Tuesday, 01 January 2019
Modern life can make us feel under pressure to always be busy and active.
However, being under constant stress is tiring and will make us unwell, if we don’t take time to recharge.
As well as doing physical exercise, adding some relaxation techniques into your routine needn’t take long and can really help to improve your overall health. Here are some simple mindfulness techniques to help you achieve a state of calm and relaxation:
1. Gently Gaze Out Of The Window
Find a comfortable chair near a window, sit with a straight back and feet flat on the floor. Breathe in deeply, and slowly exhale the cares of the day. Gaze calmly out of the window. Don’t try to notice too much, just allow your eyes to soften. See how your body relaxes when you don’t have a definite focus in mind. What do you see in your peripheral vision? Where is the horizon? How is the sky looking?
2. Tapping For Relaxation
Starting at your feet, use your knuckles or your fingertips and gently tap up your body. Pay attention to how it feels. From your feet, move up your legs via your calves to your thighs. Tap the torso and along both arms. Also tap the back of your neck and your shoulders - most people carry a lot of tension here. Gently tap your face with your fingertips, around your eye socket, although not directly on the eye itself. If you focus on the physical sensations, you might notice that your thoughts change pace and your breathing calms.
3. Take A Mini Holiday In Your Chair
Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Imagine yourself back in time when you were on holiday in your favourite place, somewhere calm and peaceful. Recall the temperature, the sounds, smells and sights, including the smallest details. Your body and breathing respond to these memories as if you were actually there, so spend some glorious moments in your mind. This technique works just as well if you were to create your perfect imaginary place too.
4. Colour Or Doodle
Take your pen for a wander around a blank piece of paper, with no plan or design in mind. If you’re stuck for where to start, try drawing repeated circles and see what develops. This will boost your creativity and help you find your rhythm. If you prefer, use a colouring book and have fun making the page come alive with your favourite colours – this is a popular pastime for many, so there are lots of beautiful colouring books available. And there’s no pressure to keep within the lines!
5. Sit And Listen To The World
Switch your devices to silent, close your eyes, sit quietly and listen to your world. As you pick out each sound, label it in your mind - car driving, maybe there’s a siren wailing, people might be talking outside, birds singing, wind blowing, dog barking, and so on. Slowly withdraw your attention from the sounds and gradually tune into the sound of your own breathing. Spend a couple of minutes listening your body - you may even hear your own pulse! Gently bring your focus back to the sounds around you, and when you are ready, open your eyes. You will feel more refreshed and in the present moment.
6. Body Scan With Your Eyes Closed
Sit upright, with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your attention to the top of your head, and pass your attention through your head, neck, arms, torso, legs and feet, scanning for sensations. Ignore the temptation to adjust your body for now. Instead, on your second scan, imagine warmth or sunlight spreading through your whole being. On the third scan, allow your body to relax and let the tension melt away. This classic relaxation technique is a reliable way to be in the present moment.
7. Breathe With Your Eyes Closed
Sit with your back supported, legs uncrossed, and eyes closed. Take one deep breath in and exhale slowly. Then, find a gentle rhythm of ‘breathe in, hold the breath, breathe out’. There are many patterns that work, start simply by inhaling, holding and exhaling for a count of 6 each. Repeat the cycle at least 10 times. If you breathe out as if blowing through a straw, and make the exhale longer than the inhale, you will find it even more relaxing.
All these mindful techniques help you press the pause button when it comes to your busy daily life. They will also help you make more positive choices in how you react to day-to-day stresses. If your mind wanders during these exercises, simply bring your attention back to the technique, without judgment. The activities will seem easier or harder on different days depending on the pressures you might be facing. Don’t worry, just spending some time trying to relax your mind is more than enough.
Make sure you have a suitable chair for relaxation. If you need something a bit comfier, then look at our Extensive Range of Chairs. If you have any questions, please contact our friendly team who are always happy to help.