Many of us need to learn how to relax. Relaxation is necessary for mental wellness, improving our mental health. Mental health improves our physical health. The key to proper relaxation is reducing and eliminating stress.
Stress happens when we perceive threats to our happiness and well-being. The two major stressors for most people are relationships and money.
Recent studies show that stress is both relative and abundant at all ages. Teenagers who are part of Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2005) suffer from massive amounts of stress.
How did we stray so far from our relaxed and happy natural state? Maybe we can blame it on the fast pace of a modern, technologically advanced lifestyle and lack of focus on what really matters. Most of us have the capacity to manage the causes of stress and take care of ourselves.
There is a belief in many societies that stress is just part of life. This is not true. You do not have to live a stressful, anxiety-driven existence. In fact, studies show us that if you do, you will eventually experience dis-ease and die!
What we can do to relax
- Use your brain. The most important aspect of your mental wellness is using the power of your mind to facilitate positive change, health and vitality. Our brain has the amazing ability to move energy and create the life that we want to live. Affirm it.
- Create safety. Safety is not just physical, but emotional, as well. We have to feel safe and okay in order to relax. Create safety in your surroundings, including, but not limited to your home, your friends, and your community. If you do not currently have safety, make it your primary mission to seek and find it.
- Focus on yourself. Women seem to have an especially difficult time balancing self-care with other priorities. It is not just desired, but necessary.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde, activist
- Focus on the present. The here and now is all that there is. Take your time and enjoy what is right now.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called present.”
- Express gratitude. No matter how bad things are right now, they could always be much worse. When you focus on what is good right now, you feel good.
Techniques to try
Reinforcing the strategies outlined above, the following relaxation techniques can help you make relaxation a reality.
- Deep breathing
- Connecting to nature
- Tai chi
- Restful solitude
- Writing in a journal
- Herbal remedies
- Long baths
- Reducing scheduled time
- Healing trifecta: air, sun, and sea