Has someone ever told you to “just relax” when you’re in the middle of a stressful situation, and you thought to yourself, “Well, that’s easy for you to say!”
Relaxation actually isn’t easy (and doesn’t come naturally) for many of us. It’s hard not to get caught up in worry during our fast-paced, time-crunched days, whether from work deadlines, financial worries, or feeling like we don’t have enough quality time for family and friends — or for ourselves and our favorite activities.
Even on vacation, have you noticed that it can take a few days to unwind? Learning how to relax is a little like learning meditation — or taking a vacation, for that matter: we can’t just do it once or twice a year and expect it to work miracles! To get better at relaxation takes practice. Luckily, there are a number of easily accessible relaxation techniques and strategies to help us consciously relax the body and mind on a regular basis.
Exercises like deep breathing and relaxation meditations are available to us pretty much anywhere and anytime we need it. Others, like spending time in nature, doing yoga or qigong, or even getting a massage, may take a little more planning.
The idea is to begin incorporating relaxation skills and activities that promote calm and well-being into your daily life. Try a few out and see which ones work best for you.