Relax, relax, relax. Easier said than done though, isn’t it? You’ve got 364 unread emails, you’ve got nothing in for dinner, and you’ve just spilled that hot coffee all over your brand new pants. How exactly are you meant to relax when all of that is going on?
Quite easily, actually. You don’t need to be heading off to a spa weekend or jetting off for a week on the beach to relax. From sipping on a cup of tea to sprinkling your hands with cold water, here are 14 relaxation techniques that will work almost instantly.
Take deep breaths
The most famous and simplest way to relax quickly – deep breaths. Breathing deeply helps to lower our heart rate and blood pressure, and with that comes relaxation. For those of you who fancy something a bit more fancy, then why not give pranayama breathing a go. It involves breathing through one nostril at a time and is said to balance the mind and body in a similar way to acupuncture.
Drip cold water onto your wrists
Dropping cold water onto our wrists and earlobes is an effective way of relaxing due to the fact that those areas have major arteries passing right underneath the skin. By cooling them, you are helping to calm down and relax the whole body. When stress hits, head for the bathroom.
Have a stretch
When our muscles become tense, then so does our mind. Standing up for a quick stretch or a two-minute walk around the office relieves that tension and with it, helps us feel more relaxed. It also gives us a break from work or the task we are performing and often that can help with relaxation as well.
Get out in the sun
If it is a bright day, go outside for five to 10 minutes. Sunlight can help fight depression by ensuring that our serotonin levels remain healthy. Even if you aren’t suffering from depression, seeing the sun and the world glistening in its light will always lift the mood and help you to relax.
Sip on a green tea
The Incredible Hulk turns green when he is angry, but a cup of green tea can in fact help reduce stress levels. It contains a chemical called L-Theanine which helps relieve anger, and if you aren’t feeling angry, then you are going to be more relaxed.
Mother Nature gave us all the tools we need in order to help us relax with the plant oils she provides us with. These can either be inhaled or rubbed directly onto your temples or wrists to bring about a sense of full body relaxation. Some that you might want to try are lavender, cinnamon, cedarwood, eucalyptus and CBD oil which you can click to learn more about.
Smell some flowers
Mother Nature also gave us flowers which can help us relax. Certain odors can help change our moods and who could possibly stay angry when they are inhaling the glorious smell from a bunch of fresh roses or daffodils? Keep a set of fresh flowers in your office, in the kitchen or anywhere you may need an instant relaxation cure and take a whiff whenever you need to.
Scientists have proven that laughter can help you relax. Having a good chuckle increases our blood flow and with it, helps to keep our bodies relaxed. There is no better feeling after all than uncontrollably laughing at something. You probably don’t need an excuse to take five minutes to look for videos of cats laughing like humans or dogs appearing to drive cars on YouTube, but now you’ve got one – to help you relax.
Eat some chocolate
If you thought that a relaxation technique that gives you an excuse to use YouTube was good, then you’ll love this one – eating chocolate helps you relax as well. A small square of chocolate can calm nerves while dark chocolate, in particular, is good for relaxation as it stabilizes your metabolism and regulates the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
Lay your head down
It’s probably not practical for you to go for a full-blown lie down in the middle of the day, but luckily you don’t need to do that in order to relax. Just resting your head down for a few minutes can help you to relax, especially if you have a pillow, cushion or even a rolled-up jumper to hand. Imagine that whatever you are using to rest your head on is a sponge, sucking all the worries out of your head and leaving you in a relaxed mood to tackle the rest of your day.
Close your eyes
If you can’t lay your head down, then the next best thing is just taking a minute to stand or sit where you are and close your eyes. It instantly takes you away from that chaotic home or work situation, restoring tranquility to the body and returning you to a relaxed state of mind.
Sounds like a school test, doesn’t it? Counting forwards to 10 and then back down to zero can help you relax though. You’ll find it harder to worry about the amount of work you’ve got to complete or the fact you haven’t got your mom a birthday present yet when you are busy trying to remember which number comes before four.
Listen to your favorite song
It doesn’t matter whether you like Taylor Swift or Iron Maiden, listening to your favorite song or artist can make everything seem better. Singing along to a band that you used to love listening to when you were growing up will take you back to your childhood and those happy, less stressed times will provide memories that will help you relax in the here and now.
Squeeze a stress ball
They are called stress balls for a reason. On those days when everything is just too much and you are ready to bite the head off of anybody who crosses your path, reach for a stress ball and give it a good squeeze. It releases tension from your muscles, which as we’ve already noted as a great way to relax yourself.