Have you been putting off that project for several months, or still haven't joined your friends for a movie night? Have you been stressed at all lately? Let me share with you my many paths to relaxation. Try implementing two new ideas each week and feel your stresses melt away.
Paths to Relaxation
1. GOT GAME?
A night with friends might be all you need to relax. Trade your night at home alone, by teaming up for a "game night" with some friends.
Get physical and share a few laughs with a few rounds of Twister, or keep it mellow with Scattergories, Pictionary, and card games. Or, beat the real estate market and play Monopoly. If you love 'active rest', set up your "dance pole" and enjoy some pole dancing.
Health Tip: Instead of cocktails, have everybody bring their favorite fruits and make smoothies, or try different teas.
Pick up a book and escape. Travel with a super spy, dabble in the supernatural or follow a pair of lovers on an exotic journey.
Channeling your mind's imagery to faraway and unknown places can be a guilty pleasure that will have you forgetting your stress in no time.
3. GO AWAY
Indulge spa and salon style in your own city with innovative body therapies. From expert hair styling to the ultimate manicure, pamper your cares away. Indulge in a soothing massage, or go for an invigorating facial.
For example at Canyon Ranch Spa locations you'll find inspiration and unexpected delights in your lovely accommodations and every place you exercise, relax, dine or explore on your own.
There are many proven health benefits to exercise, one of which is the bodies release of endorphins. Setting aside time for fitness is easy, when you get creative.
Make it mandatory to ride a stationary bike or do crunches and leg lifts every time you are watching television. While working on the computer use an exercise ball to engage your core muscles which in turn, improves posture.
5. THAT'S CLASSICAL
Music soothes the soul, and in stressful situations (work deadlines, exams, breakups, moving, weddings, babies), playing classical music can act as a cause to slow down your breathing and heart rate.
Many scientific studies have shown that the brain exhibits different behavior when listening to classical music and one of those behaviors is that it causes the release of chemicals that make you feel better. These are the same ones that get released when you exercise.
6. JOT IT DOWN
Stresses in life come in the form of noise, family hardships, job loss, and financial challenges. Grab a notebook or take to your computer and keep a diary log of what is bothering you or what has transpired during your day. You'll be surprised how good it feels when you put your feelings down in writing.
7. GO FOR A NEW HOBBY
Try a new skill or revisit an activity you loved as a child. Spending an hour or two a week doing something creative can take your mind off of life's stresses. Have you always wanted to learn how to paint, learn sign language, or play the piano? Relax and have fun at the same time!
8. SLEEP ON IT
You might find that sleeping a bit more will help you handle difficult situations easier. There is good reason for that as lack of sleep, or poor sleep quality may just be the leading cause of stress.
Plan an extra half hour of sleep each night or take a 15 minute power nap if you can squeeze it into your day. After a quickie nap, you will have "recharged your batteries" and be able to cope with your personal challenges with renewed energy.
If you are having troubles sleeping at night, you may want to consider trying melatonin, which is a hormone that supports healthy sleep patterns, in addition to these great sleeping tips.
NO COFFEE, WINE OR CHOCOLATE
Doctors agree, these three indulgences are "sins" late at night, as they upset your gut and cause you to have bad sleep. Always remember to avoid coffee, wine and chocolate within two hours of sleep.
THE EIGHT HOUR MYTH
Do you know how many hours of sleep you need at night? I need eight, while one of my friends needs nine hours and another needs just five! The eight hour rule should be broken.
Try to go to bed the same time every night permitting adequate sleeping time, and see if there is a pattern to how long you sleep without using an alarm clock. It could be that your motor runs smoothly with seven hours of sleep, or you truly need a full eight or nine.
NO MORE TV IN BED
Keep your bedroom as a place of rest. Associating your room with entertainment may be a mental trigger. If you want entertainment, just wait for the "Get Cupid" tip.
THE PERFECT NEST
We spend about one third of our life sleeping! If this isn't enough to motivate you to finally invest in a quality mattress and pillows, I don't know what is. Build yourself the perfect nest and enjoy a dreamy rest and waking up refreshed.
Going to bed with too many clothes and covers, can prevent you from falling asleep. Just as in the story, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" where her oatmeal had to be just right, so does your body temperature.
