What a fantastic idea!
This year America celebrated National Relaxation Day on August 15.
In the hustle bustle of our daily lives, we often forget to slow down and take some time for ourselves (like taking a moment to sit on a park bench and really notice what's around us - sights, sounds, smells.)
As a coach who specialises in stress and anxiety management, I know that switching off the Stress Response and allowing time for our body and mind to recover is vital to our long-term well-being.
So what type of activities do you do to relax and recharge?
Here’s a list of ideas and activities provided by the American Institute of Stress that might help you relax:
- Self-hypnosis (I moved this to the top of the list because I’m a trained clinical hypnotherapist and have witnessed and experienced the benefits of hypnosis)
- Deep breathing (The first thing I teach my stressed and anxious clients. It switches on the relaxation response)
- Visual imagery (Using the power of our imagination to relax is a key tool in my Stress/Anxiety Mastery Toolkit)
- Exercise (Exercise can channel your stress response into something constructive and distract your mind from the challenges at work or home that make you feel chronically stressed)
- Meditation/Mindfulness (There is loads of research now to prove the benefits of meditation for controlling stress)
- Muscular relaxation exercises (My favourite when working with clients is Progressive Muscle Relaxation)
- Biofeedback (in my practice I use the Heartmath Institute’s Heart Rate Variability Feedback monitor to provide clients with immediate biofeedback on how stressed or relaxed they are.)
- Listening to music (I recommend to my clients that they listen to Weightless by Marconi Union. A study found that listening to this music resulted in a striking 65% reduction in participants' overall anxiety, and a 35% reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.)
- Massage therapy (Research has found that stress affects every part of your body – when you carry too much tension, it can lead to muscle stiffness and pain. The team at Absolute Therapy where I work on Friday afternoons provide awesome massages.)
- Playing with pets (I have two cats Oscar and Mojo who are a pleasure – well most of the time… . Studies show that playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.)
- Laughter and humour (I get my weekly dose of laughter as a member of the Basejump Improvisation troupe. Classes can be booked here.).
And the list goes on ……
- Yoga and tai chi
- Autogenic training
- Participating in hobbies
- Volunteer work
- Keeping a daily journal
- Taking short breaks
I recommend that if you aren't already, you should consider adding one or two (or more!) of these relaxation activities into your weekly schedule. Your mind and body will thank you.
I help people to develop personal mastery so they can achieve the success, health and happiness they desire. In particular I help people to reduce distress and anxiety and avoid chronic stress. If you'd like to explore how I can help you, let's talk. You can contact me on 021 056 8389 or email me at email@example.com.
Until next week,
Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise is in helping people perform under pressure and gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, hypnosis, positive psychology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).
Contact Tony today to discuss how he can help you, or if you think Tony could help someone you know, you might like to encourage them to get in touch with him.