How to Relax: 5 Relaxation Tips That Really Work
Between endless conference calls, always-on emails, household responsibilities, side hustles, and beyond, we’ve forgotten something.
We’ve forgotten how to relax.
There are many reasons why this key component of self-care has fallen by the wayside. For one, we’re more connected than ever before — to the internet, to our devices, and therefore, to our careers. In fact, nearly 70% of employees admitted to checking their work email while on vacation. But it’s the day-to-day inability to unplug that really does a doozy on our stress levels. And, considering that chronic stress is linked to six leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, and suicide, we could probably all benefit from learning how to relax a little more.
Technology isn’t the only contributing factor to our inabilities to rest: We also live in a society where being busy is a badge of honor. The truth is, however, that relaxing isn’t a waste of time; it’s essential for both physical and mental recovery. Here’s why:
- Taking time to relax can help lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
- Chronic stress can hamper your immune system. Therefore, relaxing can reduce stress and decrease your chances of catching colds and other illnesses.
- Chronic stress has also been linked to decreased memory function (along with having other implications for your mental health). Taking time to chill could give your brain the time it needs to bounce back.
- Relaxing can help you combat anxiety and depression. Stress can trigger the hormone cortisol, which ultimately reduces your levels of serotonin and dopamine — and that decrease has been linked to depression.
- Cortisol also triggers your appetite and those cravings for high-calorie, sugary foods. Kicking back could help you kick those habits to the curb.
Tips for Learning How to Relax
Taking time out can be easy (and quite enjoyable!) when you know how to relax. Depending on your interests, there are many different ways to unwind and lower stress levels. According to the American Psychological Association, 44% of adults said they exercise or walk to manage stress, 47% said they listen to music, and more than one-third reported spending time with friends or family.
No matter the method, relaxing will undoubtedly be beneficial to your health. Here are some great ways to get it done.
1. First, plan ahead! Schedule time to relax during the week.
If you’re not used to taking it easy, putting time on the calendar that’s dedicated to self-care can make you more inclined to stick with it. Start by carving out an hour or two during the day — whether it’s for an actual lunch break, curling up with a good book before bed, or taking a time out from the kids, setting aside time to unwind is a great place to start.
2. Practice mindfulness and meditation.
If negative thoughts are keeping you from finding total relaxation, you might want to give meditation a try. Meditation is “a mind and body practice that has long been used for promoting calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.” The idea is to focus on the connection between your mind, body, and behavior by clearing your thoughts so you can find peace and, of course, relaxation.
If meditation isn’t your thing, being more mindful is a good place to start. Recognizing when you’re feeling stressed and acknowledging why you’re feeling that way can pave the way to making a conscious decision to spend more time relaxing.
3. Establish a routine to build good habits.
In some cases, learning how to relax comes down to simple repetition. Echoing the same healthy routine can help you build good habits. Whether it’s getting your workout in first thing in the morning or powering down your devices before bed, your relaxation time will become second nature once you repeat it enough times.
When the pandemic and subsequent quarantines first began in early 2020, many people’s routines were immediately upended. Working from home meant blurred lines between work and personal time, and many experienced an influx of stress and anxiety. Now more than ever, it’s important to discover and re-discover relaxation routines during trying times.
4. Figure out what actually calms and soothes you.
How to relax oftentimes comes down to personal preference. You might not like getting massages, smelling essential oils, or taking long baths — and that’s okay! For some, going for a long run is the ideal way to release tension. For others, it means getting comfy on the couch and watching a classic romcom. It all depends on what helps quiet your mind and ease the day’s tension.
In this article, a Brooklyn-based therapist revealed the lightbulb moment: “Relaxation is not one activity — it’s the outcome of any activity.” And that activity can be different for everyone.
5. Try natural remedies to soothe and calm your mind and body.
Sometimes, our thoughts become so consumed by our tasks and to-do lists that we need a little extra help to let go. Our Relax Relief Patch was designed to do exactly that with a soothing, science-based formula designed to put you at ease. The patch features ingredients like passionflower, valerian, and vitamins B1 and B6 that work together to reduce anxiety, stress-induced fatigue, and support cellular function. The best part? It’s hypoallergenic and free from added sugars and other harmful fillers that can be found in other relaxation supplements.
Next time you find yourself forgetting how to relax, turn to these five tips for a little positive reinforcement. From building good habits to soothing, stick-on remedies, everyone can learn to kick back and take care of their minds and bodies.
Need a little extra help winding down? Count OnMi for relaxation that sticks with you. Try the Relax Relief Patch with Hemp, the Hemp Patch, or the Sleep Support Patch next time you need help calming down and playing it cool.
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