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9 quick ways I relax

A stressful everyday life is something that far too many of us know a little too well about. Fortunately, you can easily unwind.

Meditate

Just meditating for a few minutes a day can help with stress and nervousness.

 If you want to meditate easily and quickly, you can sit with your back straight and both feet in the ground. Close your eyes and focus on repeating a positive mantra. It can be, for example, "I am calm" or "I love myself". You can say it out loud or in your head. Place a hand on your stomach to synchronize the mantra with your breath. If you get distracted, just let it flow out of your consciousness again.

Take a deep breath

Take a five-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit with your back straight and eyes closed and place one hand on your stomach. Inhale slowly through your nose. 

The breath should start all the way down in the abdomen and work its way up to the top of your head. Let it go the opposite way as you exhale through your mouth.

Deep breathing helps to lower your blood pressure and makes your heartbeat slower.

Be present

Spend five minutes focusing all your attention on one thing. It could be how the air feels against your face when you walk or how your feet hit the ground.

When you are completely focused on your senses, you feel less tense.

Reach out

Your social circle is one of the best tools against stress. Talk to others - preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share your thoughts and feelings. It gives you both another person's perspective, and then you nurture your friendships.

Feel your body

Review your body mentally and feel how stress affects it. Lie on your back or sit with your feet on the floor. Start at the toes and work your way all the way up to the scalp.

 Feel how your body feels. Do not try to change anything, but just notice. Spend a few minutes imagining that each inhalation is energy flowing out into that body part. Repeat the process as you work your way through the whole body and its emotions.

Decompress

Wrap a warm wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, chest, and back. Remove the cover and use a tennis ball or foam roller to massage the tense areas.

Laugh

A good laugh does not just get you in a better mood. It lowers the stress hormone cortisol and boosts the endorphins that make you happy.

You can watch your favorite comedy or series, read funny books or be with someone who puts you in a good mood.

Listen to music

Research shows that soothing music can lower your blood pressure and heart rate and help with anxiety. For example, you can create a playlist of songs or sounds from nature and focus all your energy on the sounds.

If you are more into listening to loud rock music or even singing along, it can also help.

Be active

All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can help with depression and anxiety. It goes to the brain to trigger sedatives and gives your body a chance to deal with stress.

It may be enough just to take a quick walk around the block, take the stairs a few times or do stretching exercises.

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