relax

If you’re feeling edgy and wound up you’ll know how good relief and relaxation feels. It’s almost like holding your breath and finally being able to exhale deeply. While practices like meditation and yoga are fantastic to incorporate into your day to keep stress levels under control, sometimes you need a quick fix to bring levels back to earth.  Here are five of the best.

1.     Shift your gaze upwards – Staring up stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers blood pressure and helps slow the speed of your breath. Add some backwards counting to completely rid your mind of distractions and shift your focus.
2.     Write it down – Jotting down your worries or stresses on paper can help you to regain a sense of realism. Confining your concerns to a notebook and setting it aside for the next day can also be a great strategy to help with sleep.
3.     Breathe deeply – Deep-breathing helps slow the heart rate and calms the body right down. Try breathing in through your nose, holding, and then exhaling through your mouth 10 to 20 times for instant calm.
4.     Mini mediation – Guided imagery can help provide a temporary escape from everyday stress. Try imagining that you’re floating on a cloud high above the earth. Focus on what you’d be able to see/hear even smell to completely engage all senses.
5.     Consciously release tension – The natural response of the body to stress is to tense up causing pain and discomfort. Progressive muscle relaxation can help release that tension. Try slowly tensing and then relaxing your muscles from your head down to your toes.

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