3 Tips To Help You Relax At The End Of The Day!
The day is over, now all you want to do is to lean back, kick up your feet and relax! It sounds like it should be a piece of cake, right? Well, sometimes the daily stress can be hard to shake. If you meditate, that's a pretty effective way of letting go, but that takes time to master. Here are three tips that are quick and easy and they can really help relax you.
1. Clench and Release
Did you know that your brain is pretty easy to trick into relaxing? Take a deep breath and clench as many of your muscles as you can, as tight as you can. Hold for a 2-count, and then slowly exhale and let them go.
This might sound strange, but it will short circuit the signals between your muscles and your brain. Mental stress causes your muscles to tighten up, and then those tense muscles send a message right back to the brain saying, “Yes sir, we are stressed!”
But, when you clench and let go, your muscles are then telling your brain that they are no longer stressed, and it calms down. Go on, give it a try. Remember to tighten as many muscle groups as you can.
When I do this exercise, I have a problem; I can't tighten my biceps, they end up cramping up which defeats the purpose. So, I don't use them. So, feel free and skip specific muscles that you don't want to stress more.
2. Breathe Using Nice, Deep Breaths
Did you know controlling your breath is one of the most powerful ways to control your stress, tension, and anxiety? It has to do with your vagus nerve. This is the nerve that helps to regulate your fight or flight response.
Deep slow breathing increases activity in the vagus nerve, which then slows down your heart rate and gets the brain moving towards calm. And of course, there's an app for that, as a matter of fact, there are a few of them. But, we don't really need an app, go ahead and try this exercise.
Breathe in nice and slow through your nose for a count of six.
Hold it for a count of 7, and then start to exhale for a count of 8. Repeat this sequence a few times.
I have a problem with the 6-7-8 sequence, I'll generally do a 3-3-3 count, and it works just fine, so find a sequence that works for you. Try and keep the exhale the same or greater than the inhale.
3. A Little Help From Our Friends
Watching the “cute kittie” videos on the web has a fantastic calming effect. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that watching a video of any cute animal has a powerful effect. But, playing with your own pet is even more powerful. It can actually reduce your heart rate and blood pressure in less than a minute.
Maybe that's why there are so many cat videos on the internet!