How do you wind down at the beginning and/or end of your day? Do you take some time to relax? If not, start. Wondering how you can "fit" it in? Check out these three simple relaxation techniques recommended by Harvard Health:
#1 Focused Breathing Exercises
In. Out. In. Out. -- Also known as abdominal or belly breathing, while it may sound too simple or silly even, the practice of taking intentional, long, slow, and deep breaths can help to transform, mitigate, and manage the stresses of everyday life.
When completing focused breathing exercises, it's important to work to clear your mind of thoughts that may be impeding on your relaxation.
If you struggle with respiratory ailments or heart failure, however, be sure to consult your doctor.
#2 Guided Imagery
Close your eyes and go to your happy place... no, really! In this technique of guided imagery, recall and imagine soothing images and scenes of places or experiences that you find peaceful.
Maybe it's a quiet beach with crashing waves, your family's dinner table, playing a musical instrument, or something else completely. Find what works for you.
There are even apps and online recordings of calming scenes, if you want further guidance in this technique.
#3 Body Scan
This technique involves focused breathing and intentional, progressive muscle relaxation.
How does it work? Begin with focused breathing exercises. In other words, begin by taking deep, slow breaths. After you have calmed your mind and body for a few minutes, turn your focus to one part of the body at a time and mentally release any physical tension you feel in this spot. Then, continue to another part of the body and so on, until you have reached a point of relaxation.