Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Successfully Relax
Relax your shoulders.
What just happened then?
Did they drop, were you more aware that your shoulders were up by your ears?
Or did it not change anything at all, which is ok, there is no wrong or right.
Some of us are visual learners, some kinesthetic, some auditory, and some of us are a mixture of all of those.
Which is why, if you have ever been to a fitness class, pilates or yoga session, and were told to relax by the instructor and you found that you couldn’t, it could be that you just aren’t an auditory learner.
Maybe a light touch to your shoulders would help, maybe a cue you can imagine feeling “imagine your armpits are feeling heavy, dropping down to meet your hips”, maybe you would love to see it happen I another person and the penny would drop, you would the get it, and follow along.
If you knew how to relax you would do it, right?
Why would you choose to be tense, wound up tight like a spring?
Yet day to day we continue to be tight, tense, clenched jaw, tight hips, lifted shoulders.
Here are 3 ways you can un coil yourself, un wind and let go of that tension
- Place your hands on your lower belly, and breath in, push into the hands, push that belly out as much as you can. Pause. Then breathe out as much as you can, as the belly comes away from the hands, and towards your spine. Repeat 10 times, 4 times a day. (not only does it calm your brain, it also helps switch on your deep core muscles, a bonus!)
- Give yourself permission to have a walk today. Not just to work or home again, but a walk somewhere different. Maybe to the park, to the woods, to the beach, somewhere where there are trees, flowers, plants, water, somewhere you can see and feel nature. Just a few moments here. That’s all you need. If your time is short, take a different way to work or home, rather than rushing and not seeing anything,, look up, look around, take note of the tress and the sky, the clouds, the sun, the rain, the wind, the leaves. There are many studies carried out in Japan on the benefits of relieving stress by using a technique they call “Tree Bathing”, which is just walking in nature, to help reduce stress, to help manage the stresses of modern life.
- Sleep . Switching off the laptop/mobile/i-pad an hour before you are going to bed makes a lot of difference. It helps your brain unwind, your eyes relax, your body can begin to relax and get ready for sleep. Having a bath, reading a book, meditating for 10 minutes, all help relax the mind, which helps relax the muscles in the body.
These days we work out, we train, we push ourselves, which is good for the body and we love the results working out brings.
When we understand that working out is also a stress on the body, we can overdo training on top of an already stressed out body, we place relaxation close to the bottom of the list of things to do.
Which is a shame as we are missing out on a trick here.
Doing less, relaxing more, giving ourselves permission to have more happiness, a calmer brain actually helps us find more strength, reduce body fat and have a healthier nervous system.
Starting with the boss of your body, your brain, can be the novel way to look at working out, giving you the edge, giving you inner strength, which always shows on the outside.