10 Tips for Relaxing and Letting Go
When moving into a space of relaxing and letting go, consider how stress may be effecting different aspects of yourself. Do you feel primarily stressed mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually? After you have identified where you are feeling the most stress, find a way to address that part of you that needs to relax. For example, if your body is feeling tense, yoga may be a helpful way to respond to your body’s needs. If you work in a stressful environment, perhaps you can make small changes in your surroundings to add comfort or beauty. The more senses you engage while relaxing (seeing, hearing, taste, touch, smell) the easier it will be to experience relaxation and let go.
1. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Allow each breath to relax into a natural rhythm. with your body. Allow your belly to gradually begin to rise and fall as you breathe in and out. If you are having difficulty taking “belly” breaths, lean back slightly while sitting in a chair and clasp your fingers together against the back of your head as you are resting back on your hands. As you lean slightly back, breathe and notice your belly rising and falling.
2. Listen to instrumental relaxing music. Try music made to stimulate alpha brain waves or a guided imagery CD for relaxation. Have relaxing music available on your phone or computer with headphones so you can listen to relaxing music whenever you need a break.
3. Carry or have available a relaxing aromatherapy blend (oil or spray) to stimulate your sense of smell.
4. Go for a walk in nature.
5. Spend time by a natural source of water such as a river, lake or the ocean. Water is a universal symbol for healing and stimulates releasing and letting go.
6. Journal. Write about your thoughts and the feelings generated by those thoughts. Or, write a letter. It can be addressed to a specific person, your workplace, God or anything else that comes to mind. Then, write your own response to your letter, imagining what that letter might say.
7. Create. Cook something that soothes you. Or paint, draw, or engage yourself in another activity that allows you to express yourself without any additional pressure, expectation or need for perfection.
8. Talk to someone who can support you in shifting the way you are holding your reality. Whether that person is able to provide a compassionate ear, an amusing perspective or an uplifting dialogue about another topic, talking to someone you feel good around is often a great way to shift how you may be feeling mentally or emotionally.
9. Sing, dance or both! Movement will release physical tension in your body. There are also simple yoga stretches you can do to relax your body.
10. Close your eyes. Tune in and ask yourself, “What do I really need right now that will allow me to relax in a healthy way?” Give yourself permission to give yourself what you really need.
Remember that your body has a natural tendency towards homeostasis so for longer term stress reduction, a change in lifestyle is going to create more sustainable ways of living in a more relaxed way.