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5 Tips to Relax and Why You Should Do It Often

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Anyone else feel like they are on a constant treadmill? That there isn't enough time in the day? That your "to do" list is never ending?  Me too.  Being the Type A personality that I am, I have to make a focused effort to relax.  I multi task while I multi task in a frantic effort to "get it all done."

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The reason I take time to relax, is that there are so many healthy benefits and reasons to relax. 

  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Increasing blood flow
  • Reducing stress and tension
  • Slowing your heart rate
  • Improving anger management
  • Increased confidence
  • Increase concentration, clarity and thoughts

5 Ways to Relax

  1. Meditate.  I like to light candles and listen to tranquil music, the kind without lyrics.  My favorite is the ocean sounds and nature forest sounds.  The second I close my eyes, I focus on deep breathing. It only takes seconds for my mind to increase clarity and creative thoughts.  If I find that my mind is "too busy" and I keep thinking of all the things I need to do, I will take each thought and put it in an imaginary bubble and "pop it" in my mind.
  2. Deep breathes.  I take slow deep breathes through my nose to the count of 4 and concentrate on feeling each breath fill my lungs and feel my chest lift and lungs expand.  I focus on exhaling slowly thorough my mouth to the count of 4.  Deep breathing has helped my dozens of times through stressful times such as the time I was in small plane riding out an electrical storm or flying in a helicopter over the ice peaks in Alaska.
  3. Mental vacation. Imagine yourself in your favorite place, relaxing. I always envision myself on the white sandy beach in Bora Bora, where the sand is like flour.  I am lying on my back and can literally feel the warmth of the sun and feel the warm breeze. I can hear the drums and sounds of people laughing far off in a distance.  I can hear the waves and smell the salty air.  To top it all off, the sun is setting, the sun is low and warm, and I can see the silhouette of the palm trees.  Ahhhh. Where do you imagine you are?
  4. Love your family and / or pet expressively.  Studies show that loving your someone or your pet triggers happiness and a sense of well being.  100% of the time, if I hug my beloved dog and look him in the eye, I feel so happy and relaxed. Hugging your family or snuggling may actually help lower blood pressure and decrease stress hormones.
  5. Self massage.  When I was in Japan, a masseuse taught me to do Shiatsu.  It is pressure points focusing on the head.  You do it by using the pads of your fingers and press on your scalp, going in circular motions and varying the pressure.  You can also use pressure points on the base of your neck. It's so relaxing.  I also bought a neck massager that has heat and tapping for your shoulders and neck, I use it all the time. 

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