Life is unpredictable, and while there are times when you feel like you’re on the top of the world, there are times when you just need to be able to relax your mind and body. Pronto.
When these moments happen, you do not have to panic and stress yourself out even more. Here are 20 ways you can relax your mind and body quickly and easily.
1. Drink tea.
Green tea is preferable as it contains theanine, a substance that is known to calm one down. There are, however, many other kinds of tea which have a calming and soothing effect, chamomile and jasmine being a couple of examples. Find out more about relaxing teas here.
2. Eat dark chocolate.
Not only does the mere idea of indulging in chocolate make you feel better almost instantaneously, but dark chocolate actually does induce changes in your body. It regulates the levels of stress hormones and can even relieve headaches.
3. Chew some gum.
It may be irritating when others chew gum non-stop, complete with that smacking sound, but chewing gum for a few minutes can help you relax quickly.
4. Lie down.
Even a short period, say 5-10 minutes, of lying down in a comfortable and quiet environment will quickly relieve you of stress. You can even extend this to 20-30 minutes and nap if that is possible.
There are many different kinds of breathing exercises, but even the simplest one will help relax your mind and body.
Try this: breathe slowly and deeply, counting from 1 to 8 (count each inhale and exhale), and then starting over again. After 5 repetitions or so, you will start to feel the calming effect.
For more breathing exercises to relax your mind and body, read this.
6. Think of your happy place.
We all have our happy place – or places. One of mine is under the sea, snorkeling for hours and gazing at the coral reefs teeming with life. I had this experience years ago, but I still go to this happy place when stress sets in. Find your happy place, and go there when you need to relax.
7. Get a massage.
The benefits of massage have been proven – from soothing your aching body to calming your anxious mind. It can even help with some physical conditions. If you cannot get a massage immediately, then give yourself a short, targeted one.
Massaging your hands can relax you quickly. The same goes for your feet, your temples, and the back of your neck.
8. Pamper Yourself.
You don’t need a fancy, expensive spa package to reap to benefits. Draw yourself a bath, light some candles, and sink into a bubbly world of ecstasy. Afterwards, reach for the Neutrogena skin products and give your skin the pampered treatment it truly deserves.
9. Go outside.
If you can, step out for a few minutes. This change in environment can have immediate relaxing effects on your mind. If the weather cooperates, then you’ll even have an easier time of it.
10. Look outside.
If you can’t go outside, just have a quick change of perspective by looking outside your window. Seeing a different scene can help relax your mind and body.
Stretching helps relieve muscle tension, and as your blood circulation is stimulated, you will feel your mind and body relax.
12. Look at a photo/image that you know you like.
This is one reason it is good to have an inspiring painting or photo at work. It can be a tangible alternative to your happy place.
13. Put some tunes on.
Whatever kind of music puts you in a good mood, play it! Make a playlist on your computer or portable music player and label it “Relaxation” or whatever suits you. Whenever you need to relax your mind and body, put the playlist on.
14. Light scented candles.
Aromatherapy is one of the best ways to relax your mind and body, and if you can’t get to a spa to get the full she-bang, just light a scented candle or two. I always have scented candles – vanilla and lavender are my favorite – on my bedside stand so I can relax my mind and body as I prepare for bed. You can place these candles at your desk at work, too.
Even if you’re not a writer, write down what you’re feeling and what’s making you feel that way. You don’t even have to keep a journal. Write on any piece of paper and throw it away after you’re done if you want to. It’s the writing process that will relax your mind and body.
16. Eat a banana.
Bananas are full of potassium, which is quickly drained when you’re stressed. While the banana will give you energy, it will also have the effect of making you feel relaxed because your stress is somehow dealt with physically.
I believe humans are wired to have playtime incorporated in our lives. If you’re feeling too stressed and really need to relax your mind and body, take a time out and play. This can mean anything from going outside to splash your feet in the pond to actually playing a game on your phone or tablet to playing with your pet or child.
18. Talk to someone you know will make you feel better.
There is always that one person in your life that makes you feel better just by being there to listen. They don’t even have to say much.
19. Plan a trip.
Plan a trip to somewhere you want to go. Whether or not you actually go on that trip does not matter at the moment. What matters is that you make yourself feel better by thinking of that trip and things you will do/need to do.
You may feel weird, even stupid, if you smile at nothing – more so if you don’t really feel like smiling. However, the mere act of smiling will help you relax after a while. Just keep at it even if you feel silly doing it.