Limit your layers, and consider having a warm bath before bed. Creating the perfect temperature will help you keep your cool and ensure better quality sleep.
If you have loud roommates, disturbing traffic outside, barking neighboring dogs, or a snoring husband then buy earplugs today! Within just a few nights you will never sleep so well without them.
9. GET DIRTY
Find a place on your property and start a garden. Whether you plant your favorite colorful roses and poppies, or cultivate organic fruits and vegetables, the time and effort invested in a garden (indoors or outdoors) will create feelings of purpose and accomplishment.
10. MIND GAMES
"Don't let your mind play tricks on you," so the saying goes. The Buddhist monks teach that we must realize that all of our thoughts and stresses, stem from our own mind. People and situations aren't stressful, it's how we choose to feel about people and situations.
Your feelings come from within you and your mind. It's time for you to choose to relax and let your stressful thoughts go, the moment you feel stress coming on, take a deep breath, slow your breathing and let your stresses go.
Easier said then done, I know. Try using 5 to 10 minutes of complete silence in the morning and at night. Within a week your meditation time will leave you feeling more in control of your thoughts and feelings. Life will become easier to live. Remember, it's all in your mind.
11. EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES
Simply put, get rid of bad friends! Have you ever wanted to stop drinking, or start eating healthier? Who you surround yourself will make a huge impact on how close you get to reaching your goal.
Months of failing will result in frustration and on goes the cycle. Find friends who are loyal and dedicated in supporting your goals. You will be happier person for it.
12. EAT FROM THE EARTH
Do you ever feel heavy and sluggish after a large meal of pre-packaged foods? Fatty foods slow down your digestive system, and will leave you feeling heavy and depressed. Eating a fast food meal may stress you out because of the guilt and slowdown you feel afterwards.
When I am preparing for a contest my body feels like a Ferrari. Good cars need good fuel and your and I are no different.
Foods from the earth will keep your body and mind running in peak conditions. Try eating more natural fruits and vegetables for a month and you will notice the difference.
14. LET'S DANCE
Did you use to visit clubs with friends and hit the dance floor? Remember feeling carefree? Or perhaps you have never tried dancing.
Get outside your shell and try joining your friends for a night of dancing, and burn a few calories at the same time.
15. LET IT FLOW
We are all artists, and taking your favorite medium and laying it to paper is creative freedom. Even if you have never drawn or painted before, buy yourself some art supplies and have fun.
By laying your paint brush to paper, you are freeing your inner child, which may have been kept silent for many years, perhaps decades. Let the paint color flow, as you express your emotions.
16 GET CUPID
Whether it's cuddling with your partner or spending quality time with someone you care about, a little love time is de-stressing time. When you can be yourself, do and say things without worrying about being judged, you can relax.
Spending time with people that you are comfortable with is the perfect way to chill out, and if they are your lover, then enjoy the perks from that relationship. Sex has been proven to reduce stress and boost immune function.
Wrapping it up
Stress can get the better of you if you let it. Your life is 100% under your control; well, at least your reactions to life's challenges are. Always remember, you are in control of your own mind and as a result you ultimately choose how to react to situations.
We are all individual of each other and may find unique ways to relieve stress. Take time to listen and learn about yourself as you develop a better sense of which path to relaxation is right for you.
SEE WHAT I SEE?
We have all been in situations where we felt like the world is over. Perhaps you have lost your job, or your car won't start. Regardless of what your are experiencing, you need to take a moment and view it from another perspective.
Look at the bigger picture and you may see that your situation isn't as bad as you first thought. Step back and look at your situation from another perspective. We often see situations with tunnel vision. "Look outside the box." Everything is ok.
JUST DO IT
Putting things off until "tomorrow" creates stress. Tomorrow may never come. Whether it is chores, fitness, work, studying, doctors' visits or something else, it always becomes a bigger and scarier problem when you put it off.
It's best to make sure you get things done as soon as they need to be dealt with. Clear your emotional clutter by just doing it!
Many people are not happy with their work, and go month after month, living unhappy and in a very stressful state of mind. Life is easier when solutions are found, to fix problems, which could mean quitting a job, learning ways to cope, or transferring to another department.
Make this agreement with yourself, "I will resolve to get stressful events out of the way, and resolve stressful situations as soon as I can."