Life is hectic, and sometimes your mind needs a break. It can be tempting to slack off and “give your mind a rest” by watching some TV or surfing Facebook. Those things are not really breaks, though, but just different forms of sensory stimulation.
Here are some scientifically proven ways to relax your mind that give you a break and let you “recharge” before resuming your activities with a renewed energy.
Proper meditation may be the single healthiest activity you can do for mental well-being. It relaxes your mind, gives you direction, betters your mood, and raises energy levels. Also, all of those effects last for a long time.
Unfortunately, correct meditation is not easy to accomplish. It is just a matter of sitting still and clearing your mind, but our brains are always trained to be going over something, and that training is not easy to go against.
It may take many tries to find your groove and start to meditate correctly. Once you do, though, carving out a few short breaks during your day to do it will allow you to keep a cool head in situations that otherwise might cause anxiety.
Switching up your breathing and focusing on it more than usual in a time of stress might feel hokey at first, but it really works. An exercise as simple as inhaling deeply through your nose, pausing, exhaling through your mouth, and repeating five times can immediately cause a noticeable reduction in stress or anxiety.
Breathing exercises are very simple and easy, but they do not come naturally. Check out this guide on effective breathing exercises.
Submerging yourself in water has a sort of magical mind-calming effect, especially if you can lay down in that water and relax your muscles.
Most of us prefer warm baths, although cold water is fine too, as long as you’re comfortable. The really important thing is that you have no distractions going on. Just focus on yourself.
A Walk in Nature
Being outside causes so many naturally calming reactions in your body. Feeling sunlight on the skin is proven to have relaxation effects, as is the act of breathing in the microscopic molecules secreted by most plants.
Physical activity is also an excellent way to relax your mind. Its close association with mental relaxation is widely agreed upon in the scientific community.
The forest is the best place to walk. It’s closer to nature, it’s more peaceful, and it provides a more meditative experience. City streets work too, but they do not offer as much of a relaxation benefit as dusty paths.
Taking in information is what causes your mind to overload in the first place. An outlet for feelings and ideas is the best way to reverse that overload, and free-form writing is one of the most effective outlets there is.
You don’t have to write something good, or even something coherent; the writing is only for you. Just try to call up the thoughts clouding your mind, ball them up into words or sentences, and lay them out on paper.
For those who prefer to express their feelings in pictures rather than words, doodling is a fantastic outlet. Just like with writing, it doesn’t matter whether your product looks beautiful, just enjoy it yourself.
Even for those who prefer writing, doodling is better when you’re especially stressed. Since you don’t need to find the words for the things you’re putting out on paper, it’s a more effective way to express complicated feelings you can’t quite nail down.
Talking About Issues
If you don’t mind airing your dirty laundry to someone else, calling up a friend, family member, or someone else who will listen and just talking at them about what you’re feeling is a great way to relax your mind.
It’s often a very cathartic experience. As a bonus, your confidante will appreciate that you thought of them in your time of need.
A good mid-day nap is a great way to boost your energy levels and relax your mind at the same time. Ideally, it will make you feel refreshed enough to continue your day.
Note that taking a nap in the middle of the day can be risky because a nap that is too long or too short might make you feel groggy instead of refreshed. It’s all about circadian rhythm. So experiment a little to find the best amount of nap time for you. We’d recommend starting at a baseline of 20 minutes.
Incorporate these tips into your workday or social life to keep a cool head and relax your mind when things get out of hand.
No matter which of the above techniques you are using, accompany it with a mind relaxation playlist like in the video below!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TRICKS FOR RELAXING YOUR MIND THAT ARE NOT MENTIONED HERE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!