
- Kneel on all fours with your knees slightly wider than your hips. Bring your feet together behind you and pull your hips back until you are seated on your heels.
- Slide your hands forward, bringing your head to the floor between your outstretched arms.
- Stay in the pose for several minutes.
woman & home thanks wellness expert Rophin vianney; acupuncturist Renata nunes; Welllab Massage Therapist Karen mack; psychologist Jan P. de Jonge; yoga expert Hannah barrett; health coach Suzy glaskie; Pilates expert Korin Nolan; Health psychologist Dr Meg Arroll; wellness author Tania Ahsan and reflexologist Malini Sarkel, for their time and expertise.