Life sure has a way of throwing things at us, from money problems and family responsibilities to job stresses and general, personal insecurities. We all have times when our minds are on full-speed mode, making it hard for us to wind down, relax, and just enjoy the peace and quiet. Taking a short vacation at the closest beach resort might just do the trick, but we don’t typically have this luxury. That is why we must be creative and find solutions that are within our reach. Here are five home remedies for being more relaxed.
You do not have to take a spiritual journey to the mountains; you can just as easily do this at home, on the comfort of your own furniture. Find a quiet, comfortable spot, preferably as far away as possible from your smartphone and work emails, so you can focus. You can use a cushion or a meditation chair, but these are purely optional. Here are a few short-term health benefits of meditating:
- Lowers stress and anxiety
- Lowers the levels of blood pressure
- Improves the circulation of blood
- Less perspiration
When it comes to meditating, there are a few techniques you can choose from. The first one is concentration meditation, and it involves focusing on a single point for extended periods of time.
That point can be a candle flame, a ticking clock, or a source of white noise that you find relaxing even outside meditating. This form of meditation encourages you to refocus your awareness on said object whenever your mind wanders back to daily anxieties and to let these anxieties go. Remember, maintaining a relaxed state of mind is also one way of achieving sustainable balance and happiness, and meditation is key.
Mindfulness meditation is a more cerebral technique in that it encourages you to observe your thoughts and anxieties, look for patterns, and detect their sources. In other words, it involves a non-judgmental analyzation of the human condition and finding peace and balance between good and bad and pleasant and unpleasant.
2. Drink Green Tea
Drinking green tea is another great way to achieve inner peace and wind down. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which is a derivative of glutamate, a type of amino acid.
The reason why this particular type of tea works so well is that theanine has been proven to be an anti-stress chemical as effective as anti-anxiety pharmaceutical drugs. Its main perk? It does not come with all the unpleasant side effects associated with industrially processed medicine.
Users should be advised that green tea contains traces of caffeine that could have the opposite effect, but you can easily work around this if you prepare it the right way. Grab a stainless-steel pot (or pan), pour some water in it and boil it at 85 degrees Celcius, making sure it is below the boiling point. Place the green tea leaves in a strainer or a sieve and position it above the mug or cup. Pour the hot water into your chosen container and let the tea steep for three minutes.
3. Physical Activity
Even though it produces a form of physical stress, exercising can do wonders to both your mind and body and can provide you with stress relief and relaxation. Regular physical activity raises the rate at which the brain produces endorphins, a substance which relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Generally speaking, exercising can solve or eliminate a lot of stressors at the same time. For example, sudden weight gain can be a great source of anxiety for many people, and physical activity can obviously counteract this.
Moreover, the concentration that is necessary to perform a chosen sport will take your mind away from your daily stresses, and the achievements will fill you with optimism and positive energy. As an extension, your mood can improve dramatically, because exercising raises self-confidence and can generate a feeling of discipline and control over life. The quality of sleep will also be assured and, with that, an overall sensation of relaxation.
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Finally, when it comes to relaxation techniques, it is worth mentioning how effective progressive muscle relaxation can be. It is a proven stress relief technique that involves intentionally tensing the muscles and then releasing that tension in successive, methodical motions. It can be easily done at home and does not require any vast prior knowledge. Here is what you have to do:
- Sit on a comfortable chair
- For a few minutes, try to relax by practicing deep breathing
- Shift your focus on the right foot
- Get a sense of how it feels for a couple of seconds
- Slowly and gently contract the muscles of the right foot; squeeze as hard as you can
- Do this for exactly 30 seconds, making sure to breathe slowly and deeply
- Afterward, focus on the left foot and repeat the steps described above
- Move slowly up through your body and repeat the sequences for the buttocks, abdomen, arms, back, neck and
In our day and age, taking a moment to smell the roses and just relax is a luxury that we deny ourselves for various reasons. We either don’t have the time, disposition, or we are just wired to seek constant stimuli and stressors. But reserving some time for relaxation is good both for our physical and mental health. Drinking green tea, exercising, and practicing meditation are a few ways to achieve inner peace and balance. If you have a hard time winding down, make sure to follow the tips described in this article, and you will find it much easier to escape the stresses of daily life.