As National Relaxation Day on August 15 approaches, it has us thinking about ways to wind down. It seems like there’s never time for rest and relaxation in the midst of our busy lives and schedules. Everyone has their own interpretation of what relaxing means to them. For some, it means curling up on the couch with a good book, zoning out in front of the television or going for a long run after a busy day. As helpful as these methods may be at the time, they actually do very little to reduce the harmful effects of stress, according to Help Guide.
It’s good for your body to relax. It certainly doesn’t take a long weekend trip to a spa to relax and reduce stress (although that does sound nice). In fact, there are several fast and effective methods to help bring down stress levels in your body.
Be mindful of what you put into your body.
What we eat and drink can have a positive or a negative effect on our bodies. There are an unlimited amount of dietary options that can help you de-stress and balance hormone levels in your body. An easy option is a cup of herbal green tea, because it contains a chemical which is known to naturally reduce angst and anger. Next, the perfect excuse to indulge in chocolate! Dark chocolate helps regulate levels in the stress hormone cortisol to stabilize your metabolism. Finally, mangos are a great (and delicious) option. This is because they hold a compound called linalool that helps lower stress levels.
Tip gathered from Greatist.
Relax your mind. You can soothe your mind by trying breathing exercises and mindful meditation. The goal with mindful meditation is to focus on what’s happening in the present moment. It’s important to listen to your body, especially when it comes to your breathing. What is it trying to tell you? Fast breaths, slow breaths and shallow breaths all mean something. Note what’s happening to your body without trying to consciously change it, you’ll likely gain a better understanding of your feelings and improve your overall self-control.
Tip gathered from Michigan Medicine.
Music sets the mood.
Music can subconsciously impact your mood and mindset, depending on what kind of music you are listening to. Music genres trigger people in different ways. For example, rap can trigger some people to want to party or even speed in the car, depending on the lyrics and beat. This means it is important to be mindful of the music you choose to add to your playlist. Music can affect more than just your mood, it can also affect your heart rate and brain waves. Make yourself a playlist of songs that bring you joy and help you feel relaxed and pop in your headphones. Music has been shown to boost happiness and reduce anxiety, so it’s time to turn on some jams!
Tip gathered from Woman’s Day.
So whether it’s changing your diet, remembering the importance of relaxing your mind or making that new playlist, find a method that works best for you to de-stress and relax. In the midst of our hectic lives it is still important to find some “me time”, and National Relaxation Day is the perfect day to start!