Relaxation techniques for your life
Mastering the art and science of relaxation to maximize success
Relaxing is essential to any person’s success — especially the success of those who have high octane careers. For some reason the ability to relax is something most of us think we should possess automatically; and some may even feel like it is a “waste” to practice relaxing. No wonder we have so much trouble with managing stress!
Relaxation techniques demand practice. Remember, the definition of “technique” is the way an artist, writer, dancer or athlete employs the technical skills of his or her particular art or field of endeavor. Make these relaxation techniques a part of your life every day so you can master them and reap the benefits.
Quick Cool Down
Feelings of anger and frustration create a heated feeling in your body that you feel the need to react to. This is one reason why tempers soar when temperatures rise. But instead of engaging in a powerful burst of anger and then allowing your body to eventually cool down, use the cool sensation of deep breathing to soothe the feeling from the beginning. Breathe in through your mouth slowly, and exhale through your nose normally. Practice so you get a cooling feeling on your tongue. Take that time to pause and think, too.
Your posture has an incredible impact on your mood and performance. The more you hunch over, the more you subject your internal organs to stress and compaction. Squeezing yourself uncomfortably into a space that is too tiny makes you feel powerless. Instead, practice standing tall and owning the space you occupy.
Watch Your Caffeine
If you start your day with a serious dose of caffeine, you are sending a big ripple throughout your body in the form of pituitary hormones and adrenaline. And you will also experience the blood pressure spike that comes with lots of caffeine. All of those little changes add up to irritability and impatience — not a great way to relax. If you really want a small caffeine boost at work, opt for green tea instead; it has less caffeine, more healthy antioxidants as well as theanine, a calming amino acid for your nervous system that also improves attention.
Use Acupressure to Instantly Relax
If you’re suffering from anxiety, acupressure can help. There are nine acupressure points that help relieve anxiety, and applying gentle pressure to one of them will regulate your blood pressure and calm your thudding heart. Try the point called Union Valley, in the web between the index finger and thumb, when you’re at your desk and need a quick fix.
Take a Song and Humor Break
Listening to calm music and laughing out loud can help reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, and ultimately help to lower blood pressure. Laughing also gives you a refreshing dose of endorphins. Take five when stress is getting to you so you can listen to soothing music or sounds, and then follow up with a quick dose of your favorite comedian or a funny viral video. Whatever music and laughter combo you choose, you will feel calmer and more energized when you get back to work.