As simple as this may sound, breathing exercises are one of the best ways to relax. You can do these anywhere so you can find ways to de-stress whenever your day gets too hectic.
1. Sama Vritti or Equal Breathing
With this breathing technique, you start with an inhale for a count of four, and then you exhale for a count of four. Make sure to do this all through your nose as it creates a natural resistance to your breath. Try this throughout the day when you are stressed or before bed to ease your mind.
2. Abdominal Breathing
You can do this technique sitting up or lying down. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose so your diaphragm is inflated with air. You will want to take about 6 to 10 slow, deep breaths per minute for 10 minutes. This is a great technique before a stressful day, such as a presentation at work or an exam.
3. Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing
With this technique, hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril. Once you've inhaled all the way, close off your left nostril with your index finger and exhale through your right nostril. Continuing, inhale through your right nostril, close your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left. This is a great technique to bring balance and energy, so don't try this before bed!
A great way to relax at the end of your day is by cuddling with your pet. Whether it's a dog, cat or even a stuffed animal, cuddling is a must.
Cuddling releases oxytocin, which is a feel-good hormone, allowing you to feel at ease almost immediately. By cuddling, you can let your mind and body rest without worrying about everything you need to do. In fact, petting your furry family member also helps relieve stress and lowers your levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Another plus is that seeing your pet caring for you boosts your self-confidence. Don't have a pet? Don't fret, your favorite stuffed animal will do the trick! So go ahead and cuddle away!
Music is a great tool for relaxation. You can choose whichever type of music you're in the mood for, like pop or even classical. In fact, classical music is a great genre to listen to in order to relax and wind down. It slows down your heart rate and lowers blood pressure which in turn lowers your stress hormones, allowing you to relax.
Music is great for mediation of the mind as it is perfect for distractions. It can prevent you from thinking too much and allows you to forget about whatever it was that was bothering you or causing your stress.
The great thing about using music to de-stress is that you can use this tool anywhere. Whether you're in your car, walking to class or just hanging out in your room, music is always there to help you stay calm.
Do you come home stressed after a long day of work or school? You might feel run down and exhausted, but staying inside will not help take your mind off of things and de-stress. My tip for clearing your head and getting a much better nights sleep is going for a sunset walk.
The best times to go for sunset walks are when it's a bit warmer out, unless of course you don't mind the cold. You don't even have to go anywhere special, just a simple walk around the block will do. The colors are very calming and even some clouds can make it iridescent. Leave your phone at home and enjoy the beauty of the sunset and you'll be surprised at how relaxed you'll feel.
Being near the water is extremely calming. You can forget about everything and simply get lost in the beauty of nature. Listening to the water and feeling the cool breeze allows you to appreciate everything you have and enjoy the moment.
If you live near a beach, that is a great place to go to just to listen to the waves and watch the water. If you don't live near the beach, don't worry, there are many other options to get the same relaxing feeling. Find a local lake or river for you to take a walk around; it doesn't have to be huge to be relaxing. Feed the ducks and just watch the wonders of the world around you. Before you know it, you'll forget what you were stressed about.
Gardening is a great way to relax and keep you occupied. It has so many benefits that you may not even realize! Sitting outside in the sun is great for you because natural sunlight is a mood lifter and gardening will prevent you from spending all day indoors. You can plant anything from flowers to vegetables and make use of everything that grows in your own backyard.
If you simply plant flowers, the beauty of your yard will be enough to bring a smile to your face. You can take some of the flowers and put them in a vase in your home which will actually elevate your mood! There are certain plants that can survive the colder weather so you can keep your garden beautiful all year long.
Keeping your own vegetable garden is a great way to eat healthy and organically. This is another great way to make sure you spend some time outside every day because you need to keep watering your plants. You can grow vegetables like zucchini and peppers or even herbs like rosemary and basil. Use these when you cook and your meals will just keeping getting healthier which will make you feel amazing.
Yoga is a wonderful thing to make as a staple in your life. Whether it's for exercise, stretching or calming your mind, yoga does it all. You can do it in the morning to clear your head for the day or when you come home to de-stress. It's important to always take a few minutes to yourself each day to relax, and yoga is a great option for that.
Here a 5 yoga poses that will help you unwind and relieve some of that every day stress:
1. Cat-Cow Stretch
This pose is perfect after a long day of sitting at your desk because it stretches out your back and allows you to calm your mind.
2. Child's Pose
This is a resting position that allows your to clear your mind and stretch your back, releasing any tension.
3. Corpse Pose
This is the most calming pose of all. You just lay flat on your back and breath deeply to relieve any stress.
4. Downward Dog
Downward dog stretches out your legs and your back, so you can shake off the stress of your day.
5. Triangle Pose
This pose is wonderful for a full body stretch, stress relief and digestion.
Okay, I should start by saying that I have an obsession with candles, especially scented ones. Scented candles are just a great way to relax any time of day. The great part is that you can choose whatever scent you love best! Different scents have different benefits, all of which are great for relaxation.
This is a great option if you are having trouble sleeping. Lavender helps to calm the body and mind, which allows your thoughts to stop racing so you can actually get some well needed sleep.
This luring smell is not only great for relaxation, but also for your mind. Cinnamon helps to sharpen the mind to have a better memory and attention span.
The scent of an apple is known to help with headaches, which makes this a great option for when you're stressed and your head is throbbing,
This is wonderful for alleviating stress and decreasing anxiety. Getting stressed with school or work but it's July? Get a pine scented candle and enjoy that very same scent any time of year.
This is a great mood booster! Not only that, but it is proven to help with relaxation. It is a very mellow scent and let's face it, who doesn't like vanilla?
This scent helps keep you alert, but it is also proven to help with depression. It elevates your mood and keeps away those negative thoughts.