Top 10 Tips for Relaxation
, by Melissa McGinnis, 10 min reading time
, by Melissa McGinnis, 10 min reading time
To protect your well-being, it's important to learn strategies to effectively manage stress. Here are 10 strategies that can help you hit the reset button and recenter.
Add some Epsom salts and a couple of drops of essential oil (such as lavender) for an even more salubrious soak. If your skin is sensitive limit your bath to 10 minutes or less.
Add a diffuser to send the pleasant scents floating through the air. A long, stressful day should always be capped off with something pleasant and relaxing. Baths relieve muscle tension and help to prepare you for a restful night of restorative sleep. Pleasant scents help create an environment to encourage mental escape.
Looking for something different? Try a CBD bath balm. The fizzy fusion of pleasant aromas and calming CBD is exactly what you need to wash your worries away.
It often goes unnoticed, but scents affect us emotionally. Certain scents are automatically appealing and can change our mindset. For example, lavender has a notable calming effect, while citrus is energizing.
Smell is directly linked to memory. Familiar scents, such as those that remind us of Christmas like cinnamon or pine needles, can remind us of good times, and make us feel happy. Ongoing research investigates how aromas promote sleep and help manage anxiety and depression.
There are various essential oil recipes to remedy a negative mood. Try adding these essential oils to a diffuser:
We commonly hold tension on our neck, back, and shoulders. Sitting for 8 or more hours per day at an office job can exacerbate this problem. Getting a regular massage from either a professional massage therapist or even your partner can help alleviate the stored stress in our bodies by skillfully manipulating muscles and pressure points to help you relax. Simply having another person care for you feels incredibly good on its own. Don't forget to get your hands and scalp massaged too—it feels incredible!
To increase the healing benefits of massage, try using a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil with added essential oils.
Taking time to be in the present moment is hard to do! We go through much of life as if we're on autopilot. Ever notice how you can be driving to work only to realize that you have no idea how you got there? We even eat mindlessly, which completely removes our ability to indulge in the fine flavors associated with a favorite food. Furthermore, we torment ourselves by endlessly ruminating about past behaviors or worrying over potential negative, future outcomes. We forget to live in the present and suffer as a consequence.
Mindful meditation helps us escape a harmful pattern of thought, and as a result, it helps to reduce anxiety, cools a flared temper, and sharpens your senses.
If you have never meditated before, it's easy to start! You can see benefits by doing as little as 5 minutes a day a few times a week.
Here's how you can get started:
We all know exercise is good for building muscles, maintaining a healthy weight, and improving pulmonary and cardiovascular function. Did you know regular exercise can also improve your mood?
Regular exercise helps to boost your mood and relieve stress. When exercising, many do not ruminate or worry so exercise tends to function similarly to mindful mediation. Also, the flood of feel-good neurotransmitters and endorphins ensures that the positive vibes last long after we've finished our workout.
Nearly any form of exercise from weightlifting to yoga will help reduce stress. Don't worry if you're not a natural athlete or if you feel out of shape. A little exercise, including a brisk walk, can go a long way toward stress management.
Can't go to the gym? The internet is full of free bodyweight exercises you can do at home. No equipment or gym membership necessary!
Research shows that being surrounded by natural scenery, such as trees, flowers, water, and mountains, can reduce anger, fear, and stress while simultaneously increasing pleasant feelings.
Take a hike along a forested path or mountain trail. Take a stroll along the shore of the ocean or lake. Notice the sounds of the birds singing, waves crashing, or even the surprisingly delightful sound of your feet stepping along the path.
If it's not possible to get out of the modern man-made environment, simply stand outside and get some fresh air and sunshine to elevate your mood. The white walls and fluorescence lighting in many homes and offices often make it difficult to relax. Try adding a few plants to your home or office for a more natural feel.
Too much exposure to the news and social media can increase our anxiety and increase feelings of loneliness. When we feel stressed, we can bottle it up or seclude ourselves.
Talking to a friend or family member about how you feel can do you a world of good. Even if you live far away from friends or family, there are many online tools to help you stay connected via video chat. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone you trust for emotional support. Talking about your problems can help you to put it in perspective, and to realize you're not alone.
In general, being around others lifts our spirits. We smile and laugh more when we're with other people. Positive interactions with others release feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, such as oxytocin and dopamine. Finding new ways to connect “face-to-face” even from afar, can be pleasantly rewarding.
Adaptogens are herbs and plant-derived ingredients that help the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological.
One clinically proven adaptogen is ashwagandha, which helps to relieve the negative effects of stress according to a double-blind study. It increases the body’s ability to resist and recover from stress while stimulating an overall feeling of balance.
Research is ongoing to examine how CBD may improve stress, anxiety, and depression. Pure CBD does not have any of the THC found in marijuana. CBD won't make you high, but it can help you to relax. Try CBD in pure oil which can be mixed in water, juice, or a smoothie or even tasty gummies.
The problem? If you're like most people, getting a good night’s sleep isn't easy. Our bodies have internal clocks—the circadian rhythm—that cycles over a 24-hour period. Unfortunately, these natural cycles get disrupted in our modern environment.
Here are some tips for improved sleep:
NIH Sleep: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11983310