Do you feel like the world is on super drive at the moment? Even though we’ve collectively spent the last 3 months at home in lockdown, things seem to be extra intense. I’m going to share some simple tips I’ve learnt as a yoga and meditation teacher, so you know how to relax yourself when life gets too much.
How To Relax Yourself When Life Gets Too Much
Breath Like You Mean It.
I’ve put this simple tip first because it is the easiest and most effective way to relax yourself. What’s the first thing you do when something stressful happens in your day? Me- I take a deep inhalation and then hold my breath. From then on, my breathing becomes shallow until I get home and can slowly exhale and let the day go. How about you, does that sound familiar?
After that first sharp inhalation, we continue to breathe in a shallow way, which keeps us in the stress loop. Our stress causes our shallow breathing, and then our shallow breathing continues to cause us stress.
How To Relax Yourself Using Your Breath
To break free from that stress loop, I recommend using this simple tip:
Every hour or so, stop and take three deep breaths through your nose. As you exhale, let your shoulders relax down your back.
Imagine that each inhale is the biggest breath you’ve taken all day, and each exhale is carrying your stress out of your body.
This breath practise will serve as a reset for your body and mind. You will feel instantly calmer and refreshed. If you can, try to continue breathing through your nose throughout your day.
Stretch It Out
Have you ever noticed what happens to your body when you’re under constant stress? You start closing in on yourself. Your shoulders hunch, your upper back slumps forward, your fingers curl in, and your head droops forward. All of that folding in on yourself is detrimental to your mental health and physical wellbeing.
Here’s my simple tip to overcome the hunch:
How To Relax Yourself With A Simple Stretch
What I love about this stretch is that it can be done anywhere and at anytime. No one is going to look at you sideways if you’re sitting at your desk or on public transport, I promise you. And if people do, who cares? You’re taking care of yourself, and that is more important than someone else’s misguided judgement of you.
As you inhale, lift your arms above your head, grab your left wrist in your right hand. Then as you exhale, move your upper body towards the right. Pause and inhale deeply, then as you exhale, return to the centre. Repeat on the other side.
It’s a simple stretch that will release tension from your body, it’s also one of those things that come naturally to us, but as adults, we’ve forgotten the practice.
Check-In On Your Body
Our bodies hold on to our stress, whether we’re aware of it or not. One of the simplest ways to relax yourself is to check in on your body. One of my favourite meditation techniques is a body scan. By bringing our attention to each body part, we can systematically relax each part of our body which, in turn, allows our mind to relax.
How To Relax Yourself With A Body Scan.
Even if you’re out and about you practice this meditation technique to relax yourself. It’s easy to practice anywhere you begin to feel stressed; seated at your desk, as you prepare to present a business proposal or even on the bus.
Your upper body tends to be the place where we hold the most stress, so it makes sense to focus your body scan here.
To begin, bring your attention to your left hand and ask yourself to relax your left hand. Then bring your attention to your right hand and relax your right hand. From there, bring your attention to your left shoulder, then your right. Continue in this way, asking each body part to relax, travelling up your neck, around your face to the top of your head.
The whole process only takes a minute or two at the most, but you will feel instantly calmer.
How To Relax Yourself When You Have More Time
The three simple ways to relax yourself that I’ve given you above are perfect for when you’re in public. Below you will find more ways to relax yourself when you’re in the privacy of your own home.
There are so many different meditation techniques that will help you to relax. I have a lot of free meditations that you can try for yourself here.
Sweaty, heart-pumping exercise is a fantastic way to relax your body and mind. Check out my favourite YouTube Channel for some excellent at-home workouts here
I Hope This Helps
I hope this blogpost helps you to get your daily stress under control. You must do whatever you can to keep yourself relaxed as much as possible. We are navigating through so much uncertainty and upheaval, that practising self-care and self-love is more important than ever. Take care of yourself, we need you at your best.