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Relax Yourself

Let’s face it. Life is stressful these days, there are no two ways about it! We’re all under pressure from family, work, finances and friends and it can all get too much at times. Luckily, we know a few ways of getting ourselves chilled, relaxed and ready for the trials of the day. And guess what? We’re going to share them with you!

Guess what? Meditating isn’t all about sitting cross legged and saying: “Ommmm” several thousand times. Any repetitive action that you enjoy and which relaxes you can be regarded as a form of meditation. This can include walking, swimming, reading – in fact any activity that calms you and keeps you ‘in the moment’.

It’s your mind – start to use it. Visualising a favourite place, person or sight. It’s not difficult – after all, visualisation is just a posh word for ‘daydream’. Think how easily you used to be able to do that and learn to do it again!

When we are tense or stressed out, our breathing becomes swift and shallow. Which isn’t good. Learning to do steady, deep and relaxed breathing can make a huge difference. There are lots of breathing exercises out there that you can try, so see which one works best for you.

Take it all In
When it’s safe to do so (not when you’re driving for example!) just stop. Stop and take a long, deep, close look around you. Maybe focus on some birdsong or the passing clouds. Sitting near water and just observing that scene can be hugely relaxing. Find yourself that nice place, that relaxing sound or scene and lose yourself in it.

Have a Cup Of Tea!
It’s almost a cliché isn’t it? Everything feels better with a nice hot cuppa! Chamomile tea, for example, is a traditional favourite for calming the mind and reducing stress. Find a type that works with you and, when it all gets a bit much, sit down and have a brew.

Give Some Love.
Yes, you may feel as if you want everyone to show you some, but offer some back…it really works! By just hugging a friend or family member, playing with your pet cat or dog, or just being still and holding hands with your partner. Such interaction stimulates the brain, helping you to see your way through problems. It may also help lower blood pressure.

Self Massage
If, for example, your neck and shoulders are tense, simply relax them by gently rubbing those tense areas. Find a way that’s relaxing and find the points that need a little attention. Same applies to your feet, give them a rub…it gets the circulation flowing.

Take a Time Out
This may not be easy but, just as you think you’re going to lose it, freak out or have an attack of the screaming fits – step back, walk away, remove yourself from the situation. Breathe, slowly and deeply, and focus on letting all that tension go. Don’t rush it. Time is always on your side. Regard it as a friend, not an enemy.

Listen To Music
If music be the food of love, play on. In ‘Twelfth Night’, Orsino feels that listening to music will help him cope with his obsession with love and desire. So try it for yourself – no matter what you’re looking to escape. Recent research has shown that listening to half an hour of classical music may produce calming effects equivalent to 10mgs of Valium!

This is your one. What makes you feel good, what do you enjoy, what chases away your blues? Find time in your life for that one as well. Find time for you…and relax!

By Edward Couzens-Lake