It’s not unusual to feel anxious at times, when there’s a legitimate threat to you or a loved one’s safety or welfare. But if anxiety has become a constant presence in your life, it’s a great idea to learn some techniques to learn how to relax and enjoy life more.
How Can I Relax My Mind?
For many people, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV with a beer at the end of a long day. But this really doesn’t help in the long term to reduce the damaging effects of stress.
Here’s some intentional relaxation tips to help you get started on living a normal life even if you have anxiety issues.
There are many different ways to relax. They typically fit into one of two categories – active or passive relaxation.
Let’s take a closer look at each method, go over some examples and then wrap it up with a simple conclusion about why we all need a good mix of both forms of relaxation.
Active vs. Passive Relaxation
The easiest way to define active vs. passive relaxation is with an simple example. Let’s start with the obvious…sleeping which is a form of passive relaxation. On the other hand, an activity such as going fishing would be a type of active relaxation.
Most types of relaxation techniques. fit somewhere between these two extremes. For instance, meditation is generally passive but the mind is still somewhat active. Reading a book or watching a movie is another good example. These are more passive activities than going for a walk, hike, or run.
Ideas For Active Relaxation
Most forms of exercise fall into the active relaxation category. Go out for a walk or hike and enjoy nature is one great way to actively relax. Taking an exercise class or going for a run is another great option. And these types of activities are often more fun when you do them with others.
You might want to get the whole family involved by going for bike rides together, taking them swimming, or spending a fun day playing and running around in the park or yard.
I’m a big fan of yoga a form of active relaxation. Not only does it tone your body and help to increase flexibility, but it also helps to calm the mind and spirit.
Ideas For Passive Relaxation
Make some time to lay down for a nap in the afternoon to relax and recharge. You can also just sit or lay down for 30 minutes to practice some guided meditation.
Many people love to curl up with a good book at the end of the day to unwind and de-stress.
Meeting a friend for coffee, or just inviting them over is a great way to relax. If that’s not possible, get comfortable and call them for a long, relaxing chat. This is something that tends to get lost in our digital age. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned phone call!
Even something as simple as pouring yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and enjoying it while you browse through a magazine is a good option.
I think you’ve got the ideas! Brainstorm three to five ways to relax passively that sound like they might work for you. These can be things you’re already doing, or something you’ve always wanted to make time for.
Then come up with some ideas for active relaxation. Keep your list where you can easily refer to it, and then make an intention to do try activities from both lists on a regular basis.
More Ways to Relax Your Mind From Stress
Try to avoid multitasking. While we think we’re being more productive, multitasking can stress us out even more. Try to do one thing at a time and really focus on it.
Note your mood, then choose your activity. If you’ve had an awful day at work, listening to head banging music is probably going to ramp you up even further. And you probably won’t be able to focus on a book. Try going for a slow walk outside to clear your head.
Do what’s relaxing to you. This can mean different things to different people. Many people like to unwind by doing something with their hands. This doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, I love to use stickers in my journals and planners. It’s fun and doesn’t require too much brain activity.
It’s pretty important to keep mixing things up. We need to work in more physical activity and get out there, but also need time to relax our body.
Remember, it’s all about balance. Practicing both active and passive relaxation techniques on a daily basis will help to reduce anxiety and handle stress in a much calmer way.