You don‘t have to be on edge with stress to appreciate the various relaxation therapies offered here. Some are ancient and some are modern, but all will help you create a peaceful, reflective space in your daily schedule.
Take A Nap
Napping is a simple, effective way to relax. it will refresh you, helping you stay alert during the rest of the day.
Don‘t fight it. The midday drowsiness that used to be attributed to digesting lunch is now recognized as a natural part of our body‘s rhythms
You’ll find that a short afternoon nap is especially restful Naps taken in the morning are usually lighter sleep. Naps taken in the early evening, on the other hand, will probably only cause you to postpone your regular bedtime.
Sleeping isn’t necessary for a good nap. Merely lying down and resting can be just as restorative and might be ouster if you work in a busy office.
A good nap need only be 15 to 20 minutes long, Make sure you keep your nap to under an hour, Longer naps will you groggy.
Napping isn’t for everyone People who have trouble getting to sleep at night will find that napping worsens the problem. Others will find it hard to walk completely from a midday nap.
White out your thoughts at the end of the day.
excellent way to relax, and it may help you examine things that have been bothering sou.
SOOTHING SITES AND SOUNDS
What is soothing to the senses will soothe the nerves as well. Enjoying beautiful places and sounds is an easy way to calm yourself.
Taking a walk in the park will let you look and listen instead of thinking and worrying. Also effective is walking through a local aquarium or taking a stroll in the open countryside.
Music hath charms. One way to quiet yourself is to listen to music with a tempo just slightly slower than your heart rate. Classical suggestions include Bach‘s Brandenburg Concerto no. 4, 2nd movement; Bach‘s Orchestral Suite no. 2; and Ravel‘s Mother Goose Suite, 1st movement. New Age stores may also be able to help you find relaxing instrumental music.
Wind chimes can be soothing if you appreciate their gentle, random melodies. Aluminum or copper chimes, tubular in shape and 12 to 18 inches long, produce the most pleasing sounds.
Consider a video nature tour. Relaxation has entered the electronic age with the introduction of these videotapes. Large video stores and some direct—mail catalogs offer a wide selection of tours showing national parks and other scenic wonders.
Time off whether a two-week vacation or a weekend trip is usually very effective in reducing stress. If you are planning time off because you need to unwind, be sure you don‘t over-schedule yourself. Allow for lazy time on a beach or just rambling through the countryside.
Developed in the 1930s, progressive relaxation uses the mind to overcome tense muscles. Here‘s how to do it:
- First, find a quiet place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and begin by making tight fists with your hands. Hold for five seconds, then relax, paying close attention to the draining of tension. Do this three times, noting the contrast between tension and relaxation.
- Next, repeat this sequence with various muscle groups: arms, forehead, mouth, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, hips, thighs, lower legs, and feet. Try to limit each stretch to that particular muscle group. Concentrate on the pleasurable feeling of release as you let go of the flex.
- At first, it may take you 15 minutes or more to go through the routine. But once you become proficient, you can use it as needed, completing the routine in five minutes.
TAKE A BATH
A warm tub is a daily oasis for a lot of people. Relaxing in a warm bath will ease the effects of tension and put you in a better state of mind to deal with your troubles. Remember, the bath should be warm, not hot.
Some well-chosen herbs in your bathwater could make your soak even more effective. For help in choosing the right herbs, see ‘Add Spice to Your Bath’.
A whirlpool bath and a steam room are two of the nicest features that a health club can offer. Before you try either, ask your physician‘s advice. Both should be avoided by people with cardiovascular problems and by pregnant women. If you do get approval from your doctor, you‘re sure to enjoy the experience. While whirlpools or steam rooms may seem uncomfortable at first, you‘ll find that the intense heat can be surprisingly soothing. Use them on their own, or to relax after exercise.
Make a joke out of a tense situation and it will immediately lose some of its weight. Humor is now widely recognized to be therapeutic. Fortunately, humor is readily available in books, tapes, and videos.
Yoga is an ancient practice from India that combines stylized poses, deep breathing, and meditation to produce benefits for the mind and body. When practiced correctly on a daily basis, yoga can help improve posture, strength, and flexibility. It is also a powerful way to beat stress.
To get the most from yoga, it is essential to learn to do it correctly. Having a qualified teacher is a necessity for learning proper technique. If you would like information on what to look for when choosing a yoga instructor, write to the American Yoga Association, 513 South Orange Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
Zen meditation involves contemplation of the self through the use of koans, which are riddles or paradoxes. The study of Zen meditation requires a teacher. For help, look for ads in New Age magazines, or ask for advice at a New Age bookstore.
How to Meditate
Meditation may seem as far removed as the Himalayas, but this relaxation technique is easy to learn and effective. Try this simple routine for five minutes at the end of the day or throughout the day as necessary. Remember that meditation gets even more effective with practice.
Sit with a relaxed posture. You should feel comfortable without moving. Try sitting either in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor or on a firm cushion three to six inches thick.
Keep your back, neck, and head upright. Relax your shoulders and find a comfortable place for your hands (usually, on your knees).
Focus your attention on your breathing. Pay attention to your breath as it flows out and in. Whenever you find that your attention has moved elsewhere, just note it and let it go. Then gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
When you are able to concentrate on your breathing without becoming distracted, try to expand your awareness around your breathing, to include a sense of your body as a whole.