Relaxing is a lot harder than it should be. You would have thought that a bit of ‘me time’ should be easy, but when there’s emails piling up in your inbox, washing that needs to be done and money troubles littering the back of your mind, suddenly ‘me time’ takes a backseat. Though, it really shouldn’t.

There are hundreds of ways to make friends with stress and calm yourself down and it’s just about finding the right methods that work for you. Testing out some of the following techniques could be the first step in changing one of the biggest parts of your life.

1 – Meditation

One of my favourite ways to settle my brain and focus my mind is meditation. Many people have tried to meditate before without success as their thoughts cloud the benefits of the exercise. Yet, there are many different techniques that suit some people more than others. I’ll have a later post detailing some of the best meditation techniques that I use.

2 – Start A Diary

 Sometimes you don’t want to talk to others about what’s worrying you. You might feel embarrassed, scared or simply want to keep yourself to yourself. Yet, this shouldn’t mean that you can’t get things off your chest.

Starting a diary and making it a prerogative to write down all of your thoughts and feelings each day is a great way to purge your mind and lift that weight off your shoulders.

3 – Eat Some Relaxing Food

 Chocolate has been shown many times to have a positive effect on cortisol levels and calm the nerves. Though, dark chocolate is much better so chowing down on endless mars bars probably isn’t the best but nibbling on a few squares of 70%+ throughout the day could help you out.

Take your time to concentrate on the flavour and texture of the chocolate as it melts on your tongue, notice every sensation and focus on the mouth feel. This is the special technique you should use for each bite aid in relaxation.

Green tea, as well, has a settling effect on the mind. This tea contains a compound called L-Theanine which has been shown to relieve symptoms of anger.

You can also try:

  • Honey – a natural antibiotic that’s been sown to reduce inflammation in the brain
  • Mangoes – contains linalool which aids in reducing stress levels
  • Crunchy foods – more satisfying than drinks and soft foods, crunchy foods have been shown to help in times of stress

4 – Go Out For A Walk

When people think of exercising they think of running on a treadmill until they’re almost throwing up or lifting heavy weights around testosterone-fuelled men. However, walking is one of the most underused and underestimated forms of exercises out there. The humble walk is often neglected when we think of exercise but it’s easy to do, can be done anywhere by anyone, and is fantastic for relieving stress and reconnecting with the outdoors.

Go outside, feel the breeze against your skin and settle into a comfortable rhythm. Feel free to plug into a podcast or some easy listening music and just walk. It really is that simple.

5 – Get A Massage

 In times of stress you sometimes need to treat yourself. A good massage is one of the best treats you can do.

If you don’t want to splash out, then the following techniques are a cheaper alternative to a professional massage:

  • Acupressure can help relieve tension by balancing the circulation of fluids around the body
  • Foam rolling can undo any niggling knots you might have in your muscles
  • Using a golf ball is a cheap way to massage your feet by them rubbing back and forth
  • A stress ball is a great way to relieve any anger you’re feeling towards a certain person or situation

If you treat stress as a positive thing then it’s likely to have more positive and less negative effects on your body and mind. It’s only when we become more worried, scared and tense that stress becomes truly bad for us. Stress is an unavoidable part of life but learning how to deal with it effectively will make all the difference to how to affects you.

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