Winding Down: Tips to Help Keep Your Relaxed
By Brooke Chaplan
Exercise is good for you. Even though it’s a form of physical stress, it leads to a decrease in mental stress. Even aerobic exercise helps you relax. When you tone up your muscles, and improve your oxygen flow, you begin to feel better. Just don’t overdo it. Don’t injure yourself. When you need to wind down, here are some tips to help keep you relaxed.
Spend a few minutes each day paying attention to your breath. It will make you calmer and clearer all day. Just sit comfortably in a place where you won’t be interrupted. Concentrate on your breathing. Watch it rise and fall at your diaphragm, or feel it move in and out of your nostrils. Mindful breathing counteracts stress and brings the body back into balance.
Stretching is a good way to relieve tension in muscles that have been hard at work. It’s not a warmup exercise, but a way to open the muscles after they’re warm. Pilates is a form of exercise that incorporates stretching into its routines. Yoga focuses on stretching and breathing. Restorative yoga classes include very few poses and very gentle stretches. The resulting reduction of tension is deeply beneficial.
Walking in the open air is natural, invigorating, and relaxing all at once. Try to get outside every day. Even the sunshine will elevate your mood. Walking at a good pace strengthens the heart. Strolling is too often overlooked in our fast-paced world. Walking slowly home after a good workout is the best way to wind down from it. Mindful walking is an ancient meditation practice, as basic as breathing meditation. Strolling can be deeply relaxing if done without distractions. Take off the earphones. Try walking with a friend.
Swimming can be invigorating and competitive, or it can also be slow and leisurely. Swimming, which has at times historically been referred to as bathing, is a centuries-old technique for winding down. Even if you don’t live by a beach, you can make a practice of swimming at one of the indoor pools in your area. If you never learned to swim, it’s never too late — or too early! — to learn. Safe swim lessons will acclimate you to the water. Correct breathing will make your swims meditative and peaceful.
Winding down implies winding up. Someone who never exercises may find it difficult to relax. Use these tips to keep you moving in a relaxed mode all day long.
If you like using meditation and want to learn more about it please check out our meditation program.