How can I learn to relax

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Wondering how can I learn to relax, then here are ways to reclaim your calm

Everything you see, and smell, and eat, and hear can influence how you feel. These things can contribute to stress ... or they can help to relieve it. Relaxation is a mind-body experience that can be fostered by tapping into your senses in order to embrace a greater sense of well-being.

Combining these tips can be an effective way to relax in a hectic world.

Visual:  Remove the Mental Clutter

Closing your eyes and taking a moment to block out the barrage of images which surround you can help to stop the over-stimulation that can lead to stress.  Whether you try to wipe clean the residual images of the day or try to use guided visualization to achieve a greater state of peace, mental images can be a powerful tool to release your stress.
Auditory: The Sound of Silence

We are surrounded by noise pollution. The sound of air conditioning units, cars speeding by, cell phones ringing, babies crying, dogs barking … The noise that bombards us can be hard to escape, but by turning off the phone ringer, and the television we can reclaim something precious.  Silence. 

If it seems impossible to find a quiet spot to decompress, you might consider noise cancelling headphones or even “white-noise” machines to help drown out the steady stream of noise that threatens to steal your serenity.

Olfactory: Soothing Smells

The sense of smell is a powerful tool. It can evoke memories long forgotten and transport you to another time and place.

Lavender is one smell that is often associated with relaxation (or perhaps warm spring days at the south of France!). By surrounding yourself with candles and essential oils, or indulging in massages utilizing quality oils, you can indulge yourself while breathing in greater tranquility.

Kinesthetic: Rock-a-Bye

Movement can soothe a cranky baby or nervous child, and the power of movement doesn't dissipate as we grow older.  Much as the gentle swaying of a mother holding her child can lull the little one, settling into a restful rhythm in a hammock or rocking chair can help to calm your nerves after a frantic day. 

Gentle movements, like some forms of yoga, can also help release tension and help to create a feeling of well-being that helps with relaxation.

Gustation: A nice cuppa'

Certain foods and beverages can help with relaxation.  A cup of warm milk or a cup of hot herbal tea, such as chamomile or valerian, can help to soothe the soul.  (Still others swear that a well-timed chocolate bar has helped them deter emotional disaster.)  Without a doubt, though, there are some foods that seem to elicit  comfort and calm.

Respiration: Take a Deep Breath

Deep breathing is one time tested method for reducing stress, regaining focus, and releasing tension.  Breathing techniques can be quite powerful and have even been shown to help with pain management.  Quite often, those under stress breathe quick, shallow breaths.  By slowing your breathing and taking more measured breaths, you can shift your focus away from the chaos of the day and on to the moment at hand.

Life is hard.  Balancing life is hard.  In a world that seems to pit work against family and hope against fear, it is easy to hold on to the tension of the day.  While it is impossible to escape all of the stressors that surround us, we can implement some of these tips for relaxation.  Stress does not have to consume our lives; with a little effort, we can create moments of calm amidst the drama.



Mayo Clinic:  Stress Management - Meditation  

Web MD:  Stress Management – Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

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