December 05, 2020

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Take a deep breath. Hold it for a moment, and then exhale. Feel more relaxed? Breathing exercises are one way to relax. Here you will learn about different ways to relax your mind and body. Being relaxed can help ease stress. It can also relieve anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.

  • To relax means to calm the mind, the body, or both.
  • Relaxing can quiet your mind and make you feel peaceful and calm. Your body also reacts when you relax. For example, your muscles may be less tense and more flexible.
  • There are different ways to relax. You may find one or more ways help to calm you down and feel at peace.

How can you relax your mind and body?

There are lots of ways to relax. Some ways are designed to relax your mind and some to relax your body. But because of the way the mind and body are connected, many relaxation methods work on both the mind and the body.

You may want to try one or more of the following relaxation tips to see what works best for you.

Relaxing the mind

  • Take slow, deep breaths. Or try other breathing exercises for relaxation.
  • Soak in a warm bath.
  • Listen to soothing music.
  • Practice mindful meditation. The goal of mindful meditation is to focus your attention on things that are happening right now in the present moment. For example, listen to your body. Is your breathing fast, slow, deep, or shallow? Do you hear noises, such as traffic, or do you hear only silence? The idea is just to note what is happening without trying to change it.
  • Write. Some people feel more relaxed after they write about their feelings. One way is to keep a journal.
  • Use guided imagery. With guided imagery, you imagine yourself in a certain setting that helps you feel calm and relaxed. You can use audiotapes, scripts, or a teacher to guide you through the process.

 

Relaxing the body

  • Do yoga. You can get books and videos to do at home or take a yoga class.
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation. This process involves tensing and relaxing each muscle group. Progressive muscle relaxation can reduce anxiety and muscle tension. If you have trouble falling asleep, this method may also help with your sleep problems. When you relax your muscles, your body gets the signal that it is okay to fall asleep.
  • Take a walk or do some other activity. Making time to do things you enjoy can also help you relax.
  • Get a massage or have someone give you a back rub.
  • Have a warm drink that doesn't have alcohol or caffeine in it, such as herbal tea or warm milk.

 

8 Ways to Stay Calm During a Crisis

1. Slow down.

If possible, don’t react immediately. Instead, be patient and collect as much information as possible. Ask yourself, Is this really going to matter a year from now? If the answer is yes, step back to remove yourself somewhat from the situation. Instead of seeing yourself as an active participant, try to view yourself as a representative of your company. This perspective will help you remain less emotional and improve your ability to make decisions.

2. Stay positive. 

When stressful situations occur, your mind may go in a thousand directions and some of your thoughts may be negative. The more your mind wanders, the more difficult it will be for you to remain calm. Stop yourself from beginning to imagine the worst-case scenario. Instead, let go of negative thoughts and refocus your mind on something positive, no matter how small.  

3. Never ask “what if?”

This worst question you could ask yourself or others in the middle of a crisis begins with "what if." This line of questioning induces sheer panic and forces you to process situations that have not occurred and may never happen.

“What if” questions compound the fear and escalate the problem. Say your company has failed to deliver a project on time. Your first instinct may be to think, What if my client decides to hire someone else? That thought could easily lead to the question "What if I don’t make payroll this month?" Instead, focus on the facts and work on a solution.   

4. Take care of your body.

If you make your personal health a priority, you’ll be better equipped to handle a crisis. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and receive plenty of sleep. Exercise lowers the level of stress hormones and helps the body function at its highest level. By improving your health, you’ll increase your self-control, memory and emotional intelligence -- important characteristics that will help you respond well to an emergency. 

5. Limit caffeine.

When you’re in the middle of a dire situation, you might be tempted to run to the break room to grab a cup of coffee. Caffeine may trigger a release of adrenaline, giving you a quick burst of energy and physical strength, only to be followed by a crash marked by fatigue and irritability in some cases. Instead of reaching for that cup of coffee, soda or an energy drink, hydrate yourself with water.

6. Call a trusted friend or mentor. 

Use your support system and don’t be afraid to ask for advice with a stressful situation. Someone who isn’t emotionally invested in the situation will be able to see the dilemma from a different perspective and can help you arrive at potential solutions. When you reach out to people you trust and respect, you’ll feel more grounded. That security will help you control your stress and anxiety. As you explain the situation, you may even start to share your thoughts out loud, which might prompt you to discover a new approach or solution.

7. Disconnect.

Pull away from the situation for a while, even if only for an hour or two. When you give yourself time to process a dilemma and the surrounding emotions, you’ll be able to approach the situation with a fresh perspective.

8. Develop a coping strategy.

A crisis may require you to put in long hours at the office or spend weekends working at home. If you remain in a prolonged state of stress, you may cause long-term damage to your health and undermine your ability to make rational, informed decisions.

To better cope, develop a ritual you enjoy. Perhaps you'll choose to meditate in the morning. Take regular walks or sign up for an exercise class. Short exercise breaks can increase stamina. These techniques can help you feel more empowered to handle many situations.

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Last modified on Saturday, 07 November 2020 16:09

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