This the 9th and final installment of the healthy habits for writers series.
Relaxation is not a luxury but a requirement to have your best life. All the money in the world does not make a happy full life if you don’t have your best health. School administrators, employers, physicians, clergy, people from all walks of life espouse the importance of relaxation.
Watching television, unplugging from the internet, turning off the phones are good things to do from time to time. But, it takes a little more effort to really get relaxed. Focused relaxations are very powerful in positively influencing your life. There are lots of things you can do. There are many ways you can relax and variations on most of them. I’m sharing with you seven that I’ve used.
7 Relaxation Activities
- Meditate:It can calm thoughts that overwhelm and cause anxiety and stress. It improves breathing, making your breathings slower and deeper. Proper meditation is simple and works by bringing you fully into your present, not in the future (planning) or the past (worrying about what’s already passed).
- Breathe deeply: Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale fully through your mouth. This increases your oxygen intake, which is important, as most of us are shallow breathers. It helps to improve clarity of thoughts and increase energy levels.
- Stretch: Stretching increases flexibility, and it helps to relieve muscle tension that can build up throughout your workday. Increases blood flow and oxygen to your organs.
- Write: Journal writing is way of getting your thoughts on paper that can clog up your focus and creativity. In a personal journal, you write whatever comes to mind. It’s only for you, so you don’t have to be guarded or sensor your content. It can help you think things through, discover elusive solutions to problems, and reduce worrying.
- Listen to Music: Listening to music alone or in conjunction with other practices can be very relaxing. Soothing tones and melodies can encourage deep breathing and relaxation of tense muscles.
- Guided Imagery: Imagine a place, real or made up, that makes you feel calm or peaceful. Using multiple sensory images helps to keep your focus. My place is an imagined spot in nature.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation: A process of tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups. It increases your awareness of tension and the feeling of tension release in each muscle group.
What Relaxation gets You
Relaxation can refresh and rejuvenate you. The benefits of relaxing, taking time out, can put you back in balance both physically and mentally.
- Improves resistance to illness
- Improves clarity and focus
- Increases energy levels
- Improves self-control in difficult situations
- Improves your attitude which can improve personal and professional relationships
What relaxation activities work for you? How have you benefited from relaxing? There are many options out there. Do your research, talk to people, and find what works for you. You, your family, and your work will be all the better for it.
- Journal Writing to Relieve Stress
- Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief
- Benefits of Different Types of Meditation Techniques
- 5 benefits of keeping a personal journal
- Relaxation Practices at Loyola University Maryland